The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

Put Up Or Shut Up

Posted by Daniel on Thursday, January 11, 2007

Did you watch last nights’ speech by President Bush? If you didn’t, you’re in the minority.

I know, “Who cares? He’s only going to keep repeating the same shit over and over and pepper it all with references to 9/11.”

On that, you would have been half right. He did, in fact, make one reference to 9/11…but then that is all he’s really ever had, isn’t it?

Last nights speech came at a time when this President has, quite literally, everything riding on Iraq. Every reason this country supposedly went to war with Iraq is now a red herring. No WMD’s. Saddam is now pushing up daisies. Iraq is basking in the warm fuzzy hug of democracy.

Okay, two out of three ain’t bad, right?

After Bush’s speech last night, there can be no lingering doubt that Iraq is in a bloody civil war, and no matter how much those neocons who still wish to deny it rant and rave, it is only going to get more bloody in the days, weeks and months to come.

The President wishes to send an additional 2200+ military and 6.8 billion dollars into Iraq to help quell the insurgency. Never mind that this increased troop level will only match that of the level of 2005. That level was dropped in 2006 by the same level only to appease some moderate republican and independent voters.

Well, in November 2006 the voters spoke, overwhelmingly telling the President, “We no longer want to own this war. We want out. We want our kids home…alive.” After the elections, the President said, “The voters have spoken, and I have heard them.”

Now it appears that Mr. Bush is saying, “The voters have spoken, and I have heard them. They are all wrong.”

Hubris or hybris (Greek ὕβρις), according to its modern usage, is exaggerated self pride or self-confidence, often resulting in fatal retribution. – Wikipedia

Now, having truly proven to the world that he is not only out of touch with the reality in Iraq, the President has turned the situatin there into what is now being termed the “9-11 service”.

“9-11, what is your emergency?”

Yes, we have sectarian violence on the streets of Bagdad and throughout Iraq

“Is the victim concious?”

It’s hard to say. Please send help.

“Okay sir, please remain calm and try to keep the country consious and comfortable. 2200+ troops and 6.8 billion dollars are on their way. Please remain on the line until they get there.”

The Maliki government in Iraq, it seems, has been neutered by Saddar and his sectarian followers. It just doesn’t appear hopeful for him…and because of that, the U.S.

So it falls to the newly-elected Congress to show the fortitude they so loudly showed when they began the current session. It is within their constitutional perview to tell the President, “We, as a body elected, cannot approve sending additional military into what is a lost cause. Neither can we approve additional funding for such.”

Congress has the authority to pass a defense spending budget that stricly forbids any of that funding to pay for additional troops being sent to Iraq. It’s very simple. The president will get his defense budget, but it will include the above caveat. If the President chooses to veto the bill because it doesn’t allow him the dollars to fund his “surge”, he bears the sole responsibility of not passing a defense budget that would fund, in part, the existing military presence in Iraq.

So here we are. The Maliki government must show it has the balls to stand it’s own people up against insurgents. If they want freedom and some sort of Democracy, they will do – amongst themselves, for themselves and by themselves – what needs to be done. Period.


The new U.S. Congress must step up to the plate and tell Mr. Bush that he no longer has free reign and a bottomless pocket. Checks & Balances have to come back into play here. Oversight must once again become the standard. Lives are at stake and blood has been shed because of this Presidents’ arrogance. This congress, like the President, from this day forward has only one chance to get things right in Iraq.

The bottom line for Congress, President Bush and President Maliki is, quite simply, put up or shut up. Because the American people (who were NOT wrong in November), the Iraqi people and the world are now watching with greater interest, hope and concern.


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