I thought I would write today about the speech from our president yesterday but then I read the transcript and realized there was nothing new to report on. It was the same droning speech we have heard for the past five years. A little "victory" here, a little "greatest ideological struggle of our time" there, and voila! Once again in defiance of all rational thought on the planet, George Bush stared into the camera with that glazed over-deer-in-the-headlights look (as only he can do) and proceeded to make the case for the unnecessary deaths of countless more American children.
Moving past the speech, I was going through the latest news when story after story reminded me that we are in a war here at home too. It is a war of words, fought in battles between the truth and rhetorical and irresponsible journalism. It is the struggle for the hearts and minds of the average American and it is waged not with bullets and bombs but sound-bites and catch phrases. With each passing article that chooses the framing of words as opposed to their actual truth, the writers must begin to realize that the ink on their hands is rapidly running red with the blood of innocents.
There is a way to stop this war. The American people sent a new Congress to work this month with the mandate they needed to stop the bloodshed and bring home America's children. Unfortunately, it seems the new Democratic Congress is far too content to play politics in the early going. Some defer to the president, waiting for him to make the first mistake. Of course he did last night but the game the dems are playing they cannot win because Bush has nothing to play for. He gets to saunter off into the world of presidential libraries in another two years. The real pawns in this political game of chess are the troops dying in the sands of Iraq every day. Bush asked for over 20,000 more pawns yesterday. It is clear he has no grasp upon reality as all sane analyses have stated this will not work. It is imperative that Congress stands up for the American people and politely slap Mr. Bush back into reality. The mandate handed to the Congress this past November was not to add more troops but to figure out how to get the ones that are there, home.
I have seen the press conferences from well-intended Democrats who are pretending they do not understand precedent or history. They can stop this war and they must unless they wish to be relegated to a two-year wonder. It is irresponsible to hide behind their own political fears. I do however understand why they fear. They fear because of the irresponsible media that follows the bidding of PR vultures. I have seen story after story that refers to the Congressional power of the purse-strings as "defunding the troops." I cannot imagine anything more irresponsible than to continue to propagate this term.
The president is refusing to listen to good counsel. He is refusing to listen to General after General. He is refusing to listen to the Iraq Study Group. He is refusing to listen to his own party. What is worse is he is refusing to listen to the American people. While George W. Bush may be the Commander in Chief, the Constitution grants him no power to actually wage war. That is left up to the Congress, who represents the people of this country. The people of this country have already voted and decided and now it is up to Congress to do their job. They do that job be rescinding the war powers they granted under false pretenses and stop funding this war with no end. It has nothing to do with "defunding the troops." They need to stop funding the delusion that Iraq will be a stable democracy. They need to stop funding the idiocy that thinks 20,000 more troops will solve 4,000 years of civil war. They need to stop funding a president gone out of control. Call it defunding the madness, defunding the idiocy, defunding the needless bloodshed based on lies, defunding the war, defunding the reckless and potentially criminal behavior of our president. Call it anything that is vaguely truthful. Just stop the madness of pretending that the people who wish to save the lives of the troops from needlessly being killed, are somehow advocating for the defunding of those very troops. It is beyond insulting and unseemly; it is contributory to the bloodletting.
Any person in any form of media that continues to refer to the congressional power to stop the deaths of thousands of people as "defunding the troops" is at best a liar and at worst a fool. Either way, they must then share the burden of guilt. They must be deemed as guilty as those who make reckless decisions with the lives of other people's children. Words have meaning, they have power, they can kill. They are not to be treated casually or carelessly. They need to be representative of the truth, not spin. There are lives at stake. There is blood on the line. When you take pen to paper to report or provide opinion, you are accountable for the words you write. Every person that writes or reports that the dems are considering "defunding the troops", they may as well have picked up a gun and shot one of them dead themselves.
I saw today that a brave republican Congressman has promised to filibuster any attempt to stop the funding of the madness in Iraq. Good, now the Democrats need to do their duty and let people line up publicly for what they stand for. This way the voters will know who to vote out in two years. Let us just see who lines up for more deaths and more blood. Let us see who lines up for the will of the people and the lives of our children. Either way, stop playing politics with the blood of other people's kids. They aren't pawns in this sick game. If you are a politician, tell us what you stand for. If you are reporting on or providing opinion on this sorry dance, do so with accountability. Before taking your pen to paper, wash your blood stained hands of the rhetoric and stand on the truth. Otherwise, you are no better then those fools who bravely send other people to die for failed ideologies and lies.