Resolve and Resolution
I have in previous articles left no doubt about my positions on matters related to the American-Iraqi War. Even in my use of that termthe "American-Iraqi War"I make clear that this is not, as the mainstream media has convinced the public, something less. Specifically, it is not some "civil war" we happen to be caught up in. The incidence of a civil conflict currently underway in Iraq is irrelevant to the fact that the United States is at war there: we are pouring tens of thousands of troops into Iraq, we are spending eight billion dollars a month on military operations, our soldiers are getting killed and wounded there, and we are killing and wounding thousands of enemy fighters and civilians, almost all of which are Iraqis. That's a war; and because the U.S. is fully engaged, it is an American war. It is not a "conflict"; it is not a "military action"; and, most of all, it is not a "civil war"not to us. The United States of America is at war in Iraq. All else about the fight is mere detail.
Who is fighting whom matters to our situation only to the extent that someone is fighting us. Our military personnel are getting killed and wounded, our treasury is being depleted, and our ability to project effective force, both politically and militarily, in other theatres around the world is being systematically and catastrophically compromised. Sectarian, factional, and political strife on the ground are ancillary.
The Congress of the United States handed George W. Bush the power to wage this war. That was not the first time the federal Legislature had avoided an actual declaration of war but nevertheless allowed a commander-in-chief all the power he needed to do so. To the extent that few in the Congress of 2002 had the courage to deny Mr. Bush the authority he then used so expansively, the Members of that Congressand no less the people who elected its Members and the Presidentbear responsibility for what has since happened and what is to come.
George W. Bush will not be stopped with a non-binding resolution. Likely, he would not be stopped with legislative action that was genuinely substantial. It is not in the nature of his Presidency to back down or to stand down. It is not in his nature to do so.
Unless this Congress takes the stepsthe long, painful, perilous stepsto impeach and then remove him and Vice President Richard V. Cheney from office, the American-Iraqi War will continue. Not only will it continue, it will escalate: we will revisit the matter of troop surges again when this current, feeble increase has proven insufficient. The neo-conservatives are fully prepared to deal with the utter failure of their use of military violence by volunteering the nation for more of it.
Again, until President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard V. Cheney are impeached by the United States House of Representative and convicted and removed from office by the United States Senate, the American-Iraqi War will not only continue, but will expand. It will use more American lives; it will expend more American money we are borrowing by the hundreds of billions of dollars from nations that are our trade, military, and ideological adversaries; and it will finallyactually, quite soonturn out to have been the pale predicate to a war between the United States and Iran. Once that happens, the Congress will find it impossible to stop a conflagration of historic proportions from rising as an impenetrable, unbreakable tower of military engagements that will define, and ultimately eviscerate, the United States for years to come.
Make no mistake: we are preparing for war with Iran, and once we (or the Israelis) have preemptively attacked, there will be no turning back. More importantly, the ensuing war between the United States and Iran will absorb the American-Iraqi War, and in their inseparability, we shall have no further opportunity to stop the one that started it all because Iraq will prove to have been nothing more than the staging ground for a full-blown, region-spanning, "Middle East War" of the 21st Century.
That war, by the way, will be nuclear, horrific, and long. Somewhat before those features become fully evident, it will be inevitable.
To George W. Bush, that non-binding resolution being prepared by Congress is a dare, and he will take it. He is, in the terminology of political psychology, a Social Dominance-Oriented/Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader (SDO-RWAL). In plain English, he's a schoolyard bully; but contrary to the false hope that schoolyard bullies back down when finally, resolutely confronted, they do not. Instead, they become more violent, and their expressions of violence arrive swiftly, without warning, and without reserve. All standing up to a real bully does is make him or her remove vestiges of comity; what is revealed is the true nature of his or her kind in all its unrelenting ferocity.
Pass that non-binding resolution on George W. Bush, and watch what happens. Unless Congress has the guts to take its dispute with Mr. Bush far past toothless expressions of feelings, hopes, and wishes, the President will take that resolution as his justification for an escalation of the confrontation far past anything for which this Congress has shown the intestinal fortitude.
Throwing 21,500 troops at the American-Iraqi War is dumping a couple cans of gasoline onto an already out-of-control fire. Bad as that idea is, passing a non-binding resolution critical of George W. Bush will ensure that Congress finds out what really happens when weaklings think they can stand up to bullies with nothing more than stern rhetoric. Bullies don't back down, not in real life, anyway. And they like it when their victims give them an excuse to get violent. Readers who don't believe this have never had to deal with an honest-to-goodness bully, batterer, or abuser. They are predictable, and underestimating their willingness to remain bullies, batterers, and abusers is a prescription for getting hurt very badly.
So, while I have provided at the beginning of this article the link to MoveOn.org, for my own part, I convey to Members of Congress this different message:
Unless you are ready, willing, and able to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard V. Cheney, then convict and remove them from office, stop trying to curry favor with the progressive community with your non-binding resolutions. Not only will you goad this Administration to act directly in opposition to your wishes, but you will make Mr. Bush and his people turn on you and on us. Given that the best you can muster is a worthless, non-binding resolution, and given that the best we as an electorate can muster is blustering showpeople like you, it is quite evident that we are in no way prepared for the consequences of challenging this Administration. Only when the Congress can do something far more substantial than mouthing toothless protestations will we be in a position to stop what will otherwise be the inevitable course of this country into a wider, more destructive conflict spanning the Middle East.For the time being, far better it will be for the Democratic majority to pursue highly successfully public relations campaigns like its recent 100-hour flurry of legislation. That way, Mr. Bush will be able to wield his veto pen against the will of the People without having to get ugly.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.