Monday, August 22, 2005

Kos et al v. DLC

I for one am so tired of the same old left wing vs. DLC fight that happens about every summer. In the old days, it would be a "The Nation" Op-Ed or a DLC "Memo" that started the food fight. Now a days, it is a post or article online by Kos or MyDD or the DLC.

Each side spins the other's arguments into completely unpopular views that would be political losers. I don't think the party should oppose Bush just because it is a position that Bush took, and I know running to the Chomsky left will not win us national elections. However, I think the stunning display or timidity displayed by folks like Biden and Kerry is frustrating. The pro-war Democrats, particularly the Senators, are having a hard time doing anything besides critiquing the administering of the war, which is too wonkish for Americans to really get.

We shouldn't be discussing the lack of post-war planning, the inadequate number of troops, the looting and disappearance of small arms and munitions that are now being used to kill and maim our soldiers. Those issues where important in 2003. But two years later, Iraq is a disaster. The Iraqis in charge right now don't want us to leave, because they won't be in power in the real Iraq that immerges. Talibani (the Kurdish leader who is PM/President of Iraq, not the Afghan Muslim extremists) has been sabotaging efforts to train and equip the Iraqi army, because Bush and others have said once the Iraqi army can do it alone, the US will get the hell out of Dodge (or Baghdad). The rest of Iraqis can't wait to see us go. The Iranians have been loving every minute of this war, now that a weakened US military won't bother to challenge their virtual takeover of Iraq whom they bitterly fought in the 1980s. This is the Shah’s Revenge.

Democrats need to talk about change, and incompetence in the sense that the GOP has made us less safe by going to and bungling Iraq. We can't just pull out completely immediately, but we can't hang around until January 20, 2009, when a more reality attached president takes charge.

Specific Dates aren't a good idea, but specific events are good times to reduce troops. Like after the constitution is ratified and after elections take place. I don't think we will want to be the Islamic Republic of Iran...I mean Iraq anytime after that anyway.

The DLC and its leadership are obsessed with not repeating the debacle of Vietnam, when Democrats were right, but lost horrifically for years to come. Vietnam was a mistake or many reasons, one of which was that we didn't understand that we were involving ourselves in a battle for independence from Colonialism, and we got on the wrong side. Iraq is war more like Yugoslavia, and one which we created by destroying Saddam's pitiful military and administration. There are three major ethnic groups that were thrown together for the sake of an oil pipeline, and had no history of getting along prior, unlike Yugoslavia. Because it is the desert, these ethnic groups were not as exposed to each other and not used to living and governing together prior to the British drawing all the lines in the sand and appointing despots left and right.

In college I studied the Kurds, and I thought at the time that the best hope for Iraq would be like creating a confederation of 3 semi-autonomous states with relations to the national government like Candada to Quebec, except with insted of upset French Candians obsessed with their culture dissipearing, you have murderously power-hungry religious and ethnic factions who believe they have they exclusive view on the proper way to practice Islam (oh and don't forget the 3rd largest proven oil reserves). So, Iraq of the early 21st century is more like Europe during or before the 30 Year's War...except worse.

In sum, I think both sides are wrong to some extent. But there is no easy way out or solution to any of this. Nevertheless, declaring war on your fellow party members is silly and really won't do much besides elevate the level of attacks. Nobody's mind will change.

No comments: