Sunday, September 09, 2007

From local politics to nationwide...

While we're on the subject of citizen engagement, call your Senators and Congresspeople Monday and tell them to let General Petraeus know where he can stick his report. I'm serious. I assume you can all navigate the interwebs to find your Senators and Representatives. Get on the phone and call some motherfuckers.

Now, in all probability, sadly, the Democrats will hem and haw and bow obsequiously to the good General and say that we desperately need a change of strategy after the President's failed policy but complain that the Republicans won't give the votes to them and talk up the importance of "bi-partisanship." These are all stalling techniques that will give them ammo for the '08 election all the while allowing them to inherit the problem and keep forces in Iraq to protect our "vital interests," which is basically what every "sensible" person who knows anything about long-term US global strategy wants to do. (We aren't building an enormous embassy with forced labor for nothing.) Thus you can see the realist in me has thoroughly defeated the democratic optimist. However, the cure for a failing democracy is...more democracy, as someone once said, and I'm at least experimenting right now with putting this hypothesis to the test.

In any case, here are some links for people who aren't already knee deep in the anti-war funk:

United for Peace and Justice

The Occupation Project

A Declaration of Peace

Troops Out Now

That's all the proselytizing, I promise. But I'm also very serious! I think one of the best things that could come out of Huffy Crew, out of all the good discussions we've produced, would be the ability to trade stories at some future date of what we did around this crucial time to try to affect war policy, however miniscule our efforts might be individually.

3 Comments:

Blogger kushakov said...

I'm listening to the NPR broadcast of Petraeus' recommendations. Two pink anarchists were just ejected from the room for protesting the war. Which makes me wonder: if they had raised their voices in ecstatic support of the war rather than protest, would they still have been ejected? If I were a protester, I would really try out a chant like "We're number one! We're number one!" - just to see if the scales tip the other way.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Robot said...

The Wisdom of Warrior-Scholar-Intellectual David Patraeus knows no bounds, and can easily adjudicate between the no-holds-barred Stab-in-the-Backer and the cowardly Stab-in-the-Backer prancing as a Patriot.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Scantron said...

Typically, the sides squaring off in the Petraeus hearing are not "the American people and their representatives vs. the leadership behind our disastrous and mendacious war policy" but "the good, serious, patriotic members of the US congress vs. the shameful calumnies of Moveon.org." When I first heard about the Moveon ad in the New York Times, I was pissed. "How could they draw such negative attention to themselves?" I thought. But now I realize that they are right, and that the more attention that can be diverted to their message, even unwittingly through the Republicans' and Democrats' rage at it, the better. I realize that "the truth" shouldn't really count for anything in political strategy, and is often even harmful to a cause, but in this case it will hopefully show people the extent to which everyone in govt, not just the Republicans, continues to fall in line behind Bush's insane stubborness. I think (this is a big "think") that people can come to see that Petraeus' report is just White House boilerplate and that it contradicts everything else being said by nonpartisan assessments.

The other big laugh (or cry, depending on your attitude) coming from the hearing is the media's reaction to Petraeus' claim that we might see a "troop drawdown." CNN, Reuters, Fox, MSNBC, and the AP are all calling it a "troop withdrawal," as if it weren't just the removal of the surge forces, bringing the numbers back to pre-surge levels. You know, the levels we were vehemently arguing about BEFORE the incredibly unpopular surge plan was introduced. This is the equivalent of having an argument with someone, them spitting in your face, then later promising to remove the spit from your face and expecting you to be grateful for it.

Overall, there have been some good comments from a few people you can consistently count on, but mostly it's the same old song and dance. We've known what Petraeus would say since it was declared that he would give an assessment, so there are no surprises. Republicans won't question the report and won't come over to the withdrawal side. The Democrats lack the vote (absent a funding cut) necessary to stop the war. Petraeus will be giving us another assessment in March, unless people really take to the streets.

7:38 PM  

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