An email from the Democratic
Leadership Council (DLC) was forwarded to me
yesterday. The following excerpts reveal why those in this country who are
smart but remain political spectators need to turn off Survivor, Lost, Nascar,
Monday Night Football and step onto the playing field.
DLC: Idea of the
What To Do Now In
Iraq While the Bush
committed a long series of mistakes in the aftermath of the removal of Saddam
Hussein, America must remain committed to success in Iraq.
From Democrats who think they
have their fingers on the pulse of everyday working America? The Republicans
have yet to define what that success looks like - and much of what they've
instigated still smells of a permanent presence in Iraq. If the DLC
refuses to tell Americans what that "success" looks like, it sure looks like
they are in bed with the Republicans.
A failed state in Iraq
would destabilize the entire region, hand our jihadist enemies a major victory
and result in a devastating blow to our national security credibility and
Come again? Are you DLC'ers
telling Democrats, progressives and independents that if we don't fight them
over there we'll be fighting them here? And you supposed politically astute
geniuses are flat out stating that "our jihadist enemies" are not primarily
trying to extricate a nation from the consequences of America's self-interest
at the expense of the national security credibility and interests of Iraqis
But the right course
now is neither to give the terrorists a victory by withdrawing, nor to
continue Bush's failed policies. We urge progressives to place maximum
pressure on the administration to reverse its mistakes and pursue a new
strategy linked to clear benchmarks for success in Iraq and in the broader war
That is neither the talk of
an opposition party nor the supposed wisdom of progressive thinking. No,
it's pure unadulterated neocon ideology - the sort of thing we expect to hear
from the Republican National Committee and the Weekly Standard. But for God's
sake, not someone pretending to be the heart and voice of Democratic wisdom.
You jokers are not speaking for or with the best interests of the people of
this country at heart.
Here are three ways the
U.S. can do exactly that:
should formally disclaim any interest in permanent U.S. military bases in
Iraq; clearly shift the primary responsibility of defending the country to the
Iraqi military (with embedded Coalition troops), and adopt a joint military
strategy based on proven principles of counterinsurgency.
The last point means
abandoning Vietnam-style "search and destroy" missions against the insurgency
and instead focusing on progressively securing territory where reconstruction
can proceed and normal civic life can resume.
Tell me, how is it that we
can justifiably recruit our own young flesh and blood and within less than a
year train them "adequately", ship them to Iraq right smack dab into harm's
way and task them with the primary responsibility of defending the country -
yet we have failed to justifiably accomplish the same objective with Iraqis
themselves - who have to be more invested in the sacrifice on behalf of their
own nation. And why haven't we accomplished this with the more-motived Iraqis
also in less than a year?
This logic no longer holds
water. You DLC'ers are singing a neocon song as we have been aware for some
should launch a new political strategy aimed relentlessly at winning Sunni
support for the new government, and at isolating jihadists. We still have
considerable leverage among Shi'a and Kurdish leaders; we should use it to
push for confidence -- building measures like the integration of communal
militias into the Iraqi army and police forces; a blanket amnesty for former
Baathists not implicated in atrocities; and for intensified talks with Sunnis
on supplemental protocols to the proposed constitution that would ensure a
viable central government and minority rights.
We have lost the ability and
justification to accomplish this in any meaningful way. Without your neocon
assumptions, this also does not hold water. This situation is Colin's Powell's
"If you break it, you own it" philosophy. Except that the real owners have
seen that you cannot fix it to the ideal you propagandized before walking into
the establishment with shock and awe thinking of flowers in your paths. It is
screwed up so badly, they just want and need you to leave.
should muster all our diplomatic resources to create a more supportive
international environment for the new Iraqi government. It should not be that
hard to establish a UN-authorized international contact group to coordinate
political support and economic assistance.
Now you're talking! ... and
that more supportive international environment for the new Iraqi government
needs to have ceded to it all authority and credibility necessary to create
trust inside Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Neocon's have made of
America the mean drunk whose behavior has been so poor that the drunk needs to
walk away and stop trying to fix it by making it worse.
We should cash our sizable
chits with Saudi Arabia and Egypt to work directly with Iraqi Sunni Arabs,
using economic incentives where possible, to undermine support for insurgency
and encourage political engagement. These Arab states should also push Syria
(in conjunction with potential U.N. sanctions) to finally close off travel
routes into Iraq for jihadists.
We should come clean with our
own populace as to what those sizable chits with Saudi Arabia and Egypt are -
how they became sizable and why they have value. We should come clean with the
American public as to what our true investment risk and expected outcome is in
these relationships. Our government should come clean about the relationship
to oil, torture and permanent bases is in connection with Saudi Arabia, Egypt
and the rest of the Middle East.
We should formally push
for indictment of chief terrorist Zarquawi for crimes against humanity in
Iraq, drawing worldwide attention to the vicious anti-Shi'a ethnic cleansing
campaign that characterizes the insurgency. All these steps are politically
feasible, but there's no evidence the administration is taking them.
We should do whatever it
takes to acknowledge and then take all necessary measures to address the
global indictment of our country for crimes against humanity in Iraq, drawing
worldwide attention to our vicious anti-Iraqi nationalist cleansing campaign
that characterizes our foolish neocon attempt to impose an American control.
These steps are politically feasible but there's no evidence that neither the
administration nor the DLC is interested in taking them.
In calling for this new
strategy, we acknowledge that we are asking brave Americans to sacrifice still
more for a crucial goal under the direction of an administration that has
failed so often to pursue that goal competently or honestly. We share the
anger of most progressives towards Bush's blunders, even as we urge them not
to let that anger obscure the very real national stake we all have in taking
every step possible to leave Iraq in a condition where it will not become a
failed state and a terrorist base for global operations.
As usual, Tony Blair best
articulated those stakes, for our people and his, just this week:
"This is a global
struggle. Today it is at its fiercest in Iraq. It has allied itself there with
every reactionary element in the Middle East. Strip away their fake claims of
grievance and see them for what they are: terrorists who use 21st century
technology to fight a pre-medieval religious war that is utterly alien to the
future of humankind."
That's a reality that all
of us, whether or not we supported the original invasion of Iraq, need to keep
in mind, holding our leaders most accountable not for their blunders, but for
their willingness to recognize them and change course now.
This is the pot calling the
kettle black. Quoting Tony Blair reveals more about whose agenda the DLC
supports. The DLC is voicing the ultimate arrogantly ignorant assumption that
we can ask brave Americans to sacrifice still more for a goal it (the DLC) has
failed to describe as different from the administration's neocon stupidity.
The DLC does not share the
same anger as progressives towards Bush's blunders so long as they offer only
a better way to break more things and cause more damage worldwide. Deny it as
they may, the DLC is assuming that their anger is the true and truly
justifiable anger based on their own reasoning - which does not take
into consideration the very real national stake we all have in a peaceful
Iraq as a candidate for a
terrorist base for global operations is not something that has been proven or
validated. Iraq as a failed state of forced American design needs to go
through the failed state transition - with the help of a supportive
international community before we can understand how any country seeking its
own independence is doing so purely out of an intent to become a
terrorist base for global operations.
Republicans and the DLC
reflect an arrogant assumption that American wisdom, primarily because America
entered the 21st century as THE sole superpower, is the best wisdom for global
harmony. It's an assumption based on sustaining those who have the power,
Republican or Democrat, who remain part of a minority working to remain
permanently in the driver's seat.
Rejection of the DLC is
imperative if progressives and liberals are going to unite and take back the
country via election of Democratic politicians. If anything, all citizens
should see clearly that groups such as the DLC want a status quo that -
precisely as the Republican-controlled government, stays on the wrong
© Arthur Ruger 2005