Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease

The voters have spoken. But Bush is not listening. Instead, admits Tony Snow and White House spokesperson David Green, Bush seeks to bring us back into the war (and into the fold). Always, always, he treats us as recalcitrant children. But it is as if Bush, in his child-like stubborness juxtoposed to his manly toys (real WMD), is covering his ears and saying, "lalalalala..not listening." It's his way or the highway.

Current polls show Americans strongly oppose Bush's current and planned actions in the Middle East. Yet the decider is forging ahead with war escalation before Democrats get out of the gate on Iraq hearings or actions. You know things are bad when former Congressman and long-time conservative commentator Joe Scarborough (of MSNBC)Monday night called for the Democratic Congress to stand up to George W. Bush. Gordon Smith has abandoned the Bush failed policy. Paul Begala said today on CNN that at least 10 more Republicans are prepared to do likewise. And Sen. John Warner criticized that the president's plan will put the troops in danger. The majority of Americans oppose further expansion, yet Bush has massive plans for the remake of the Middle East still on the drawing board. And he's reconfiguring his administration with yes-men to pull it off.

In a chilling, must-read article about the extent of Bush's war ambitions, Robert Parry of Consortium News, who as an AP reporter broke much of the Iran-Contra scandal, now tells us that even John Negraponte has stood up to George W. Bush, by arguing that intelligence does not support attacking Iran because it is at least 10 years away from a nuclear weapon. Does this sound familiar? So, Negraponte's out as intelligence chief. No one questions the decider.

Predictably, news earlier in the week suggested that the US is still considering strikes on Iran, or, possibly, encouraging Israel to do the dirty work. Here at RK, Lowell has written on this subject earlier this week.

Bush cannot seriously believe that such an action won't further destabilize the Middle East, endanger our troops, and threaten our security at home. More disturbing, we have learned of a new covert war in Somalia. There is some evidence this is not a temporary or one-time incursion. Though the administration denies it, there are reports that the US may be working with war lords in Somalia. We've gone that route before.

Since last spring, Seymour Hersh at The New Yorker has forecast the looming expansion in Iraq, as well as in Syria and Iran. This dangerous turn in our foreign policy is costing us every alliance we ever had, except the lame duck Blair, and perhaps some opportunists who fed the Bushies pseudo-intel on pre-war Iraq.

George W. Bush may have kept reading instead of acting when we were under attack on September 11, 2001, but he is full-steam ahead with the war-without-end agenda now. Lame duck time means time is of the essence for Bush -- and for the American people to push back. He works for us and not the other way around.

Moreover, the will of the American people requires Congress to act to halt further escalation (or widening) of the war. Will it step up to the plate?

The legislation bringing to fruition the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission (HR-1, focused on honestly protecting us against terrorism, passed last night, no thanks to Bush. What Bush is planning in the Iraq and planning on his drawing board will not keep us safe.

Congress should make clear that it will only entertain real efforts at making us safe, not thinly disguised attempts at manipulation of Americans. It should demand the White House stop using the vague PR construct "war on terror" to justify anything the administration wants. "War on terror" is am empty construct Bush uses to scare Americans. Just Today Tony Snow tried to scare Americans to justify a new war in Somalia. We must face the fact that what Bush proposes is frightening. And, were there real evidence to justify some sort of anti-terrorism effort now, who can believe him?

Immediately, Congress must orchestrate a legislative smack-down by creating a bill which simultaneously:
1. Requires that we engage a diplomatic process by dispatching a bipartisan team to engage Iraqi and regional stakeholders, and to negotiate a peace treaty.
2. Ends, by law, the US Middle East hegemony;
3. Outlines a safe plan to bring home the troops, starting now;
4. Funds only the safe drawdown of troops;
5. Forbids off-budget funding of expanded war;
6. Forbids preemptive war against Iran and Syria;
7. Halts an Iraqi jobs program ($1 billion),spending it instead on US jobs;
8. Sends all US mercenaries home immediately and forbids the use of such mercenaries in the US when they return, as they were used in New Orleans last fall; and
9. Reverses the blank check for the Iraq war, which the Congress foolishly gave the dissembling Bush in 2002.

If Bush/Cheney defy Congress and forge ahead with expansionist plans anyway, Congress should first impeach Cheney (so he couldn't replace Bush) and then Bush himself. Bush deserves impeachment in any case. But should he defy Congress this time, the case would be ironclad.

Most Americans want an end to Bush's failed, misguided attempt to remake the Middle East to his liking. Despite repeated warnings, Bush has dragged Americans into a nightmare.

We must stop the insanity. To do so, we must leave no congressional representative behind. Tell each we will work to defeat him or her if if her or she doesn't stand by us and stand up to Bush this time. Our country depends on us. We need people of courage to hit the phones (to call Congress), the sidewalks, door-knockers, letters to the editor, commentaries, the blogosphere, online polls, and rallies. In one strong and unyielding voice: Stop Mad Cowboy Disease!

Write Senators and Congresspersons here:

Or use the letter-writing tool at:

Cross posted at Raising Kaine, Wed Jan 10, 2007 at 08:16:37 AM EST