Troops in Iraq, Now and Forever
Don't blame the Democrats for backing down yesterday on troop withdrawals from Iraq. Blame them for backing the Bush regime back in the fall of 2002. Enforcing Pax Americana was the dream of neocons like Paul Wolfowitz, and Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, no neocons themselves, helped make it come true.
Rumsfeld set us up for a long war, a really long war, one that stretches from generation to generation. No wonder he was looking fondly at today's Boy Scouts in 2005; what he saw is tomorrow's fodder. In late November 2004, I pointed out in "Giving Tanks to the Next Generation" how Rumsfeld flew to Iraq and waxed nostalgic to the troops there about what a long and glorious war it would be.
Of course, he needed to tell those troops that they weren't going to be abandoned:
You can say that again, Rummy. No, don't.
For God's sakes, Rumsfeld made that speech in October 2004, just before the election, and America re-upped the Bush regime anyway. Did anyone really think at the time that we'd be able to just pull out of Iraq with impunity? The civil war was already raging there. If the Democrats had captured the White House in 2004, a fairly quick pullout from Iraq would have been extremely difficult. Now, it's unthinkable, because Iraq is even more chaotic.
But let's go back to October 2002. Here are the 23 senators who voted against the war resolution:
Note that one is dead (Wellstone), one was almost killed and isn't even a senator any longer (Corzine), and none of them are candidates for president.
We know how Hillary Clinton voted. What about Barack Obama? He was a Senate candidate in October 2002 when he gave a brilliant speech, two weeks after the Senate vote, calling the impending Iraq war "dumb" and "rash."
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