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November 19, 2005

A Democrat Actually Wrote This Post

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Some say that the Iraq War was fought for oil, but I find it more likely that it was fought for straw. Domestic reserves of the latter product have been severely depleted by Republican construction of straw men since the War on Terror began. The latest straw man provided by Iraq is Republican leaders' attempt to make people misattribute Duncan Hunter's sham withdrawal resolution to John Murtha, who had submitted a very different resolution to Congress. Republican representatives and Redstate hacks tried to pass off the resolution as a Democratic offering from John Murtha. I'm not clear whether people figured out the truth, but my less politically inclined friends were asking me about the withdrawal vote last night, and I was the first to explain to them what was really going on.

As the party in power, it's a lot easier for Republicans to misrepresent Democratic positions than vice versa. Except during Presidential elections, we don't have any national figures to clearly and firmly present our positions. So when the President opposes those who want to "cut and run", it's easy for non-plugged-in people to simply think that the Democratic plan amounts to no more than this.

November 19, 2005 in Iraq | Permalink

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Comments

That is indeed another possibility. Bush was wanting to be a "war president" back in 1998, and who was whispering sweet nothings in his ear.

Karl Rove (I am sure he studied Vietnam) understands that even a mismanaged war will be supported by the Republican core base indefinitely as long as it isn't completely and overtly lost. The lost cause South can suffer fallen heroes long after the cows come home. But meaningless wasted lives and limbs will drive Democrats and liberals completely apeshit.

I think it was Meyerson over at TAPPED who said sure was a good thing we din't have protesters clogging the streets and making liberals look all nutty. Well, we are three years in, with three to go, and my solid expectation is that McCain is elected in '08 and escalates the frigging war. Cause the war is gonna tear the Democratic Party to shreads. Again.

But Repubs can keep this up for decades.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Nov 20, 2005 1:18:24 AM

I think it's a mistake to construe the Iraq war as just a political ploy hatched by Karl Rove to protect Dubya's political fortunes.

I mean, it was that, but it was much more as well. One indication of this is that the US is still there. If Bush's political image was all that mattered, they'd have declared victory and left already.

And the fact of the matter is, Iraq really doesn't represent a break with the general US foreign policy since the end of WWII.

It's no coincidence that Iraq is sitting on top of a shitload of oil. Control of Iraq's oil is absolutely crucial, and a look at the administration's own documents shows that they very much appreciate this fact. They want permanent bases in Iraq, and they want veto power over any oil flowing out of there.

Oil = leverage, and American foreign policy is all about gaining leverage.

Posted by: Dadahead | Nov 20, 2005 3:23:59 AM

See, here's what worries me about that interpretation, Dadahead -- I don't see the Bush Administration as having serious enough concern with our long-term economic interests. Maybe his father's administration would've done something like that, but I don't see that Bush cares about American oil security in 2015 or whatever.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Nov 20, 2005 5:39:55 AM

Murtha's Resolution:
Section 1. The deployment of United States Forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Neil's post: "So when the President opposes those who want to "cut and run", it's easy for non-plugged-in people to simply think that the Democratic plan amounts to no more than this.

Take another look at Murtha's resolution. It looks, walks and talks like a duck and I think the public will think so as well. Perhaps a Clintonesque statement from Murtha would help such as:

"It depends on what the definition of 'cut-and-run' is."

Posted by: Fred Jones | Nov 20, 2005 8:40:44 AM

Actually, it depends on what "earliest practicable date" means, which is pretty obviously not "immediately".

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Nov 20, 2005 1:30:12 PM

And let me ask you this, Fred... if there really isn't any difference between the Murtha resolution and the Hunter resolution, why did the Republicans go to the trouble of introducing a new resolution and not just debating Murtha's?

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Nov 20, 2005 1:31:16 PM

Why is everything bold? I'll try to close it.

We'll see.

" I don't see the Bush Administration as having serious enough concern with our long-term economic interests."

They don't have any concern with "our" economic interests, but they do represent business interests that are very much concerned about 2015 and beyond.

Bush and Rove don't operate in a vacuum. Their primary constituency is big business, and they make sure to deliver. This is observable at every level of policy, from taxes to environmental policy to foreign policy.

So it's not that Bush himself is particularly concerned with any thing at all - I doubt he is, actually. But Bush simply doesn't call all the shots.

Posted by: Dadahead | Nov 20, 2005 4:35:25 PM

Damn it.

Posted by: Dadahead | Nov 20, 2005 4:36:34 PM

Woo hoo!

Anywho, a look at the BushCo SOP shows that their priority is delivering for their business cronies. Iraq is no exception.

Posted by: Dadahead | Nov 20, 2005 4:38:13 PM

Dadahead, I'm not even certain that they or the modern GOP have the long-term interests of American business in mind. Consider the high deficits, for instance. Old-school Republicans liked tax cuts, but a balanced budget mattered to them, since they cared about the long-term growth of the economy and not having to pay high debt service costs in the future. Today's GOP has given in to total fiscal nihilism and doesn't care what happens to corporate America tomorrow.

I'd recommend Mark Schmitt's piece on Pump and Dump politics here. Today's CEOs don't care how their company is doing in 10 years -- they'll be long gone by then. The politicians they buy off don't really care about long-term benefits and harms either.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Nov 20, 2005 5:07:20 PM

"Actually, it depends on what "earliest practicable date" means, which is pretty obviously not "immediately"."

Murtha

My plan calls:


"To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces."

Pretty obvious, eh?

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 20, 2005 5:59:38 PM

Again, Toke, sentences have verbs. "Redeploy" ≠ "Withdraw"

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Nov 20, 2005 6:13:04 PM

"Redeploy" ≠ "Withdraw"

Murtha said:

"the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.

He wants to 'redeploy' the troops home. Both mean leave Iraq.

But that isn't what you were disputing above.
You said Murtha 'obviously' didn't mean immediately. And, again I paste and emphasize from Murtha's statement:

"To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces."

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 20, 2005 6:28:23 PM

It's not so much that they care about the future of American business in general, but that they are dedicated to serving the interests of certain sectors of American business.

Oil is a business that isn't particularly concerned with the long, long term because they don't really have to be.

Furthermore, even the admin.'s internal document demonstrate a high level of interest/concern with Iraqi oil. It's definitely not a coincidence that the Bush admin. is full of oil execs and that Iraq is one of the world's largest oil-producing countries.

Posted by: Dadahead | Nov 20, 2005 7:45:02 PM

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