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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

a democratic disconnect

it is remarkable that no american political figure of weight has arisen to give voice/articulate/represent the large number of americans that do not share the view that our continued presence in irak serves much purpose... the latest polling numbers reflect a now majority opinion among americans that the time has come to exit irak.. yet even democrats such as hillary clinton are uncomfortable representing this view..asked in a recent CNN interview about an exit strategy for irak hillary looked like she had swallowed a frog... this lack of political representation for an alternative strategy to the present course in irak is a major "democratic disconnect"... it seems that for our elected representatives the benefits of being viewed as "tough on terror" or just plain "tough", regardless of the now vox populi reality that the war in irak and terror fighting have little in common and that the so called war is not going well, outweigh the benefits of defending our country and representing the citizenry....

our elected officials continue to misrepresent or dissemble on the truth..the bush administration seems to live in an imaginary universe where as cheney would have it we are witnessing the insurgency in its last throes.. but this is not surprising as the american people were lied to repeatedly in order to get them to acquiesce to a needless war, then the full force of banana patriotism was made to bear on any attempts to dissent (the day after invading irak various talking heads on the networks and CNN cautioned the american people: "well, before the decision was made to go to war in irak one could protest but NOW that we are actually going in we have to support the president"), and now even with a majority of the american people against this failing enterprise it seems the people are to be ignored...

it is odd that the bush administration's- and i would go so far as to say the establishment's- most succesfull rationale- articulated long after the invasion- for its foreign policy adventurism is the need to spread freedom and democracy while here at home our government remains bent on ignoring the wishes of its citizens... the government, of course, should not automatically follow poll results but its remarkable that not one frontline politician has the "guts" to represent a widely shared belief among large segments of voters! one would think some acute politician would want to be popular! instead the mantra is repeated: "oh, if we left now it would be a disaster" without much substantiation... sort of a "just believe us.. we know what we're doing..this is complicated business and you are just too stupid to understand".....perhaps no political figure wants to be the first to come out with the bad news (first mover disadvantage?).. but the reality is starting to resemble a big elephant in a room and at some not too distant tipping point someone is bound to see it..

have we not been here before? vietnam..most americans wanted to end that sordid affair by 1970 and yet the government kept insisting on pushing that rock up the hill with president nixon in the face of widespread domestic opposition going as far as arguing in his "silent majority" speech of november 1969 that good hardworking americans who in the main went about their business without causing trouble (a dig at anti-war demonstrators) backed his policy in vietnam.. it would take the US another five years and more blood and treasure to listen to reason and the will of the people and leave Vietnam...lets not make the same mistake again!!!!!

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