James Clay Fuller

Things We're Not Supposed to Say

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No more excuses: Out of Iraq, out with Bush

Many Americans who voted for Democrats in November 2006 are mad as hell – and not just mad at the twisted little king and his fantasy-besotted “base.”

Just to be clear: I'm one of the really angry ones.

The White House crowd acts entirely in character by insisting on imperial powers and on escalating the lost war in Iraq. The power mad and greed-crazed imperialists do what is in their nature to do in expanding their attacks on the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms Americans once took for granted.

We expected it. We elected Democrats to stand up and say no to Bush on all of those things and much more. We elected them to fight for the restoration of this poor, deeply wounded country and to do whatever can be done for tortured Iraq.

Instead, the main result of our votes is a larger number of people in Congress dodging and weaving and giving the world shameful examples of political stupidity and all-around, pants-wetting cowardice. We should send each of the dodgers, beginning with Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, white feathers.

Come to think of it, I will do that, and I hope others will, too.

There are two main reasons for the aggressive lack of aggressiveness in pursuing those goals that obviously are best for this country, the Middle East and the world.

One is that the Democratic leadership (Leadership! Hah!) and its army of vastly overpaid consultants love the thought of running against George Bush and Dick Cheney in 2008, which they will do even though those names won't be on the ballots.

The other, more significant, reason has to do with the corpocracy and the degree to which its servants are entrenched and in control of what nominally is our government.

Beltway insiders of both major parties are addicted to the money of corporations and very rich individuals. They've been raised to that addiction, have never known another way of operating and can't conceive of the possibility that there is a way to win an election and/or stay in office other than whoring on behalf of the lords of the dollar.

They are encouraged in their addiction by all those otherwise useless consultants, and the lobbyists and dim-witted party functionaries.

Never mind that a number of people, primarily Democrats, were elected in November without big injections of rich-guy cash. In some cases, the winners overcame the fact that the big money went to their opponents. And, of course, many corporations and rich guys saw where the public was going and began covering their behinds by feeding cash to Democrats in September or October. That's on record.

Some freshmen members of Congress still dare to ask that their fellow Democrats block the escalation of the war by refusing to fund it, but they are under intense pressure from their supposed leadership and long-sitting colleagues to shut up.

Only a handful of veteran legislators are speaking plainly about the war. They include Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, who doesn't have use for any other rich guy's money, and, of all people, crusty old Robert Byrd.

The “Hush now” message of the consultants and lobbyists is understandable, if lacking in even the most primitive morality. They lose their power, influence and income if a substantial number in Congress decides to act according to what is right, rather than what – supposedly – is expedient.

It isn't too hard to figure out why the Democratic leadership is ducking its duty, either.

Most of them have been in office far too long; they no longer have any real connection to the electorate, the citizens of this country. Inside-the-Beltway “knowledge” and “wisdom” are entirely different from anything you'll encounter in talking with your friends and neighbors – even the right-wingers. What they “know” about our thoughts and feelings has been run through a dozen filters to produce the message the various manipulators want them to hear.

And, as happens to a great majority of people after too many years of sitting in the same position, most are simply too mentally rheumatic to be able to accept unaccustomed views of the world, no matter how truthful and real.

So impeachment is “off the table” because, in the Beltway view, it is politically dangerous.

There will be no real attempt to prevent the escalation of the war because that, too, might anger some voters and – though this is never said in public – because corporate campaign contributers still are enjoying the benefits of the slaughter.

The fact that people are being maimed by the tens of thousands, lives are being forever destroyed by the hundreds of thousands and individuals who have done no wrong to anyone are being killed by the thousands simply doesn't count in the eyes of our decision-makers. If you close your eyes and stick your fingers in your ears, you can almost believe it isn't happening.

Don't it make ya proud? Yessir. Greatest country in the world.

I'm sick of the arguments of supposed liberals who now approve the politicians' stance in dodging impeachment and, far worse, failing in their duty to stop the escalation, to stop the war. Mostly, such people say, those actions are mysteriously “impossible” from a political standpoint or they say that impeachment or blocking funding for escalation would be “merely revenge.”

Revenge is not a factor. We need, simply, to stop the butchery, which never has been for any purpose other than profit and political gain.

Those are real, living and breathing women, men and children suffering the horrors of the damned in Iraq.

They are kids like yours and your neighbor's who get shot in the streets, women as real as your coworkers who are raped and clubbed if they venture out to get water for their families, men like your insurance agent and old high school buddy who have their eyes pulled from their heads and their genitals crushed with pliers.

Against those atrocities, the arguments against impeachment and cutting off funding for the war have no substance. None.

Even if party politics mattered while people suffer so – and I maintain they do not -- please note that only about 30 percent of the American public approves of George W. Bush and his government.

Why are politicians afraid of that minority and uncaring about the opinions of those of us who want the war ended now? Because the consultants and party hacks sell them the fear.

It is argued that while the public doesn't like Bush or the war, it wants to “support our troops.”

Certainly that's true – but how bloody hard is it to explain the facts to the public, to make citizens who already are 85 percent of the way to the same conclusion understand that the only real thing to be done in support of the troops is to get them the hell out of Iraq?

Democrats gave over all serious attempts to present their viewpoints to the public about five decades ago; they simply folded and left the table. They left public relations and the selling of perceptions entirely to the Republicans. But surely there must be some PR experts willing to help Democrats present truth to America, if the Democrats can find the will to pursue that goal.

Enough with quibbling about the minimum wage. Change it, but put it where it belongs on the priority list. The first item on that list must be “OUT OF IRAQ.”