The Talking Dog

February 15, 2007, Long Ago, Far Away

In this case, that would be hours and hours ago, and hundreds of miles away... where the President's people, sensing the momentum for their Persian-Incursion warmongering letting up a bit, staged a Presidential press conference, at which the President continued his irrational and unsupported bantering as to why he is now ramping up staging and logistics for an attack against Iran.

Because it's getting late and I'm tired (and not just from the highest rated show in television history, "Meet the Nielson Families Up Close" John Edwards re-plays Bill Clinton's best Lonnie Guinier moments the Amanda and Melissa show)... I'll just blockquote from WaPo...

The president spent much of the hour-long televised session in the East Room addressing skepticism about his government's assertions regarding Iran and fears of a widening regional conflict. "The idea that somehow we're manufacturing the idea that the Iranians are providing [explosives] is preposterous," Bush said. Repeating a reporter's question, he added: "Does this mean you're trying to have a pretext for war? No. It means I'm trying to protect our troops."

Bush rejected suggestions that his administration has provided conflicting accounts of the Iranian leadership's involvement in arming Iraqi extremists. On Sunday, U.S. military officials briefing reporters in Baghdad on the condition of anonymity said that the "highest levels" of Iran's government are involved, but Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later said he would not say the Iranian government is complicit.

"There's no contradiction that the weapons are there and they were provided by the Quds Force," an Iranian paramilitary unit, Bush said. He added: "We know that. And we also know that the Quds Force is a part of the Iranian government. That's a known. What we don't know is whether or not the head leaders of Iran ordered the Quds Force to do what they did."

The administration has long asserted that Iran has been fomenting trouble in Iraq, but the issue has taken on new urgency in recent weeks as Bush dispatched an additional aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and confirmed orders to capture or kill Iranian agents caught in Iraq. Democrats and other critics have accused Bush of exaggerating the situation to justify new military action.

You have all that? Not merely our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Pace, but the President himself has just told us that there is no evidence that the Iranian government is involved in smuggling weapons used against our troops, but he is nonetheless going to use it as a casus belli anyway! Funny... maybe those "Quds Force" guys are, you know, a few bad apples...

's piece goes on to recite Senator Clinton tepidly suggesting that the President "must get Congressional approval" to attack Iran, as the Iraq-attack resolution does not authorize this. Well then, Senator, why not introduce an express resolution (under Article I of the Constitution and the War Powers Act) expressly withdrawing the President's authority to engage in military action against Iraq altogether (Obama's timetable for withdrawal would work, for example) and in the same resolution, expressly state that defiance of the will of the American people as expressed by its elected Congressional representatives in either this context (failing to withdraw as directed) or invading someone else (i.e. Iran) without express Congressional authorization) will be grounds for impeachment... period. No outs for "emergencies"... the President may act at his own risk for a change, instead of our risk. I mean, either go all the way to take measures to stop the President on what matters (that would be upping the ante to Iran, and not the political-feel-good nonsense of trying to stop a "surge" in Iraq that is, quite frankly, well within the President's purview as troop movements...) or just get out of his way... or hell, join his cheerleaders. Because we've kind of had enough posturing and middle ground stuff. Especially from you, Senator Clinton, even as you still refuse to apologize for your own complicity in the Iraq fiasco (it's not as if you wouldn't have been handily reelected, now is it?) And yet... here we go again...

Gladiators killed themselves,
It was during the Roman times.
People cheered with bloodshot grins
As eye and minds went blind.
Long ago, far away;
Things like that don't happen
No more, nowadays.

And to talk of peace and brotherhood,
Oh, what might be the cost!
A man he did it long ago
And they hung him on a cross.
Long ago, far away;
Things like that don't happen
No more, nowadays, do they?


TD, we've gotten used to debating the extent to which the bush administration's attempt to destroy our great nation results from incompetence, corruption, or ideological cynicism -- or rather, what their proportions are within the sordid stew Bush has served up. I know you've pointed out before that the democrats just as often fall prey to at least the first two of these vices, (though usually, by a far lesser order of magnitude). It could be a matter of incompetence, since democratic campaign strategy has brought us several decades of loss, (or is that "loose"? as they now say on teh internets) in the jaws of victory. It always blows my mind that 30 years after the fall of Saigon so many democrats fear being seen as soft on defense. In fact, the way to get around the charge is not to cave in all the time, but to establish a new historical narrative, hammer it home in the talking points department, before moving on to demonstrate that war on Iraq and war on terrorism were completely separate issues (until Bush fucked up).

In many ways, I hope it's only incompetence, because the other side of the coin is downright disgusting: letting Bush have his way so that all the blame can be pinned on the Rebups. If the democrats can't find a way to get us out of Iraq, (in a safe manner, and doubtless leaving ready-response detatchments along the borders) and still not defend themselves from the new versions of the old "stabbed-in-the-back" arguments that the right wind is already preparing, well, maybe I'll just move to some nice European country, where I'll give up the chance for more upward mobility and settle for some good food and decent quality of life.

As for corruption, oh yeah, didn't our national ethicist in chief point out that money trumps peace? Of course the dems find ways to wiggle out and undercut anti-lobbying rules almost as often as their opponents (though again for less reward). Indeed Big Corporate Money always spreads it around to all the incumbents. But when will the dems learn that somehow, some way, the repugs still come out ahead on that score too, especially when it counts. Public financing of elections and anti-corporate media policies (like re-instating the fairness doctrine) may hurt a few old dems, but will lift the entire party. Of course, we don't have the majority in the Senate or the Presidency to see this passed. How about something presumably less controversial? Like reforming our election day voting procedures?

I guess I agree with you: stop the posturing, Sen. Clinton; Sen Obama, stop trying to be all things to all people (although it's why I got the political hots for you too. Sigh.) And Mr. Gore, get back in the race and show us what you're made of by ignoring the consultants. (And why do the dems always eat their losers? Nixon lost (loosed), learn and won; Reagan lost, learned and won; Bush I lost, learned and won.) Bush II lost..... oh right, my bad.

Posted by feudalsocialite at February 16, 2007 2:49 AM