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I have been influenced by Gore Vidal's arguments that the US agenda has been about power and money via wars and conflicts, since the end of WWII...and almost all US politicians are in on that gravy train. Not all, but most...and a lot of Dems too.

But...the Repubs have been waiting for some kind of event, in which they could take advantage (didn't Bush himself refer to 9-11 and the recessation as being part of a "perfect storm"?)...they were ready to pounce, and the Dems weren't prepared...and pretty much still aren't. The Dems are on the defensive, which makes me sad, as a lifelong Dem voter.

As far as Iraq, the US "punched the tarbaby" on that one. In the current issue of the The Nation there is a great discussion by 4 moderate to progressive Middle East experts about where we are and what to do about it now (including possible consequences) by Cole, Cobban, Rosen and Telhami. There is no consensus, and Cole is rather emphatic about the situation, in this quote at the end of the above referenced article:

The United States cannot resolve the problems in Iraq militarily, and its policies have made things progressively worse. The Iraqi government has no military and won't have an effective one for five to ten years. If the United States simply withdrew, Iraq might well fall into massive civil war. That war would, moreover, likely draw in the Turks, Iranians and Saudis. Consequent guerrilla sabotage of Iranian and Saudi petroleum production is not impossible and would risk deeply harming the world economy, especially the poor in the global South. The Iraq situation needs to be effectively internationalized, preferably by giving it a United Nations military command, like that in Cambodia in the early 1990s. Obviously, that step will not be taken by the Bush Administration, and it will not be easy to accomplish under any circumstances, given how badly the Administration has alienated the international community and what a mess it has made of Iraq. In the absence of internationalization, and given the great likelihood that "Iraqization" will fail miserably in the near to medium term, America faces the choice of being stuck in Iraq for many years or risking a destabilization of the Middle East and of the world energy economy.

Myself, I never thought we should go to Iraq, and want the troops home asap. But, you have to consider what Cole says. The US screwed the pooch, and the US people may be paying for this for a long time.

The Dems need to figure out who they are and say it with conviction...some are starting to, and the people will follow those leaders. They need to get it together soon though...or more of the same will be going on.

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Wed Aug 17th, 2005 at 12:34:42 PM EST

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