Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Get out or else

The occupation of Iraq is, regardless of your position, the stupidest thing this country has ever done. We need to either do it right or get out, all the way out.

To occupy Iraq correctly entails implementing Soviet- or Nazi-style oppression. (You can call it "Roman-style" if you want to avoid uncomfortable historical analogies.) Alternatively, we can just kill most of the Iraqis and just settle the country ourselves.

I don't want to do either, so the only option acceptable to me is to get all the way out.

It's the Republicans' job to convince us to do the job right. They can, if they choose. A country that has countenanced the genocide of the American Indians, the internment of tens of thousands of actual citizens in WWII, the conquest of the Philippines, and centuries of slavery can be convinced to occupy or sterilize Iraq.

It's the Democrats' job, therefore, to get us out. Forget "change"; forget transforming our society; forget health care, the financial crisis, or the size of Barack's penis or Hillary's breasts. This is a no-brainer: if the Democrats cannot get us all the way out of Iraq, they are completely useless.

I'm going to vote Democratic one last time. But, if the Democrats do not end the occupation of Iraq by November 2010, I am never voting Democratic again for the rest of my life. I'll change my affiliation and destroy my altar to Walter Mondale. If they get their shit together after 2010, well, too bad for them. I'll wish them the best, but they can go on without me.

Everything else is open to negotiation and compromise. But if they can't do this one simple, rational thing; if they can't reverse a not only completely immoral and heinous but also obviously stupid half-assed occupation, they are worthless.


  1. And what if -- perish the thought -- the Democrats lose? A large percentage of people is stupid enough to want the war to go on, and to vote Republican again, you know...

  2. Get ready to destroy your altar. We're not getting out of Iraq. I'd be surprised if we left there by 2020. Certainly if the GOP wins, we'll be in there forever.

  3. If the Republicans win, I won't vote ever again; I don't think they have voting booths at Gitmo.

    If enough people take my pledge, perhaps the Democrats will actually end the war. If they can't even end the war, they're not going to do anything else important, and there's no reason to ever vote Democratic. I'll just end up in Gitmo a couple years later.

  4. I dumbfounded that there are still people out there who think invading Iraq was a good thing.

    The only way we'll get out of Iraq is when we invade Iran. Then again, since it looks like that could be a possibility...

  5. My brother has recently enlisted with the Marines. In speaking with my mother about it, I heard phrases such as, "I believe they did—and do—have WMDs. They have tons of places to hide things, just all over the place, there," and (purportedly quoted from the staff sergeant who attends at their church) "'From what I've seen when I was there, if we weren't fighting the terrorists over in Iraq, we would absolutely be fighting them here at home.'"

    I felt literally sick to my stomach for a couple of minutes, and have been noticeably more depressed since that conversation (I still am, when I let myself think about it). I spent a couple of weeks contemplating sending links to the established facts that blow these claims clear out of the water, but am not sure I'm interested in doing that any more. The only way people can still hold such beliefs in the face of current information, is through sheer will of blind faith. "Willing herself to believe" is something my mother, a young-earth creationist, bible-literalist, fundamentalist Christian, is particularly good at.

    Even so, I may send the links, just so I can be assured that she's without excuse for believing such things (Religious culture can be fairly incestuous in its sharing of knowledge, so there is a chance that she's genuinely unaware of the relevant, established, incontrovertible facts—too large a portion of the nation at large appears to be).

    ...Larry, I've got a couple predictions. One is that the Dems will not pull us out of Iraq, at least not anytime close to soon enough. The other is that you'll find yourself voting Democrat again anyway, at some point in your future.

    You are absolutely right that this marks them as useless. But, may I ask: if faced with a choice between the useless and the violently dangerous, won't you choose the useless?

    We're in a sucky situation, and getting out of it is obviously top priority. But: suppose Bush had another election coming. Suppose the only really relevant opponent was a candidate who you were 100% certain would not pull us out of Iraq—in fact, would not accomplish anything whatsoever. Wouldn't you vote for that opponent, knowing what Bush would be likely to do with another term in office?

    In short, isn't voting for the worthless still preferable to voting for the evil? :(

    And elections seem to continually come down to such kinds of decisions. This is why I'm beginning to think that political activism may be a much more productive occupation than worrying about who to vote on. Better, I think, to try to affect the available choices, than to choose the "lesser of two evil" choices.

    Not that I plan to do so; I wish to hell I had the time to give.

    (Just my 2¢, of course.)

  6. In short, isn't voting for the worthless still preferable to voting for the evil? :(

    You're presuming all I can do is vote. There are other means.

    Violent revolution isn't my style, though, so I'll probably work on non-violent secession. I may start sooner rather than later.

  7. And let me say again: My heart is with you on the situation with your brother.

    You might as well send him the links. He probably won't change his mind, but you never know for sure.

  8. Good response. Can't argue with that, I'm fairly inclined the same way myself. Remaining an American is fast scaring the bejeezus outta me.

  9. Thanks, man.

    Actually, the links would go to my Mom (though Cc'ing him might not be a terrible idea). I don't really know much about what his motivations and thinking were, though his "research" has clearly been very one-sided, and it's probably not too far off from what I was hearing from Mom.

    He's way too into the whole thing at this point to be dissuaded, so I haven't much hope for that. But I'd at least like them to be less blissfully stupid about the whole damn thing.

    Anyway, thanks for the support. All in all, it's a pretty damn small thing, lots of people have family heartaches much worse than a brother who's chosen to enlist in the military. It's not even the fact that he's chosen to enlist that bothers me—there are reasons to enlist that I could at least come to terms with. It's the damned stupid ignorance surrounding the decision that's so fucking depressing.

    But hey, I guess their sadness over my burning forever in Hell probably trumps my sadness at their apparent resignation to ignorance.

  10. Micah,

    You can download Defense Department and intelligence community briefs for free. Look for the ones about WMDs, such as the Duelfer Report, and the latest Pentagon report on how Saddam had no links to al-Qaida. The latter is all over the internet right now.

    You can also purchase a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report at any bookstore.


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