The great Iraq game:
President Bush increased the troops in Iraq just in time to claim to be able to take them out for the 2008 elections. It appears that Democratic leaders are going to accept that ploy.
The imperialists themselves are allowing signals that the withdrawal of a few thousand troops is the end:
"'All Iraqis will see this as being the end of the occupation and start planning accordingly. So will the region and especially Iran,' said Bruce Riedel, a former senior official at the National Security Council, CIA and Pentagon who is now at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center."(1)
There has been a spate of maneuvers in Iraq to justify Bush's policy. The Bush administration has belatedly rediscovered Saddam Hussein. So it is not surprising that "progress" today means that the Iraqi government has stopped de-Baathification policies.(1) The Baathist party leaders from Saddam Hussein are allowed back into politics. Hey, it took a few thousand deaths to figure out that what Saddam Hussein already had in place was better than what the Amerikans were doing in occupied Iraq.
When Bush started the war, his officials told the public Saddam Hussein was harboring Al Qaeda.(2)
Next Shia leader Sadr called a truce against U.$. troops. There had already been a truce that caused the British to withdraw from Iraq.(3) Then, Iran shuffled its leaders to tone down anti-U.$. appearances.(4)
Now the White House is claiming the "impotence" of Osama Bin Laden.(5) So the stage is set to calm down, claim victory and then depart Iraq.
The Democratic Party should be pictured as Euro-Amerikan girlfriends of Republicans who just want an argument for dating purposes. There are also submissive members of the oppressed nationalities. Without these two groups, the Democrats are no where.
So when the Republican Party finds itself with its gonads in a tightening vice with bad news on a daily basis, the Democratic Party instinctively reacts in horror. The Democrats can be counted on to bail out the Republicans in a tight spot. Hence, it is very important to ask candidates who their second choice party is. If a Democrat is not willing to name another party as a second-choice, then that Democrat is not really willing to see the Republican Party go to hell. Across the country, there are as yet no signs that there are any Democrats who see Greens as a second-choice, and hence, the partisanship of Democrats has its inherent limits set by corporate donors. Likewise, is the case with the Republicans unwilling to name Libertarians as their second-choice ahead of Democrats.
In such a context we can place the remarks of Senator Joe Biden, who is also running for president. The New York Times reported the following as news:
"Mr. Biden acknowledged the political limits on his party, even with the Congressional majority it has held since the November midterm elections.This is a blatant lie from the New York Times. MIM Notes would never allow such a statement past its fact-checking.
"'This is the president's war,' he said. 'Unless we get 67 votes to override his veto, there's nothing we can do to stop this war, but we must, we must, we must protect these troops.'"(6)
The House of Representatives does not have to override the president, to end the Iraq War. Nor does the Senate need to override the president. Congress need only cease appropriating funds, and as even Hillary Clinton has pointed out, there would have to be contingency plans in the Pentagon for what to do when its funding ran out. The president has no authority to appropriate funds without Congress.
What Biden is really saying is political: the Democrats have some deal with Bush and Democrats have accepted that they will appear weak as leaders heading into the 2008 election in exchange for letting the Republicans look stupid as leaders. With a nine digit lead in fund- raising the Democrats are thinking that their strategy of being the good bitch of the Republican Party will work this time in 2008.
So even though 60% of the public wants a timetable for troop withdrawal from Iraq, (7) Democratic party leaders jumped all over themselves to show deference to General Petraeus when move-on.org attacked him for serving as Bush's lackey with a television ad.(8)
"Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, called the ad 'over the top.'In 2004, Republicans ran many ads attacking Kerry's medals obtained for killing Vietnamese.
"'I don't like any kind of characterizations in our politics that call into question any active duty, distinguished general who I think under any circumstances serves with the best interests of our country,' said Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and a decorated veteran."(9)