The old Vaudeville bit about a man hearing a trigger word and slowly going into a pre-programmed tirade seems to be the best shorthand I can think of (other than perhaps "6-minute abs" from There's Something About Mary) to describe what is probably happening at the White House now after the Senate voted 50-48 to leave in language calling for a troop pullout from Iraq-- starting in just four months-- as a condition of approving ongoing war funding. Wildman Chuck Hagel of Nebraska joined RINO Gordon Smith of Oregon to cross party lines (Pryor of Arkansas was the lone Dem sellout... Lieberman was with the GOP on this... as usual...), and put the measure over the top.
It's called a "must-pass" bill because it's funding "for the troops". But this is horse-manure. The troops' salaries are paid out of the existing DOD budget; so are their uniforms and munitions. (Or is the "new money" for that body and vehicle armor or medical care we're not providing?) This is funding "for the war" or more accurately for Halliburton and Bechtel to provide "support services" that amount to frequently the opposite of "supporting our troops"-- diverting them from their mission to guard civilian bigwigs who are just there to make money. So, to paraphrase Noel Coward's Why Must the Show Go On?", why is this a must-pass bill? Oh... the punch line... this troop withdawal part is NON-BINDING!!!
It strikes me that if it is, the branch of government that "needs" it to pass is the Executive... and yet it is the President who is threatening a veto if language is inserted telling him what the American people and their representatives want him to do (even if he doesn't have to!). Well, let's keep this in perspective: the President is welcome to veto the bill, but then he has no right whatsoever to expect a new one in its place to his liking. In fact, I would strongly suggest that House and Senate leaders suggest that "this is the best they can do", its heavily compromised as it is, etc., etc., and if the President vetoes it, well, so be it... there just may not be a war funding bill at all.
We can see who gets to go all "schoolyard" on that, given that an astounding 59% polled want a troop withdrawal included in legislation.
In the end, I don't think it will be the President.
Re: the Iraq war in general
(also see this post)
Ever since the months prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, there have been a few reports in the newspapers that the Central Intelligence Agency was casting aspersions on the intelligence the White House was relying on to justify the war. The CIA has never given a position on whether the war is needed or justified or said that Bush is wrong to go to war. But doesn't it seem much more likely that the CIA is an extremely right wing organization than a left wing one? After all, even if the people working for them and at least a lot of the leadership really wanted a war for their own reasons, there are a lot of reasons for them to not want to tie their credibility to what they know is faulty information. They and their personnel, present and former, could use other means of promoting the Iraq war, and still be motivated to make the statements in the media. If the CIA got behind faulty information, they would have to make a choice between whether they would be involved in scamming the American people and the world once the military had invaded Iraq and no weapons were found- so: 1) Imagine the incredible difficulties involved in pulling off a hoax that weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. Imagine all the people you would have to be able to show the weapons to- the inspectors from the UN / the international community, the American press, statesmen, etc. Then imagine the difficulties of substantiating that story to people who would examine it- the lack of witnesses to a production plant that made the weapons or to transportation operations or storage of the weapons during Hussein's regime of them. 2) If the story fell apart upon inspection or the CIA tried not to hoax it at all, imagine the loss of credibility they would suffer. The CIA, it is safe to bet, does not want to be known to the American people as a group that lies to them to send them to war. Even within the CIA there could be disagreement among people about how involved they should be in promoting the war or the neo-con agenda more broadly, so the CIA would have to worry about lying to and managing its own people after trying so hard to get them to trust their superiors in the agency, and perhaps there simply might be too many people in the agency who knew enough about what was going on in Iraq to know if someone was deceiving people to promote this war.
So there is a lot of reason to be cautious against being seen as endorsing what they knew was false intelligence even if they were very strong supporters of going to war.
What explains the failure of the mainstream media to cover the purge scandal for so long, and so many other scandals? Do you think somebody just set up newspaper editors to cheat on their wives, and threatened to tell if the editors wouldn’t play ball when they come back some day and ask for something?
It wouldn’t be that hard to do, when you think about it. People wouldn’t talk about it.
Posted by Swan at March 28, 2007 7:12 PM
The Dems complained that there was no plan to deal with the aftermath of liberating Iraq and now the Dems have no plan to deal with the aftermath of surrender and retreat.
What exactly will happen when the U.S. cuts and runs? Do you have a plan? Care to share it with us?
Posted by Murphy at March 29, 2007 2:02 PM
And BTW Swan, the CIA is as left-wing as the State Department. Hell, 2/3 of them are grad students in international affairs. They're as partisan as everyone else in DC.
Posted by Murphy at March 29, 2007 2:05 PM
"Cut and run" is SOOOO 2004... the new mantra is "give Petraeus a chance".
And hasn't the CIA been through ENOUGH lately?
Posted by the talking dog at March 29, 2007 3:59 PM
Oh, what's the current lingo? Slow bleed? Redeployment? Unconditional surrender?
It's hard to keep up with the all the new ways you defeatists try to "frame" what amounts to capitulation in the face of the enemy. There's probably a good word for it in French.
Posted by Murphy at March 30, 2007 9:03 AM