Saturday, October 29, 2005
Kerry has a plan. Finally.
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) finally made the major speech of his life Wednesday night at Georgetown University in Washington,DC. This was the speech he should have made a year ago; if he had, he would be President now, but he didn’t and he isn’t.
My initial reaction was shock. Did he really say what he just said? Get out of Iraq now, and here’s the Plan? Maybe I better check my brain for loose wiring; I could swear I just heard Kerry take a position.
For those of you who missed it (which was easy to do, as most national media, including the big newspapers, have diligently not reported it or buried it on page 13), his position is this: bring home 20,000 troops over the upcoming holidays, convene a summit of all Middle Eastern countries to address Iraq security issues with multi-national agreements, and end the war within 15 months. There are some minor details, but in rough outline, that’s it. Jolly good so far, and it’s doable.
What’s the kicker? Well, first, it isn’t going to happen. Why? Because too many people, including several Democratic presidential hopefuls, want us to stay in the Mid East until into the far, far future, for “power projection” reasons, as well as to post a guard on the oil, whether they will tell you that or not. Additionally, liberal war hawks (especially Clinton, Biden and Lieberman) will be denied the dubious credit of “standing tall” unilateral interventions and the continuance of spilled blood in their quest to show off their machismo vis a vis “national security,” and fear that America will once again be accused of turning tail before another “insurgent” force (think Viet Cong, the South Vietnamese communist/nationalist guerrilla insurgents). There is also the hateful possibility of a unified Iraq nationalizing their petroleum industry, reducing American control in that field, and the very real threat of Iraq joining OPEC. With a continued US presence in the heart of the oil producing region, we can continue to hold the threat of potential military action over their heads until the oil is finally all sucked up (not too long now, as peak oil is about here) and we no longer have an economic reason to be there.
Some of these people honestly believe in continuing to throw American weight around, just as we did during the Cold War, and some are just anxious to display national-security “savvy” by forward-basing all that military hardware that they spent so many years lobbying for in return for campaign cash, and hey, a promise is a promise, even if it is to the highest bidder.
Unfortunately, the national security plan of this country is more or less set in concrete, and politicians on both sides of the aisle are in general agreement that American hegemony is here to stay; too many politicians are too beholden to military contractors and lobbyists to rationally rethink America’s real interests: a single-payer national health care plan, the rebuilding of American industry and bringing American jobs back home, an honest dialogue on race relations, an end to the unjust and crushing "war on drugs" that incarcerates millions of American citizens, a realistic approach to terrorism and its root causes, and the endemic, institutionalized, rampant and thoroughly embedded corruption of the American political process.