Daily Thought: Iraq and Impeachment

note: While I’m currently shedule restricted from my usual blogging, I thought I would at least attempt to take a little time out of my day to just share my thoughts, I suppose. In essence, just what is eating at me at any one particular moment on any given subject. The subject may or may not be topical, and I don’t intead to cite sources. Monday, two weeks from now, I intend to return to my normal schedule.

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I’m reading Hubris, right now, and when I mean reading, I actually mean listening as I bought it on audio format and with a book from the University of Michigan and a book from Pluto Press on my desk for review, I would feel guilty using my reading time to page through anything else. So I’m listening to a book I probably should have absorbed a long time ago.

In conjunction with this, I’ve just finished my first viewing of a documentary I will most likely be reviewing on Friday, No End In Sight, which is set to open later this month in New York and Washington later this month and nationwide in August.

The point being that while I’m not currently writing, the influx of information is continuous, the narrative, as I’ve found it from the moment I first sought to engage in the entity, growing at once both clearer, and far more muddled.

And yet, all of this is history. How we got to Iraq, the many missteps and wrong turns, the frustrating navigation from a brash and unnuanced administration you wish you could wrest control from; this has all already happened.

In a way, from the moment the son of a former president, a Texan carpetbagger named George W. Bush, was named the forty-third president of the United States of America, we were placed on an irreversable path towards chaos in Iraq, and near bloodthirsty partisanship and polarization here at home.

My very political awareness is in fact a construct of this administration; the environment it created so volatile that I could no longer remain ignorant, I could no longer maintain the same apathy towards the working of our government, towards not only how decisions are made, but also which flawed men are making them.

As my friend Steve has pointed out, this awakening occured now two and half almost three years ago. And where has it led me? For every bit of knowledge I acquire, every one or every zero, it seems to open up only greater vast abysses of emptiness waiting to be filled; voids full of questions with no answers.

It seems that nearly every day the story of how we found our military deployed in a war savaged Iraq colored in a little more. The failures of the administration and those personnel put in charge in key places detailed. We know the hows and the whys, but not not definitively, the black and whites of what we know, only laying in stark contrast the greater questions of what we don’t know.

And yet, through this all, we still must pay attention to the now, to the fact that we are still in Iraq, and that the narrative has not yet ended but continues on and miraculously, despite the light shown upon past events, continues to snake and twist through the shadows.

The reasons for going into Iraq have shifted and changed fluidly a gentle stream navigating the time worn rocks of a river bed, and yet while this is documented and has become something of a joke predominantly among dissenters on the left, we see it again today, the Surge an amorphous entity one that was supposed to be definitive by september, and yet this is now not so.

And now, we are looking at Iraq as though it will be another Korea? This will be a “Generational War?” The same story that was supposed to have a happy ending with America being welcomed with flowers and candies as liberators now will… what? Have no ending?

It seems any time any person speaks out against war, someone comes back and says, typically in a snide remark, “Oh yeah, war didn’t do anything good. Hitler didn’t need to be stopped.” But I ask you, since then, what has war accomplished? And what was the nature of that war? We had to be drug into the second world war kicking and screaming with Japan unleashing a relentless attack upon us.

We then went to war against that state and its PUBLICALLY KNOWN allies. And in the end, we scarred the Earth with the remains of our foes. Was the Civil War that we fought on our soil a “good war”? Did we solve that conflict adequately? Even now in the South the antipathy towards the North runs deep, an echo of resentment that has trickled from one generation to the next.

Then there was the Revolution. I cannot speak ill of that war. It saw the birth of a nation that I have grown to love more and more as the years pass, despite the mishandling of its elected stewards that I have come to loathe.

But really, was the Korean war a success? Vietnam? How about the Cold War? I wonder how deep the scars we hold from that decades long conflict run? An argument I’ve had with a friend of mine has been the viability of a socialist movement in America; socialism, adaptable and adoptable, used in varying measures throughout Europe could logistically be applied to a capitalist nation and possibly do some good, but it won’t happen here in America, not until long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil.

Socialism, without a fleeting thought, without even the vaguest amount of education, is in this country an epithet; a lasting wound from the cold war.

But again, this is all History. What about now?

Let’s all be honest with ourselves. Iraq is a mess. Realistically, there are only to “ends” to that story. The US either floods Iraq with military presence, establishes martial law as it should have years ago, and slowly, methodically, and logically restore the country one piece at a time, like fitting together a jigsaw puzzle.

The only other option is to leave the country to its own devices. A civil war is being fought there, one that we can, especially at our troop strength and given the popularity of our presence, do little but stifle indefinitely. As things stand, we can never make the civil war go away, just put it off for another day.

So we leave. Let them have their war. Let them fight their way to their own peace, and let them come up with their own solution, either to live together peacefully, or separate themselves into different states.

Neither solution is particularly sunny. If we were to do the former, then we run a very severe risk. Whatever government is in place when we leave could be viewed as an American government, not one of the Iraqi people, we risk still not putting an end to the sectarian resentments, and only stoking the fires in the belly of a beast, be it a Shiite majority under Sunni rule, a Sunni minority under Shiite rule, what have you.

In the latter, violence, widescale and most likely unthinkable in comparison to what we see now, and we are left with the burden of its responsibility.

The overarching point is not what are the viable options, but that they are equally unacceptable, and long after Bush is ousted from office, we will be feeling the after effects for years to come. Bush’s legacy will be like an illness on this country, and there is little doubt in my mind that history will be considerably unkind to him.

Bush, whether on his own accord, or the more likely truth that by outsourcing his job to the Vice President’s office, has left America between the cliched rock and hard place. It is so bad that even if we were to leave Iraq now, even if congress did manage to end this war before we had a new head of state in place on January of 2009, we could do little to heal our standing in the world.

And there is less and less doubt in my mind that the steps the administration took to lead us to this disastrous precipice on which we stand were criminal.

I’ve come out tentatively against an impeachment of Bush, primarily for political reasons. I’ve made no bones about this single fact; I am a Democrat first, and a Liberal second, my reasoning being, you foul up the game of politics, allow Republicans hold the White House and reclaim congress, and THEN see how quickly your liberal agenda moves along.

But I’m prone to introspective reveries. I’m constantly second guessing myself. And in this one arena, I believe I was wrong, or at least to continue to oppose an impeachment on political purposes would now be wrong.

You see, at the very center of my being, I believe the second Bush presidency has been an insult to the title. Not one good thing has come from this administration… not one. And it has pursued its agenda in the best of times with criminal negligence, and at the worst of times with felonious intent.

The simple fact is this: we should not expect, condone, or even allow conduct such as that portrayed by this presidency. It is a pox upon our constitution, a gross shadow of what this country is supposed to be. To allow this president to leave the White House unscathed with his term and freedom intact is to set a dangerous precedent for behavior so often does not set a standard to be met, but a demarcation line to be crossed, for a boundary to be pushed.

If we believe this President to be a criminal, as I undoubtedly do, to allow him to go unpunished doesn’t set the stage for SIMILAR behavior out of future presidents, but WORSE behavior. “Hey, Bush got away with that, I bet I could get away with even more!”

This is unacceptable. He must be impeached if for no other reason than to let his successors know that there is an informed and rabidly patriotic public that will not stand for the misconduct of its elected officials. There are consequences for willfully destructive agendas. He should be impeached because that is what we celebrated six days ago, the fact that it is our “duty” to overthrow unjust governments, which this regime has undoubtedly become, and we can not risk those who will hold the office in the future to think that we, as citizens of the United States of America, have for one second forgotten our duty.

Bush’s defenders have in the past accused those of us on this side of the aisle of Bush hatred. We just hate the man. I do hate the man. There is no question of that. But my hatred of him comes from what he has done to my country, how he has shattered our credibility on the world stage, how he has contributed to the anti American wildfire that burns throughout the Muslim world, how he has turned this country into a battleground drawn across religious, cultural, and economic battle lines. I hate him because his arrogance, incompetence, and willful disregard for those ideals that make this country what it is have festered and eaten away like a disease at MY country.

He is a cancer upon this nation and our way of life, and we know the cure. Let’s use it.

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