Treason is but trusted like the fox,
Who never so tame, so cherished and locked up,
Will have a wild trick of his ancestors." --Shakespeare
I was in the process of my daily brush-off of that nagging suspicion of mine that there's no way that Bush will just allow his entire autocracy to wither and withdraw in the face of the election of one of the Democratic candidates -- all of them pledged to end his manufactured assault and occupation of Iraq which he insists is the 'center' of his manufactured terror war -- when I heard the statements of his Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, threatening layoffs of military personnel and the cannibalizing of the existing Defense budget to cover costs for continuing their vastly unpopular mission in Iraq over the objections of the majority of Americans and a clear majority in Congress.
It was a rare display of backbone from Democratic leaders in both houses -- declaring that they wouldn't part with any more money for Iraq until Bush agreed to an end date and committed himself to an orderly withdrawal -- which motivated Bush's Pentagon to their bullying and pouting. It's not like Congress hasn't already given Bush 'more money for Iraq than he knows what to do with,' as Senate Leader Reid, himself said in a defiant press conference focusing on the costs of the occupation which were highlighted in a 21-page report pegging the total cost of Bush's dual occupations at $3.5 trillion.
Republicans on the congressional Joint Economic Committee responded to the Democrat's Iraq report by demanding it be withdrawn. But the White House and their Pentagon toadies aren't going to be satisfied to just demand that Democrats put their blinders and administration feed bag back on. Instead of bending to the will of the American people and surrender their destructive, deadly fiasco, the cabal has decided to threaten the American people with the military forces' own demise, much like O.J. with the gun to his head in a slow-motion flight from justice.
"There is a misperception (Bushite grammar) that this department can continue funding our troops in the field for an indefinite period of time through accounting maneuvers, that we can shuffle money around the department. This is a serious misconception," Gates said. “If the Congress does not provide bridge funding this week on a bill the president will sign, and given the uncertainty of future action in December, by the end of this week -- as a prudent manager -- I will be obliged to take a series of anticipatory steps,” Gates warned.
Democrats have long argued that the Pentagon has more than enough money to effect the withdrawal of troops from Iraq; even if they have to reach into the existing budget to make it happen. Others, arguing for an end to the occupation, but, rejecting a cut-off of essential funds that troops might need for their survival and well-being while left stranded in Iraq, have insisted that Bush has more than enough options to continue funding his occupation to the end of his term without the money he's making such a political spectacle about.
The reality is, Bush will never voluntarily end his occupation as long as he is allowed the means to proceed, with or without any more authorizations from Congress. If Bush decides to bull through and cast aside the demonstrated will of Americans' representatives in Congress, and continue his occupation, he, alone, will have to bear the responsibility for whatever structure or component of our government or our nation's defenses he chooses (again) to rape, disrupt, or dismantle. But, the American people, and those abroad affected by his autocratic militarism, will bear the brunt of the consequences from his arrogance.
Despite the glaring contradiction of Democrat's past acquiescence to Bush in providing funding enough to last (Murtha insisted yesterday) until March 2008, the Democratic withdrawal legislation passed in the House gave up another $50 billion, which both leaders argued is Bush's to either accept or reject; take it or leave it. We'll see.
The administration and their Pentagon cohorts are straining to make their imperious denial over the evaporation of American support for any mission in Iraq Bush or his generals dream up, look like a defense of national security. But, apart from the declarations by the administration that it's been more effective to fight bin-laden in Iraq than in Afghanistan/Pakistan, where the 9-11 suspect and instigator of terrorism worldwide been allowed safe haven from the bulk of our military resources and manpower, there is no evidence at all that there is anything in Iraq for Americans to defend or defend against.
“It seems to me that there ought to be some deference to those who are running the war -- the generals -- at the pace at which this drawdown should take place,” Gates told reporters.
The Democratic withdrawal proposal "would only partially fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but fully embolden our enemies," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said in a statement Wednesday.
It's more than a wonder and concern that administration shills for Bush's Iraq occupation still refuse to recognize the enabling effects of their own mindless military aggression in the Middle East. Their denial has become a disease which is both malignant and infectious. In Pakistan, it's hard not to regard Musharraf's autocratic attempts to control his country's electoral process as a bit production of Bush's own imperialistic opus.
Daniel Ellsberg, in an article published this week in the American Free Press, had no hesitancy in his own accusations of an established American dictatorship in Bush's reign. "Let me simplify . . . and not just to be rhetorical," he wrote. "A coup has (already) occurred."
It's becoming difficult to imagine Bush and his cronies voluntarily relinquishing the gains they've achieved through their own anti-democratic maneuvering and obstruction. It's easy to imagine Bush and Cheney insisting that they are the only ones who can reasonably defend America against the effects of their own contrived 'war on terror,' because of an elected Democrat's insistence on ending their Iraq folly.
I'm still brushing those nagging reservations I have, away into that little, naive compartment in my mind where I want to believe in the resolve of Americans (and our representatives in Congress) to stand in the way of such tyranny in our own country. But, I've been watching our Congress and listening to the president . . .