The North Coast times-eagle. (Wheeler, Oregon) 1971-2007, May 01, 2007, Page 5, Image 5

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companies could specify how much they would voluntarily add to
their tax burdens to fund the Iraq War Bush could use these ear­
marked funds, but only those funds.
Oops, the big companies like Cheney’s Halliburton don’t
pay much taxes. In fact, they are leaving for places like Dubai
so they can pay even less. But since the war is really being
fought to supply them with oil revenue (plus a lot of easy war
profiteering), they may have to be assessed some new taxes if
the Republicans want to continue their “Crusade," as Bush used
to characterize it. Let them be asked to give back some of the
billions they have stolen in graft, corruption, overcharging, insider
trading and “bad accounting."
If that does not supply enough money due to the public
finally wising-up or the corporations being too cheap to give
back some of their obscene profits and obscene CEO salaries,
perhaps Bush can hold a telethon or use some of the campaign
contribution bribery and lobbying funds he has stashed away.
The bottom line is let those who want the war foot the bills for it.
If they don’t, then use against them the same “unpatriotic traitor”
mantra they call everyone else.
Unless the shape of the debate changes soon, it looks
like the earliest our troops will realistically be allowed to hope
forgetting out of the mistake known as Iraq is the day George
W. Bush is removed from office or whatever day the amoebas
in Congress finally grow a spine. Unfortunately, the Democrats
have allowed themselves to be foolishly boxed into a “debate”
defending against the assertion that anything ending the fiasco
is somehow not “supporting" the troops.
Bush and his NeoCons have once again conned the
nation into a non-sequitur. What the anti-Iraq quagmire activists
need to do is change the question. How to do that? Are there
any challenges or demands that can be made (besides the
obviously useful impeachment alternative) that might assist?
Actually there are several in which Bush’s own rhetoric can be
successfully used against him. How about:
Yeah. I know. We thought we already did last November.
But, apparently it was not explicit enough on the question of Iraq.
If so, it would be pretty easy to organize a special election, a
national plebiscite solely on the subject whether to (a) leave now
or (b) stay until our soldiers run out of blood or our treasury runs
out of money, whichever comes first. Consider it as a national
‘No Confidence Vote’ that European nations have turned into a
proud and useful tradition. Let's ask Bush and Cheney to resign
if they cannot persuade a majority of voters that Western Civil­
ization itself is riding on us staying in Iraq forever. If Bush truly
has confidence in what he is telling us, ask him why not put it
to a vote?
Of course, since we already know Bush is totally
opposed to democracy here in the States and is too cowardly
to really debate the subject, that will never happen. (In fact,
it might even prove counterproductive given how Bush’s minions,
like the owner of Diebold voting machines, seem to magically
achieve voting totals which defy logic and evidence when there
is no paper trail to check against.) But, Bush does loudly and
frequently claim he's at least for spreading “democracy" in the
Middle East. So let’s let the Iraqis give us the purple finger as
to whether they want us to remain.
Why should Bush consider agreeing? He can continue
pouring our assets down that rat hole until the end of his term
assuming he is not removed by impeachment. On the other
hand, he seems to worry about his “legacy” and has good cause
to worry about post-term investigations. Frankly, it's a perfect
solution for him. If the Iraqis vote to keep us as their guards, he
wins the debate and can blunt criticism of him. If they vote for us
to get out, he then has cover to pretend whatever later disaster
happens is all the Iraqi's fault, not his own massive bungling.
If Bush won’t consider an Iraqi vote or if the civil warring
factions there would not allow it, how about demanding a UN
General Assembly vote in which we agree not to exercise a veto
and to abide by the result? Once again Bush, who surely knows
he has already lost the war assuming he can read the reports
from his own generals, can shrug his shoulders and say, “Well,
I would have won, but I wasn't allowed to do so." Legacy saved,
at least in his own mind.
Bush claims he “supports the troops" and touts the “all
volunteer” army with which he likes to play toy general. While
it is not true if almost everything learned about missing armor,
extended tours, poor veterans care, rotten salaries and literally
rotten food, etc., is accurate, nevertheless, let’s insist he make
Iraq an “all volunteer” mission. It used to be a tradition that when
you sent troops on suicide or dangerous missions, volunteers
were called for. If Bush believes so much in the mission, he can
truly "support the troops” by saying they don’t have to go to Iraq
unless they feel the same way.
Normally, in a real war, that would be a good idea, but
most of our other wars have been fought for valid reasons in
which there was a real and present danger from something other
than tin-pot dictators we had put in power or a covetous desire
for resources like oil. Consequently, let’s give our boys and girls
a choice as to whether they want to die in Iraq for Bush's ego,
particularly when they are being asked to do so at a salary
one-fifth what Bush and Cheney are paying Blackwater private
mercenaries to do the same thing.
No doubt it will cost substantially more to bump soldier
salaries sufficiently high enough to persuade them that putting
Iraqi oil in Halliburton pockets is worth dying for. At the same
time, wouldn’t a significant increase in enlisted ranks compen­
sation finally show some genuine “support” for the troops instead
of the empty words Bush has been so fond of mouthing.
Better yet, how about initiating a draft of all those who
voted in favor of the Iraq War, starting with Bush's military-age
offspring? That way, we would not even have to raise salaries.
They wanted the war, they get it.
Naturally, Bush will fight such a proposal, but doing so
once again exposes him for the utter hypocrite he is and shifts
the focus on which the issue is presently stuck.
Don't cut off the funds for the troops, but perhaps insist
instead that they be paid for by those who want the war. Perhaps
a line could be added to income tax returns in which citizens and
Republican diehard Bush supporters contend that if we
pull out of Iraq, the insurgents we’re fighting will follow us home
and attack us here. The theory being, it is better to battle them
“over there” than in the streets of Astoria or Portland. Just once,
though, wouldn’t it be nice if people making such assertions
looked at history, facts or even logic before mouthing such
For instance, can those who constantly parrot the Bush
position point to a single example of that ever happening to us
before? It doesn’t seem to have occurred after any of our other
wars in the last century or so. Where are the newspaper and
textbook accounts of any demolitions, arsons, ambushes, or
anything else conducted by defeated Nazis or Ninjas anywhere
in North America. After we smashed their entire civilizations,
they certainly had reason to seek revenge or punishment, not
to mention the technical know-how to do so. Castro? North
Koreans? They still don’t like us after half a lifetime, but they
didn’t “follow us home." Castro is only 90 miles away.
Might it make a difference if we are the ones defeated or
give up? Look at Lebanon in the 70s. When a Lebanese suicide
truck-bomber blew up the U S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Ronald
Reagan hastily tucked his tail between his legs and slunk out of
town. Clinton did much the same in Somalia after 'Blackhawk
Down’. When was the last time you heard of a followup by either
Lebanese or Somali Muslims on this continent afterwards?
Those were relatively isolated incidents We left quickly
after just one adverse confrontation. Does it make a difference if
we leave after a long nasty conflict? Well, the Vietnam War was
certainly comparable to what is happening in Iraq: more so all
the time. We could look to it to see what might happen if we
pulled out after essentially acknowledging either defeat or at
least that it’s not worth the cost. Almost everyone will admit the
Viet Cong were tenacious, fierce insurgents who fought using
terror tactics for literally decades. Name one example of where
the victorious insurgents in that conflict followed us home
Does it mean it is not possible? Of course not. The point
is that Iraqi insurgents could do so right now without having to
wait. Thanks to an Administration that acts on wishes, a remark­
ably incompetent Homeland Security agency and a cheapskate
Congress, an almost porous border exists. Pregnant women can
walk across the border almost at will. What makes anyone think
that is a perfect defense against a stealthy terrorist? Worse,
maybe one in 10,000 cargo containers docking in our ports is
inspected Put a nuke in any of them and a terrorist could touch
off a bomb a few hundred feet from Wall Street. Hell, there
is probably at least a one in ten chance that an uninspected
weapon could be flown in on a FedEx plane if asked to pick
up a package. Consequently, the terrorists don't even need to
come here.
Why haven’t they attacked so far? Good question, but
it does not seem to have anything to do with inability to get here.
Perhaps part of the answer lies in the statistics on violence in
Iraq. They seem to be killing more of each other than us. If we
leave Iraq, is that likely to diminish so that they they could come
after us alone? Is there any evidence of that in the past? Usually
in similar situations, they seem to spend a long time fighting for
power among themselves, then concentrating control once
received and rebuilding after the consolidation It typically takes
And what happens after the rebuilding that is distracting
their attention and energy is finally successful? We could again
look to our enemies in prior conflicts, whether Cold War or brush-
fire war Look at our bitter foe Vietnam. Communist Vietnam has
now been granted favored nation trading partner status with
state visits by none other than G. W Bush himself
Should we be sanguine about the possibility of future
terrorist attacks here? Never! Yet, the next time a bellicose
Republican starts spouting off about this particular justification
for staying indefinitely as an occupying belligerent in Iraq, ask
at least for an iota of proof If not, let's bury this bit of nonsense
Otherwise, we might end up getting more of our people killed
than we might save
Basically demand the Prez prove that this is not really
all about Oil by eliminating its consumption as fuel in this
country. Demand immediate genuine progress be accomplished
by launching, say, a massive Manhattan Project' or first ‘Lunar
Mission’ urgency to end oil dependency before his Presidency
ends. Ask that at least as much be spent on a useful alternative
energy goal as has been spent on Bush’s military adventurism.
Perhaps a 100% tax on gasoline at the pump, a surtax on oil
company profits, mandatory gas rationing as occurred in World
War 2, elimination of restrictions on wind, wave, solar and
other non-oil construction such as the suburban zoning height
restrictions that prevent home wind generator towers, plus a
huge research and development project on fuel cells and other
helpful methods.
This would only indirectly be an impetus for getting
the troops out of Iraq, but it would finally require the rest of the
country to share some of the burden and sacrifice. Bringing the
sacrifice home would remind the heads-in-the-sand public that
something is going on for which they too have a responsibility.
It broadens the debate.
For instance, have we won and can get out if the death
toll is dropped to, say, 25% of what it was last year? How about
when ihe electricity in Iraq is on for at least 50% of the day at
least six days a week? How about if the daily death toll and utility
service is at least the same as the average for Mexico, Algeria or
East Timor? Those are not very high standards to achieve. How
about when reporters can report from anywhere and only 25 a
year are killed attempting to so?
If we cannot achieve even those very low standards,
then we will never achieve higher ones and it is better to demand
we get out now while we still have the shirts on our backs.
No standards — no continuing.
Although Bush rejects international law, signed treaties,
precedent, tradition, the words of his oath of office and most of
the Constitution, he did seek a “war resolution” to allow him to
use force in Iraq. Repeal that resolution or alternatively recog­
nize that the Constitution requires Congress, and Congress
alone, to declare war. Read it sometime.
If there is no legal authorization for the troops being
in Iraq, then leaving them there would be an illegal activity for
which Bush could be impeached.
As to cutting off the funds for the war, Bush attempts to
characterize that as an attempt to harm the troops. In fact, it is
the opposite. If Bush insists on leaving them there, then he and
he alone is responsible for whatever happens next. In fact, by
military law, troops are required to refuse to obey illegal orders,
which they would be if Bush ignores a demand for removal of the
Cutting off the funds was necessary to finally end the
war in Vietnam. Few now believe that troops were harmed as
a result, and that proved to really be the only way to bring them
home. To continue this war would be an utter waste
Bush is always trying to show us how macho he is
cutting brush, riding bikes, wearing flight suits. How about if he
will not agree to any of the foregoing, double-dog dare him to
move his personal base of operations, along with his VP, senior
staff and Attorney General to Iraq. Ask him to show his own
personal courage for once rather than the yellow streak he
showed in the Vietnam War. He should be asked to show the
troops he is behind them just a few miles away, not an entire
hemisphere. Legacy-wise, Bush would be asked to put up or
shut up.
If he inspires the troops like Custer did, great at least for
him He can go down in history as being proved right — far right
If he gets killed there, no big loss, and perhaps the Smithsonian,
which is too close to the White House when someone finally
does try a nuke, might be saved.
Bush can be reminded that if God is truly on his side as
he proclaims, surely He will protect Bush. If not, then Bush can
be happy he gets to go to his eternal reward even sooner
One thing is for certain. We can do without G.W. Bush
and his crew here for the next two years
And if he doesn’t want to discuss one of the alternatives
above, we can always seek to truncate the tumor consuming the
White House by reconsidering the monumental
Overtly rejecting a//these other seven alternatives would
prove Bush (once again) to be the Hypocrite-in-Chief and might
be just the miracle growth tonic those in Congress need to either
grow a backbone or conclude they will lose their cushy job next
time around.
It is time to break out of the box if we are ever going to
break out of Iraq