Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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The war on Iraq is simply one of the most incredibly stupid episodes in human history. There are a lot of such episodes, because humankind has a near-infinite capacity for stupidity. That's one of the reasons we have public education. Americans used to believe that education could give people the basic reasoning and communications skills that would enable them to participate in their governance of themselves. But Democrats have retreated behind the Bushes (yes, pun intended) to sodden their pants.
One of the reasons Tom Daschle got turned out of office was because he did speak out about the mindless rush into war on Iraq. The Republican opposition joined together in sneering rage that the Democratic Leader would dare to say on the Senate floor that he was saddened by the mental and moral failures that allowed this country to get shoved into the slough of ignominy--despite what we had learned in Vietnam. The American people wanted to believe that what we were doing was right and was being done in the right way. Working toward the removal of Saddam Hussein and the threat he posed was right. But we blew it. We blew it because the loyal opposition to stupid and obscenely atrocious war let the stupidity factor prevail. The culture of instant gratification likes immediate acti0n and, to generations trained to play with action heroes, that means war. The long and tedious and arduous process of weapons inspections and convincing other countries to devise and support effective sanctions tests the patience. And the brain power. Democrats cowered among the bushes out of fear of being called weak. And of losing an election that they lost anyway.
This is a point that many people do not get about losing elections. The fear of losing so gripped the Democrats that they began making concessions to George Bush's great bungle. They feared being called soft on security, so they joined in the phony patriotism parade. Real patriots would challenge the patriotism of wasting lives, maiming bodies, blowing away billions and billions of dollars, and letting Halliburton and its sub-contracting war profiteers become the major shapers of our policies.
The number of people who see the war as a huge mistake is approaching the 60 percent mark. They see it as a hopeless quagmire that can only result in the slaughter of more of our troops, in escalating the terrorism, and in wasting more of our resources down the toilet of Iraq that is totally our invention and of our construction. The war mongers and profiteers have trotted out their favorite strategy of calling those who finally see the ultimate stupidity of the war defeatists--among other inanities. Gary Hart
in the Washington Post voices the need for Democrats to stop cowering before the insult and abuse and make some clear statements of principle:
The real defeatists today are not those protesting the war. The real defeatists are those in power and their silent supporters in the opposition party who are reduced to repeating "Stay the course" even when the course, whatever it now is, is light years away from the one originally undertaken. The truth is we're way off course. We've stumbled into a hornet's nest. We've
weakened ourselves at home and in the world. We are less secure today than before this war began.
Who now has the courage to say this?