Monday, November 27, 2006

A Progressive Ultimatum Part II

Tell Bush to get out now: either out of Iraq or out of the White House.

American progressives - Republicans and Democrats - should demand that Bush either resign or clean-up his mess in Mesopotamia before he leaves office in 2008.

One recent morning, I forgot my need to get up and fetch another cup of coffee when I read this:
. . . .All I read were criticisms, many of which were harsh but no alternatives to the current Elephant plans in place. The Elephant plans are without a doubt flawed and big mistakes have been made in Iraq. On the other hand the Donkeys don’t really have a plan from what I’ve concluded. I have the impression they’re only focused on withdrawing from Iraq. If they do withdraw before Iraq is stabilized then I must honestly say that I’ll consider it as a defeat. . . a very bad defeat and a second Vietnam. Here comes the question: Which one is better having no plan or having a flawed plan?
Planning by the worst administration in history is worse than no plan at all.

Michael Moore's letter (below) answers the first part of this objection.
Our current occupation of Iraq is in a state of free-fall in a cascade of civil war, ethnic cleansing and insurrection. Part of the problem was that this un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) has been driven by a Bushevik-Sharansky dogma that democratic governance was the silver-bullet answer to terrorist werewolves.

Secondly, at the risk of slapping up the most presumptuous comment ever, I told the author that tragically he was probably too young and callow to realize that Bush’s UULUIUOI has amounted to and continues to be a major departure from the American tradition in foreign policy. Neocons are not just an ultra-conservative administration: they represent a militarist mutation of conservatism which tracks its origins only back to Leo Strauss, not to settled American traditions or political thought. As such, they are alien strain to American political thought.

If they were only a ‘very conservative’ Republican administration, there could be room for confidence in a belief that the merciful pendulum of history would swing back naturally in a couple of years. In which case, we could say, foreign policy stops at the water's edge, suck it in, manage the mess in Mesopotamia as best we can, honor Bush’s commitments as if they were our own, etc.

But this is not the case. Bush and Cheney and Rove represent the worst American can be and, left to cycle out in 2008, will yet become. After 2008 they will not be long gone. They’ll be back, metastasized in an even more virulent form.

All this is to say, there are stakes bigger than Iraq involved here. In foreign policy alone, the doctrine of preventive war, preemptive war, or whatever - in hell - you want to call it, has to be repudiated and banished from our American lexicon. Until we do this, we can accomplish nothing of value for Iraqis or for ourselves. This has to be accomplished by 2008. If not, it will be done by future historians which is to say, too late.

Bush and Cheney have to be forced to eat their war before they’re excused from the table.