Can you imagine Ken Mehlman talking about "upscale white conservatives" who "seem torn about the meaning of patriotism"?
Is any strategy devised to make your party members look strong on defense worth questioning the patriotism of people like myself, a hard-working and loyal American who has serious and realistic questions about the war in Iraq?
If anyone affiliated with the DLC sees this blogpost, I say to you: Stop this tactic immediately. It's no-win.
"Democrats need to be choosier about the political company they keep, distancing themselves from the pacifist and anti-American fringe. And they need to have faith in their fellow citizens: Americans will accept constructive criticism of their country if they know the critic's heart is in the right place."
Will Marshall is directing this message to people like Cindy Sheehan, who happens to have people like Michael Moore (an Eagle Scout) who agree with her at the moment. Will Marshall, in my humble opinion, is dead wrong when he goes into this territory and calls any concerned American citizen "anti-American". These are the tactics of hate talk-radio, and it's not honorable or respectable to buy into that line of thinking and turn it around to use on your own fellow party members.
In a recent article which I consider to be required reading for all, James J. Kroeger states:
"They [Republicans] define themselves [positively] by defining their Democratic opponents [negatively]."
The DLC are defining members of their own Democratic party negatively, and are thus campaigning as a Republican would...against their own! Losing confidence in their own convictions, they have bought into the lies which the Right has expertly and negatively employed against the Democrats - and are making it their own message, turning the tables on key members of the Democratic party.
Iraq The Myth of Negative Journalism War Supporters - Here's the Reality
I might be amused to read this paragraph from an AP article if it wasn't about such a depressing subject:
War supporters accuse journalists of undercutting the troops by highlighting problems and ignoring progress in Iraq.
Only yesterday, I had read this quote from seasoned and courageous reporter Robert Fisk (one of the few who actually gets out into the street instead of locking himself in a Green Zone hotel room taking phone calls from military PR officials for his source information on news stories) :
"It is extremely dangerous now. Most of my colleagues won't go into Iraq. And many who do just sit in their hotel rooms. I don't object to that. What I do object to is that they don't tell their readers thta they sit in their hotel rooms. They give the impression that they can check out stories on, for example, people shot by the Americans, when in fact, they can't or don't or won't. So they take the line from a telephone call from an American pfficer and that becomes the story, which is one reason why the reporting has become so skewed."
Looking for American Gothic? For the many who've come here in search of something called American Gothic with Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore, I have no clue what it is. It sounds insulting. Don't expect to see it here anytime.
I defer to Laura Rozen, who sends out what I believe to be an important bit of advice to all Democratic politicians:
the Post's David Ignatius has some advice for Democrats:
...America doesn't need more of the angry, embittered shouting matches that take place on talk radio and in the blogosphere. It needs a real opposition party that will lay out new strategies: How to withdraw from Iraq without creating even more instability? How to engage a world that mistrusts and often hates America? How to rebuild global institutions and contain Islamic extremism? How to put the U.S. economy back into balance? A Democratic Party that could begin to answer these questions would deserve a chance to govern.
Bruce Jentleson proposes that the task of thinking how to get out of Iraq without leading to greater instability be a bipartisan endeavor lead by the Senate Foreign Relations committee. With Republicans such as Walter Jones, Chuck Hagel, and Democrats like Russ Feingold talking about how to get out, it seems this could be the way to go.
- Laura Rozen
Related - Gideon Rose talks about the Bush administration's initial objectives in contrast to their currently lowered expectations:
"...the realists have come in after an election to offer some adult supervision and tidy up the joint. This time it's simply happened under the nose of a victorious incumbent rather than his opponent (which may account for the failure to change the rhetoric along with the policy)." - [NYT]
At Hullabaloo, Digby is so disillusioned and angered, given the contrast of the lofty Bush-speeches and the reality of the drastically lowered expectations in Iraq, that it is driving him to become isolationist in favor of being led down garden paths about what "freedom and democracy" turn out to mean in reality, once we've "spread" it to others.
Tonight marks the premiere of CNN's "Dead Wrong - Inside an Intelligence Meltdown" which airs at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.
From the CNN website: Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'
A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.
"I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."
In Frank Rich's column The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan [NYTimes], he explains how Casey Sheehan's death in Iraq could not be more representative of the Iraq war's mismanagement and failure. I'd imagine that he'll strike a familiar chord with many average Joes when he says that, when Mr. Bush's motorcade in Crawford "left a grieving mother in the dust to speed on to a fund-raiser, that was one fat-cat party too far."
Swift-boating may have been effective 30 years after the war in question, when a Presidential candidate was the target, but this war is failing right before our eyes - here and now. The news of each new American death in Iraq stings more than ever before, and this time it's a fallen soldier's mother that has had 'open season' declared upon her.
Because this past week has been filled with stories about parents who have lost children in Iraq, I hope Erin Monahan won't mind me posting a poem she has written at her lovely website titled "Poetic Acceptance for Grieving Parents".
The Shadow of Grief
on her fourth birthday This solitude passes like the first breeze of spring through crocus blooms tender, silent and undeniable.
It is the ghost of grief that haunts me - a whisper in the garden of my dreams.
No longer is it the honeysuckle nightmare that cloys at the fence with sickly sweetness or the suffocating kudzu cloak in the hot August sun.
It has become the scent of wisteria charming and gentle in the shade of the hollow water oak.
George Will is Wrong About Who Will Pay a Political Price for Iraq
On ABC This Week, George Will threatened the Democratic party, telling them they'll pay for any support of Cindy Sheehan because of the nature of some of her political statements.
Paul Krugman,a guest on the panel, reminded him of the realities behind the narrative about Iraq, which runs parallel with that of the Right.
The clash of narratives has reached a tipping point because of Cindy Sheehan. The Bush administration's slogans are now being categorized as only one narrative out of two possible narratives - - and Mrs. Sheehan will not allow him to forget that more and more Americans are currently deciding, with full consciousness, which of the two they find most credible.
If anyone should pay any political price, I would think it would be the party who enjoys majority status in all branches of American government, for it is their political investment which has been spent on the Iraq war, hand-over-fist, at the time when these two narratives meet with a sickening sound.
After recommending that George W. Bush should meet with Cindy Sheehan two weeks ago on CNN's Sunday talk show with Wolf Blitzer, Senator George Allen now calls Cindy Sheehan's statements "outrageous."
Flip flop. Flip flop.
Allen also compared the thugs of Iraqi's armed mobs to the militia units during our own Revolution. (I'm certain my Revolutionary ancestors are spinning like chicken rotisserie in their graves). I find the comparison even more amusing when I think about how our colonists were fighting England's influence, and today, most of these Iraqi militias want America OUT.
Allen also insisted that the proper term for Iraq, today, is the "central front for the war on terror". This is a dramatic shift of focus from March 17, 2003 - the eve of the pre-emptive attack upon Iraq when President Bush told America, flat-out, that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD and posed an imminent threat to the U.S.
If the goal was to make Iraq the central front for suicide bombers, I remind you of the observation I'd made years ago - which was that any deliberate intent to bring terror to the people of Iraq was one of the most immoral decisions we ever could have made.
I wonder if Senator Allen is proud when he uses that phrase, "Iraq is the central front for the war on terror"?
Billmon summarizes a recent blogpost with what I find to be an astute observation:
You would think that after Kosovo -- where the liberated Albanian population promptly unleashed on the Serbian minority the same ethnic cleansing previously directed at them by the Serbs -- our humanitarian interventionists would have learned something about tribal warfare, or human nature, or both. The Kurds are only playing by the same golden rule as everybody else in the Middle East: Do unto others before they do unto you. But it does pose a problem for those who want to divide the world into the children of light and the children of darkness, and place the United States military firmly on the side of the former against the latter. There's always the risk they'll find out they've simply sided with the Crips against the Bloods, or vice versa.
We're told we're in a situation where American troops are fighting for "Iraq", but at the same time any educated person can see that we've favored the Kurds and we know that the Kurds are anxious for independence -- so anxious that they refuse to make a promise that they won't cede from Iraq altogether. They are pressing for language to be included in the new Iraq charter allowing them the right to self-determination, which would effectively allow them to secede from Iraq at some point in the future. They are determined to have an autonomous Kurdistan, and have demanded that the oil-rich region of Kirkuk should be part of it.
It isn't difficult to see where this is going. It's moving toward instability in the region.
The Kurds want us to stay for their protection. If US troops were to withdraw anytime soon, the insecurity would be difficult to contain. Most of Iraq remains a rubbleland of violence filled with armed Islamic fundamentalists. If we pulled out, insurgents who have been targeting US troops would likely turn to the Kurds.
I don't think it will be politically feasible for President Bush to continue to prosecute this war successfully without the American public's support - and more international support.
American public opinion is rapidly fading for this war, and the Kurds do not want us to leave them. At the same time, they are itchy for their own revolution of independence and we know it. Plenty of Iraqi blood will flow before any of this is over. How long will American blood continue to flow?
Soon, it will become apparent to American citizens that what the Kurds want is more important to President Bush than what his own American people want.
In a democracy which is "by the people, of the people, for the people," the perception that the President's administration is kowtowing to an unstable foreign power at the direct objection of the people of the US -- that's a recipe for political disaster.
Don't read this as anti-Kurd. It is too serious of a business to be called anything BUT "concerned about the cause in which our nation is engaged" - the cause for which American parents are asked to risk their own flesh and blood.
At Spiegel Online, there is an article called What al-Qaida Really Wants by Yassin Musharbash, which outlines Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein's view of what al Qaida plans to do within the next 15 years or so.
There is no solid guarantee of truth or accuracy for any of this seven-phase plan, which is little more than the author second guessing how al-Qaida terrorists think.
At the time Feith's deputy Franklin (and, today's indictments say, two other as yet unidentified Pentagon officials) were passing the classified documents on Iran to AIPAC for transmission to Israel, the White House had not yet given the green light to Sharon -- indeed, the Iran attack was in a holding pattern pending the outcome of negotiations over Teheran's nuke capacity being led by the European powers which, unlike the U.S., have diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran...Even so, U.S. fingerprints were all over the Israelis' Iran attack, which had long been envisioned by U.S. policy-makers.
This Village Voice blog by Ward Harkavy reveals Douglas Feith to likely be a larger supporter of Israel than a supporter of the U.S.
...you can't lump all Zionists with Feith's wing, which is off the scale as a radical group.
It's almost impossible for me to believe someone like Feith was #3 at the US Department of Defense.
Here is my prediction:
After this week's pullout from the Gaza strip, a bold move that will surely give Israel the upper hand when it comes to public opinion, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said:
"To an outstretche dhand of peace, we will respond with an olive branch, but fire will be met with fire more intense than ever."
I am anticipating trouble with Iran. Naturally, I cannot predict how it will start or when, but I have a feeling that Israel will soon become entangled with Iran, and the US will be close behind Israel, wiping up each fingerprint. Knowing what we know about the aspirations and heavy hands in US foreign policy of neconservatives like Douglas Feith, Michael Ledeen, and the rest of the PNAC members, nothing would surprise me.