Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Keith Olbermann sez

The entire government has failed us on Iraq:
Few men or women elected in our history—whether executive or legislative, state or national—have been sent into office with a mandate more obvious, nor instructions more clear:

Get us out of Iraq.

Yet after six months of preparation and execution—half a year gathering the strands of public support; translating into action, the collective will of the nearly 70 percent of Americans who reject this War of Lies, the Democrats have managed only this:

  • The Democratic leadership has surrendered to a president—if not the worst president, then easily the most selfish, in our history—who happily blackmails his own people, and uses his own military personnel as hostages to his asinine demand, that the Democrats “give the troops their money”;
  • The Democratic leadership has agreed to finance the deaths of Americans in a war that has only reduced the security of Americans;
  • The Democratic leadership has given Mr. Bush all that he wanted, with the only caveat being, not merely meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but optional meaningless symbolism about benchmarks for the Iraqi government.
  • The Democratic leadership has, in sum, claimed a compromise with the Administration, in which the only things truly compromised, are the trust of the voters, the ethics of the Democrats, and the lives of our brave, and doomed, friends, and family, in Iraq.

You, the men and women elected with the simplest of directions—Stop The War—have traded your strength, your bargaining position, and the uniform support of those who elected you… for a handful of magic beans.

You may trot out every political cliché from the soft-soap, inside-the-beltway dictionary of boilerplate sound bites, about how this is the “beginning of the end” of Mr. Bush’s “carte blanche” in Iraq, about how this is a “first step.”

Well, Senator Reid, the only end at its beginning... is our collective hope that you and your colleagues would do what is right, what is essential, what you were each elected and re-elected to do.

Because this “first step”… is a step right off a cliff.

[snip]

The Democratic nomination is likely to be decided... tomorrow.

The talk of practical politics, the buying into of the President’s dishonest construction “fund-the-troops-or-they-will-be-in-jeopardy,” the promise of tougher action in September, is falling not on deaf ears, but rather falling on Americans who already told you what to do, and now perceive your ears as closed to practical politics.

Those who seek the Democratic nomination need to—for their own political futures and, with a thousand times more solemnity and importance, for the individual futures of our troops—denounce this betrayal, vote against it, and, if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi if they continue down this path of guilty, fatal acquiescence to the tragically misguided will of a monomaniacal president.

For, ultimately, at this hour, the entire government has failed us.

  • Mr. Reid, Mr. Hoyer, and the other Democrats... have failed us.
    They negotiated away that which they did not own, but had only been entrusted by us to protect: our collective will as the citizens of this country, that this brazen War of Lies be ended as rapidly and safely as possible.
  • Mr. Bush and his government... have failed us.
    They have behaved venomously and without dignity—of course.
    That is all at which Mr. Bush is gifted.
    We are the ones providing any element of surprise or shock here.

With the exception of Senator Dodd and Senator Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidates have (so far at least) failed us.

They must now speak, and make plain how they view what has been given away to Mr. Bush, and what is yet to be given away tomorrow, and in the thousand tomorrows to come.

Because for the next fourteen months, the Democratic nominating process—indeed the whole of our political discourse until further notice—has, with the stroke of a cursed pen, become about one thing, and one thing alone.

The electorate figured this out, six months ago.

The President and the Republicans have not—doubtless will not.

The Democrats will figure it out, during the Memorial Day recess, when they go home and many of those who elected them will politely suggest they stay there—and permanently.

Because, on the subject of Iraq...

The people have been ahead of the media....

Ahead of the government...

Ahead of the politicians...

For the last year, or two years, or maybe three.

Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.

Mr. Bush has failed.

Mr. Warner has failed.

Mr. Reid has failed.

So.

Who among us will stop this war—this War of Lies?

To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.

To all the others—presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party—there is only blame… for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.

I suppose I'll simply say that I could see this one coming a mile away. The gumption needed to end the Iraq debacle (and to prevent further escalation of hostilities against nations surrounding Iraq) is sorely lacking in Washington, DC. Too much has been invested into the imperial war machine by the movers and shakers in the two parties currently in charge to abandon that war machine now. There may be a strong consensus among the electorate to end a war that should never have been started, but like most failed or failing states the leaders have no real concern for what the electorate might want. Instead, we will be subjected to the usual dross about how "we" cannot leave now, as those "savages" simply cannot handle their own affairs. The palace-like compound in Baghdad's "Green Zone" called the US Embassy, as well as the permanent bases that have been established in Iraq make it clear that there is no intention by either the Democrat or GOP establishment to end the US occupation of its oil-rich possession any time too soon. Expect continued bloodshed, genocide, misery in Iraq bought and paid for by our tax dollars and of course the good graces of our nation's creditors (e.g., China), and for the deaths of the many to be merely a rhetorical device for use by American politicians hell-bent on occupying the White House.

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