It was a good year for madness. Madness found the chance to manifest itself in many forms. Some would say too many, others would say not enough. Those who would say not enough would probably not think of it as madness like we do.
The madness began on January 12th in Bush’s State of the Union speech when he laid the groundwork for what would be another tumultuous year for our troops in the Middle East:
…Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq...
Americans realized Bush’s New Year’s Resolution was not to promote peace on Earth. The president in less than a minute sent a signal to the American people that Iraq would not be over anytime soon and that the war might be expanding into other areas in the Middle East.
The method for stalling any end to the Iraq war became threatening an illegal war on Iran. By threatening war with Iran, it forced Democrats to question the accepted "truth" that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon and would be an "imminent threat" if not responded to. It divided the anti-war bloc in America because some against the war in Iraq were not against taking on Iran.
Just days after the State of the Union speech, a White House meeting was held between Cheney, Gates, Rice, and other assistants on attacking Iran. It was decided that the attack would “be launched from the sea and Patriot missiles will guard all oil-producing countries in the region” and involved no plan to “compromise or negotiate with Syria or Iran.”
A day later Bush signed a clandestine directive “against Iranian officials and Revolutionary Guards officers behind a support and funding network for anti-American fighters in Iraq.” Under this directive, they raided an Iranian "liaison office" “detaining five men.”
The madness continued despite the objections to the thought of a possible war with Iran. Peter Pace, a marine general, continued to refuse to lie for the Bush administration on Iran and continued to say what he had been saying since March, which was that Iran was not involved in Iraq. It was found out that Karl Rove had rejected a peace offer from Iran. The build up to a new war also began to seem all too familiar as analysts, scholars, and average Americans realized the events occurring were exactly the same as the ones that had occurred before invading Iraq.
On the brink of another war and involved in two wars, one high-profile (Iraq) and the other not so high profile (Afghanistan), what would the Democrats do?
The Democrats went to work in their controlled Congress which they had won under the preconceived notion they had given the American people that the troops would be brought home this year.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed Bush had no “authority” to invade Iran. Majority Leader Harry Reid, of course, parroted that claim.
Yet, a few months later, this steadfastness exhibited was not seen when it came time to pass legislation. Instead, Americans witnessed Democrats nixing budget cuts that could have brought the Iraq war closer to an end.
Americans saw Democrats approve more money for the war than Bush had even asked for.