04 January 2007

Talking Points for Democrats: "Sacrifice" has to be for Something

The President is evidently poisesd to announce an increase in U.S. troop levels in Iraq. And he reportedly is going to plead with the public to "sacrifice" in order to increase the chances of success in his misguided mission. The Democrats are congenitally inclined to cave in on such matters. So, I am proposing that they respond to BushCo by asking "Just what are we are supposed to be sacrificing for?" Indeed, they ought to start asking that question before the President gets out front on this issue. So, here are some specific possibilities, each of which can be prefaced with the phrase "Mr. President, are you asking us to sacrifice in order ..."

(1) ... to eliminate Iraq's Weapons of Mass destruction? No need to belabor that point. They already have been eliminated. But of course that had happened before we invaded.

(2) ... to disrupt connections between Iraqis and al-Quaeda? There was scant persuasive evidence of such ties before we invaded (e.g., ***). Remember the U.S. joint intelligence report that claims that the ties of terrorist organizations to various factions in Iraq have increased since the start of the war?

(3) ... to retaliate for Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks? Ooops! There never was anything to retaliate for because therre was no Iraqi involvement in 9/11.

(4) ... to bring democracy, peace and security to Iraq? Can you spell civil war? There is evidence (e.g., *) that even the active-duty military seems convinced that these lofty goals simply are beyond reach. And, of course, top military officers are hardly enthusiastic about the "surge" proposal (e.g., **).

(5) ... to make America more secure? Ooops! Remember the Intelligence report I mentioned above?

(6) ... to proceed in a more "bipartisan" manner by heeding the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group? But did that group recommend sending more trooops to Iraq? No.

(7) ... to fight for the upholding of the rule of law in Iraq? Well, didn't Human Rights Watch just say that the execution of Saddam Hussein "following a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity marks a significant step away from respect for human rights and the rule of law in Iraq." And didn't the U.S. simply stand back and allow that trial and execution to proceed as they did? Moreover, just what was the justification in International Law for our invasion in the first place? Let's not talk about torture and secret rendition and inconvenient things like that ...

(8) ... to bring democracy, peace and security to the Middle East? Can you spell civil war? Can you explain how that contributes to the security and peace of a region?

Perhaps I have missed some reason the president might offer. And perhaps the replies I suggest need more work, some beefing up. But that is what Congressional staff members are for. I think these talking points are a good start. The Democrats need to just say no.

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