Despite overwhelming calls opposing the war, the Democrats abandoned their constituents today in favor of the oil company dominated administration. Now we have to wait for the blood to flow. Luckily for our so-called representatives, the campaign contributions will continue to flow into their coffers. To the Democrats in Congress, I ask: How does it feel to have blood on your hands?
I can’t help but wonder where these members of Congress will stand when body bags start coming home. When we create an even greater disaster in Iraq, and generate even more terrorists who will come home to attack America. They can’t say that they were simply following the will of their constituents – too many offices have said that they received overwhelming calls against the war, and voted for it anyway.
The White House says they don’t want a war, but every breath, every move takes us closer to the brink. Today the New York Times quoted “senior administration officials” saying that even if the Iraqis stage an internal coup and throw out or kill Saddam Hussein, we will still likely have a military occupation of Iraq.
So the question now is: how do we prevent this from completely inflaming the Islamic world? Jingoistic Americans have written “Who cares if it inflames the Islamic world?” I care, and anyone who wants peace with the rest of the world should care. We still need to press the administration to hold to their statements: war only as a last resort, and whatever else we do, we must do what we can to keep from making Iraq less of a hell than it already is.
Our history in recent conflicts has been to throw bombs from a distance. We won’t be able to that this time. Now we’re going to have to work to improve the lives of Iraqis in Iraq, and not just the cronies of the oil companies, but the majority Shia population which has been pushed down by Saddam. Otherwise, we’re merely going to infuriate the population. What happens when you infuriate the locals? Ask the fifty-seven thousand American dead in Vietnam.
Finally, we must press for the government to take care of the troops this time. The treatment of returning veterans from Vietnam and the Gulf War was nothing short of shameful. Unfortunately, while Congress just passed a huge defense budget — $355 billion this year – the Department of Veterans Affairs is still being cut, and is being asked to turn patients away yet again. What will happen to the returning veterans of Gulf War II?