Reflections on Republican War Politics

The White House's and Republicans’ disingenuous Iraq politics would almost be amusing if there weren’t so many Iraqi civilians and U.S. troops dying because of the criminal, mass-murderous occupation George W. Bush continues to execute in brazen defiance of U.S., Iraqi, and world opinion. 

We have the Bush administration saying that non-binding congressional resolutions against The Decider’s “Surge” (escalation) are irrelevant.  And yet we saw Team Bush working like Hell with Republican politicians to close off debate on such a resolution in the Senate.  Apparently they knew that the Senate resolution would not have been irrelevant.   

We have Bush blaming Iran for fueling resistance opposition to the illegal occupation even when Sunni forces – NOT  Iran-affiliated Shiites – have been responsible for most of the (understandable and unsurprising) violence against U.S. troops. 

Team Bush’s motives are not always easy to discern.  In this case it is probably looking for scapegoats  - trying to distract public attention from its responsibility for chaos in Iraq. 

It also still hopes to create a context for something it has dreamed of for some time: a war with Iran.  Real men, the old-neoconservative half-joke goes, aren’t satisfied with Baghdad; they want to go to Teheran. They've only got a ltitle less than two years left to live their crusading dream to remake the Middle East. Drumming up concern over Iranian nuclear weapons (still many years away) appears to be insufficient to create the war fever they crave and they appear to be trying in various ways to invent other pretexts.   

And then we have various Republicans goading Democrats to “just go ahead and do it – de-fund the war. Cut it out with all this weak-ass non-binding resolution shit," they are saying, "and cut off the money.  Go for it!”  

Gee, what’s that all about?  Well, it’s simple: Iraq is a Republican “fiasco” and the Republicans are desperate to find some way to blame it on the Democrats between now and the next election extravaganza.  As a letter writer to the New York Times explained today, “if the Democrats do the right thing and cut off the money and the war is ‘lost’….then the necons can say the Democrats caused the shameful defeat.”

As Mark Weisbrot and Robert Naiman explained a few days back on Common.Dreams.org, “the Republicans seem to be setting things up so they can claim, when the war is lost, that the opposition was at fault.  McCain and others have been daring their opponents to cut off funding for the war.  They believe this would make Democrats vulnerable to charges of ‘betraying the troops.’ The media here helps the pro-war politicians in this regard,” Weisbrot and Naison rightly add, “by pretending as though Congress cutting off funding would actually put U.S. soldiers in danger, stranded in the dessert without ammunition, when in fact this is false – there would be plenty of money in the pipeline for an orderly withdrawal.”  

Meanwhile helicopters continue to get shot out of the skies over Baghdad. Untold numbers will die and lose their limbs and minds in Iraq between now and the 2008 presidential election, when the War Criminal in Chief prays that his bloody, mass murderous fiasco can be loaded on to another administration. 

This is some really sick shit, people. 

No wonder so many Americans are just numb to public affairs.  


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