Friday, March 09, 2007

The Road Map Out of Iraq Leads Through Washington D.C. (in 2 Parts)

Part I: The Wail of Two Cities

(Apologies to Charles Dickens)

Hosting a web log affords one of few privileges and luxuries in return for all the hours of exercise, entertainment and enjoyment sacrificed from the real world. What it does afford me is the opportunity to put myself 'out there', on the record, and to engage in a robust dialogue with others who are concerned about the direction in which our country is being led. In these pages I like to address watershed, pivotal, central issues. My beguiling friend, Wizard, opened one recently.

I dub it the Wail of Two Cities (Baghdad and Washington DC). The following is excerpted from Wizard's March 4th thread (march forth !) and the Wall Street Journal which he quotes:
We are at a fork in the road in Iraq. We can either withdraw our troops in a rapid, yet orderly fashion and leave the outcome of our gross misadventure in Iraq to the Iraqi's . . . or we can stay and strongly support the current, flawed, Iraqi government we established.

. . . . This doesn't mean you can't condemn (or even impeach) President Bush for leading us into this quagmire. And this doesn't mean we can't hold George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld responsible for implementing one of the worst military strategies in American history.

. . . . the battle of Baghdad is now under way. . . . Will we allow our actions to be driven by the changing conditions on the ground in Iraq -- or by the unchanging political and ideological positions long ago staked out in Washington? What ultimately matters more to us: the real fight over there, or the political fight over here?
It's my position that,
  • the Battle of Washington takes precedence over the Battle of Baghdad;
  • the mis-governance of our country has to be corrected before we can contribute to the governance of Iraq's;
  • the occupation of the United States by an alien and un-American political movement has to be lifted before the occupation of Iraq can be brought to any kind of conclusion.
Wizard says my approach is one-dimensional, but he's wrong.

A few days ago, I posted (jus ad bellum) my central objection to this Bush-Cheney apparat: that it harbors one of today's greatest collection of internationally-feared war criminals. Because this column remained unchallenged at the head of this site for five days, I conclude I have made my point.

My next point seems obvious: if war-starters Bush and Cheney are long left unmolested by the American people, (many of whom share complicity in voting them into office), these warmongers will start another war, if only to diffuse the ignominy of their present disaster. For my American country, it's a little like shoplifting, as I told my high school students in my previous life: the worse thing that can happen the first time you try it is that you not get caught; because that means you will do it again and again (nothing succeeds like success) until you are ultimately caught when the stakes have geometrically progressed and compounded. There's nothing worse than a warmonger unless it's a serial warmonger.

Now, to be sure, my fellow American progressives have other grievances against the Bush-Cheney apparat, especially as pertains to the extra-constitutional misdemeanors of their principle apparatchiki, Karl Rove and Albert Gonzalez and their like. But, please excuse me from detouring into an itemized litany here; the list of grievances grows longer by the week as it has since this government by the party-that-hates-government has been in power. Since 9-11-01 Bush and Cheney have been frittering away the world's empathy and squandering the blood, treasure and trust of the American people. A growing number of my fellow countrymen are now at the point where they are no longer willing to soldier on like the Good Soldier Sweick, giving Bush and Cheney the benefit of the doubt while they 'surge' more resources into their sink-hole known as Iraq. This duo has produced nothing but defeat and devastation to everything they have touched.

Part II: The Get -'Shooter'-First Plan:

What would it take for me to support an indefinite American occupation of Iraq? Obviously - sine qua non - Bush and Cheney's replacement. But by whom?

I have said before in these pages that I am an American patriot first, and American Progressive second, and a Democrat third. For that reason, I don't need Nancy Pelosi in the White House. I would accept the leadership of conservative Republican Chuck Hagel, for the next two years anyways. He's got the gravitas, guts and gumption: he's ready. Listen to what he says in Esquire:
The president says, 'I don't care.' He's not accountable anymore. He's not accountable anymore, which isn't totally true. You can impeach him, and before this is over, you might see calls for his impeachment. I don't know. It depends how this goes.
So Hagel is set to announce his presidential intentions next Monday. His chances of winning a presidential nomination from this Republican party are between slim and none. Unless, that is, he would be running in 2008 as a White House incumbent. How could that happen? That's where the Get-'Shooter'-First scenario comes in:
  1. Cheney resigns or is impeached.
  2. Chuck Hagel is appointed Vice-President.
  3. Bush resigns or is impeached.
  4. Hagel becomes President.
  5. Hagel fires Gonzales and winds down the war.
As I have said, I am an American Patriot who places the welfare of my Country of birth over the Party of my choice. In this spirit of non-partisanship, I offer the Republicans a way out of Iraquagmire without a constitutional crisis of unnecessary complexity and trauma.

Based upon their recent track record, I am confident most Republicans don't have either the brains or the patriotism to consider this offer. But, as the shadows of the Ides of March bear down on us all, I am on the record as being open to a new Republican presidency. As Chuck Hagel says, "If you want a safe job, go sell shoes."