Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

CROSSROADS COMMENT -- Reading the Resolution--Blank check and no end in sight

"The House endorsed the continued deployment of U. S. troops in Iraq but by a smaller, more partisan margin than the vote that first authorized the war almost four years ago.
" -- Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2006

HOUSE RESOLUTION: Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

***How about fighting smart? Picking the battles and shoring up the regimes that will give the “Global War on Terror” the full bang for our buck and will make precious lives lost in this worthy pursuit fully meaningful in terms of their sacrifice.

Whereas the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world;

***We all get it, we all know it, there are bad guys out there. So there is nothing to argue with here--accept to note the inadequacy and misleading nature of the term "War" in this context. We should also be much more realistic in regard to talking in the present about "allies" and "Coalition partners." Ask Republican supporters to tell you who our "allies" are in Iraq and after Great Britain their expressions of secure righteousness go slack, their minds blank.

Whereas it is essential to the security of the American people and to world security that the United States, together with its allies, take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance;

***Again, it's not a question of goals, it's a question of the choice of strategy and tactics. The current administration has failed miserably on both scores.

Whereas ….

Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

***“. . . continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror” Slipping this in only serves to move this resolution from a statement of Resolve into a self-serving area of domestic politics. Iraq is the sadly failed part of the fight against terrorism. It is a drain and a distraction from concentrating on security at home and blunting the machine of terror abroad where we can be effective. It says: We [the Republican administration] have failed, join us in this failure or . . .

(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror;

(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;

***if you're running for office in opposition to our failed interventionist Iraq war, you will be branded by Karl Rove and his puppets as indifferent to the sacrifices of our fighting men and women.

(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

***This line supports a blank check that will be paid at some unspecified date in precious lives and American tax dollars.

(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;

***Here we have support for a mission whose objective has changed several times in the past (WMDs, Saddam, democratization, oil) and has now become an "Elect Republicans Or You Are Against Dreamy Hopes Based On Wishful Thinking" campaign slogan.

(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown;

*** And of course our congratulations are in order. This looks better on the campaign trail than the apologies for the nightmare our leaders have created in Iraq through their flawed and failed war policies.

(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners; and

***Talk about plagiarism, isn’t this what we hear every year from the Miss America contestants?

(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

***And who can possibly be against “prevailing” and “nobility” and “protecting”? Unfortunately the achievement of these good things by our nation requires competent leaders, leaders with vision equal to the complexities of the serious task at hand. Our current leaders in Congress and in the White House do not give us the promise of a vision implemented with competency. They give us a hollow resolution playing to emotion and intended to achieve nothing more than create an effective sound bite in the upcoming election.

Will the American people see through this squalid and demeaning Resolution ruse? Will the Democratic Party step up and confront this shallow political tactic with reason and courage? Let's hope so. 2,500 Americans have died in Iraq--this Republican cover-up resolution tells us that for this administration there is no end in sight to the death and waste that is this insane war.


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