Well, the good news is, the US still hasn’t bombed Iran, and with the Iranians basking in the glow of worldwide goodwill after releasing their British captives. I don’t think the Bush junta is quite crazy enough to piss in the soup by initiating hostilities any time too soon. Another month or two, maybe….
The bad news is, when they do, the Democrats have already acquiesced to it—and I’m not just talking about Hillary and Barak and John Edwards’ campaign rhetoric, I’m talking about “Give ‘em heck Harry” Reid and company removing a clause from the Iraq war budget bill that would have prevented the Bush junta from spending money to widen the war into Iran without Congressional approval. And, speaking of Congressional approval, the “bring the troops home sooner or later” bills passed by the House and Senate and threatened with veto by Mr. Bush include funding to continue the war well past the so-called deadlines set by Congress. All Mr. Bush is throwing a tantrum about, it seems to me, is that he didn’t get everything he wanted for Christmas. Spoiled brat.
One thing the Dems did give him, besides enough rope to hang himself, was a little-noticed “benchmark” that the Iraqi government is going to have to meet to show its power and good faith. That benchmark is known as the “Iraq Hydrocarbon Act,” which is even now being considered by Iraq’s legislature. When it does get mentioned in this country, Dems and Repugs alike refer to provisions in it that direct that Iraqi oil revenue be shared among all ethnic groups and parts of the country. What they don’t mention is that this legislation also calls for the privatization of Iraq’s oil resources in a manner unique in the Middle East but dear to the hearts of Exxon, Shell, and BP, who will get first dibs on about 80% of Iraq’s oil, pretty much free and clear. The revenue sharing provision refers only to the 20% of Iraqi oil that would remain under Iraqi control. So much for “using Iraq’s oil resources to rebuild the country.” And some people wonder why they hate us!
Let’s revisit my favorite metaphor for this war, but expand it a little bit. The occupation of Poland is not going well. The Germans are encountering a lot of resistance, and the Reichstag is growing nervous about the escalating cost of keeping Poland under Germany’s bootheel. Some delegates to the Reichstag think Germany ought to pull some troops out of Poland, as long as the puppet Polish government can keep its people subservient and let Germany exploit Poland’s mineral resources. There is no debate in the Reichstag about whether it was a criminal act for Germany to invade Poland, only debate about the best way to go forward with Poland as a vassal state of Germany. Plus, the Reichstag agrees that it would probably be a good idea to invade Russia. That’s what we’re hearing from about 95% of the Democratic Party these days. Only Dennis Kucinich and seven other representatives voted against the Dems’ so-called end-the war proposal, which is really a prolong the war proposal. The Dems are all for empire, make no mistake.
That’s why they’re so happy to jump on the Repugs about the incredible growing list of irregularities at the Justice Department. There’s no debate about whether to have an empire there, only a debate about how the empire should be run. The good news is, the Repugs deserve every kick in the ass the Dems can land. Maybe this one will get impeachment on the table where it belongs.