Monday, February 05, 2007

Iraq Resolution: The Irony of Symbolic Politics

Unfortunately, Republican Senator John Warner's non-binding resolution, although well intended, will do nothing to stop a planned troop increase in Iraq. Everyone knows just how stubborn President Bush can be when he has made a decision, and he is extremely unlikely to cave in to political pressure, even if it comes from within his own party. The resolution is actually a bipartisan compromise that is intended to gauge support for any future Congressional act withholding the funding necessary to deploy additional troops to Baghdad and Al Anbar province. The planned operation has been referred to as both a troop 'surge' and as an escalation of the war, but the irony is troop levels will be no more than they were at its highest point of this war. Therefore this 'surge' is merely a symbolic gesture on the part of the Bush Administration. If you confront a symbolic shift in tactics with a symbolic resolution, whom do you believe will win out? Nobody in Iraq. Get Real U.S. Congress, use the power of the purse and pass something with teeth!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Iraq and the 2008 Election: Take This Blog and Skim It

Climate change, economic inequality, health care... has President Bush turned liberal? Judging from some of the topics discussed in the State of the Union speech and since then, one might think so. It seems the Administration wants to reach out to the new Democratic majority in Congress and actually work together to get us out of the disaster area formerly known as Iraq. 21,500 more troops; too little too late, says most people who actually know what they are talking about, including some Republicans such as Senator John Warner. The troop surge would only return the total to where it was a couple years ago, so the only hope for this plan is that where they are placed matters more than the actual number being sent. What will the next President have to deal with come 2009 when he/she takes office?

Obama, Clinton, Biden, Edwards, Brownback, Vilsack, McCain, Giuliani.... whomever it is, Iraq will still be in chaos and America will remain entrenched with no end in sight. So, are you going to base your vote solely on which one you believe is the better Christian, or someone who actually has a chance to win the peace in Iraq? The candidate who will best protect the free market and corporate interests or the candidate who will best forge alliances to help rebuild Iraq? Perhaps the one who deserves your vote is somebody who has actual experience and competency with military and diplomatic issues as opposed to someone who simply makes decisions based on his own personal beliefs and convictions, disregards logical advice, and ignores public opinion. That candidate could be from either the Republican or Democratic party, but not from the "compassionate" neo-conservative right-wing or the socialistic, left-wing like Rep. Dennis Kucinich. However, if you insist on being that one-issue voter, please make it about Iraq. I don't think all the abortions in the world will surpass the total number of casualties in both human lives there and fiscal costs to future generations here, nor will the benefits of having a pro-life president surpass the benefits of a stable Iraq in the Middle East in the long term. Similarly, I don't believe pro-capitalist, free market policies alone will do anything to benefit our efforts in rebuilding Iraq. Base your decision on logic and reason, not just your "heart" or "gut feeling" about how Christ-like your candidate is, because I don't want to bet on the Rapture or the Apocalypse saving us from Iraq, would you?