FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Aren’t the Democrats Screaming Bloody Murder?

by LAURA SANTINA

A recent Boston Globe article focused on the fact that the Democrats are struggling to find one voice on Iraq. We don’t need one voice from the Democrats. We need every Democrat who voted for this war to apologize for this illegal and immoral war and to insist that we leave Iraq immediately.

On October 11, 2002, the Senate voted 77-23 and the House voted 296-133 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refused to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by UN resolutions.

It didn’t matter that Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction and hadn’t had any since 1995, according to UN Weapons Inspector, Scott Ritter, a fact he says was known by US, British, Israeli and German intelligence. It didn’t matter that Iraq harbored no Al Qaeda terrorists. It didn’t matter that the weapons inspections were moving along, despite Hussein’s moodiness on the subject. It didn’t matter that the whole world was watching Hussein and there was no way he could possibly bring any more harm to his own or any other people.

To get the Congress and we-the-people on board, in the words of General Anthony Zinni, the administration “cooked the books” and the majority of us nodded approvingly. On March 20, 2003, President Bush, well armed with the unchecked power handed to him by Congress, declared pre-emptive war against Iraq. Well over two thousand Americans and, according to the Iraq Body Count Project, over 42,000 Iraqis have died to date. Thousands have been wounded. Many have been tortured. An anti-American insurgence has grown long, sharp teeth. No one has been held accountable.

The truth was available to all members of Congress at the time of the vote and some chose to heed it. Senator Mark Dayton said, “There was never any suggestion in any briefings I attended that Iraq had or was about to acquire a nuclear weapons program.” Senator Kent Conrad took it upon himself before the Iraq vote to read the book, “1919,” a history of Iraq’s independence. He learned about the long-standing conflicts between ethnic factions and knew that the Iraqi people would not be waving US victory flags. “I knew none of that was true,” he said. Senator Dick Durbin didn’t believe the hastily produced national intelligence document about Iraq’s weapons, stating “I knew that much of the document was conjecture.” According to Senator Lincoln Chafee, the only Republican to oppose the war, “I never believed that the Iraq war was about weapons of mass destruction. It was this grand vision of changing the Middle East.”

Grand vision of the Middle East? How grand is a vision that requires bombing a country and depriving its children of medical care for ten year during sanctions? How grand, even effective, can the vision be if the visionaries don’t even know the history of the region? How grand is a vision that requires killing over 42,000 people, over 26,000 of whom were civilians. How grand is a vision that destroys the infrastructure of another county and pays your own people big bucks to build it back up again?

Even though many of the dead and wounded are their own constituents and the children of their own constituents, the High Profile Democrats–the ones who have announced or who are rumored to be preparing to announce a bid for the Presidency–are not hollering about having been lied to. They are not apologizing to the families of the dead for their misguided votes. They are not insisting upon an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

These Democrats who voted for the war, including Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein and Joe Lieberman, are muttering about political divisions, stewing on mindless strategy about why the US should stay in Iraq or mildly asking the administration for exit strategy plans.

To his credit, John Kerry has proposed a tepid plan for withdrawing the troops, but insodoing, he referred to the war as “a foreign policy misadventure.” It is not a misadventure. It is a bloody, immoral foray backwards into cruel US colonialism which was illegally manipulated by a bankrupt administration and approved by a large majority of our elected officials. The only possible choice open to us is to denounce the action and bring it to an end as quickly as possible. The best way to support our troops is to bring them home before any more lives are lost.

Melvin Laird, former Republican Secretary of Defense, urges expeditious withdrawal contending, “Our presence is what feeds the insurgency in Iraq.” Howard Zinn, historian and author, argues that “because the US occupation lies at the root of the civil war in Iraq, the slower you phase it out, the slower you end the insurgency. Troops should begin leaving as fast as ships and planes can bring them out.”

It is time for the elected Democrats who supported this tragic debacle to come clean and start running.

LAURA SANTINA lives in San Francisco, where she writes on political affairs. She can be reached at: LSantina@sbcglobal.net

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail