Sunday, January 30, 2005

Which Way For The Left?

It would appear the anti-war movement is in near as much disarray as the Democratic Party. AlterNet Senior Editor Lakshmi Chaudhry has recently come under attack for supposedly advocating the continuation of the occupation. Patsified asks “if it was worth it”. I’m sure there will be a thorough trashing of Senator Kerry and his MTP appearance in the coming week, even though many, on the left even, support his exact position on Iraq and have since the beginning. BOPNEWS seems to have it right to me, regardless of the validity of the elections or the zeal of the resistance, the real cause of failure has been "the weakness of our policy and execution."

Erik Leaver writes , that “beyond, “bring the troops home,”…that we (the left) have done a poor job of providing a deeper alternative vision for U.S. security policy.” U.S. security policy certainly includes foreign policy, from trade to the environment to social justice as is laid out in Tom Hayden’s Appeal to Global Conscience , which are critical aspects of global peace that I fully support. But it also relates to countries in turmoil, Sudan , Chad , Myanmar and more. If we claim to care about genocide and oppression in these countries, how can we, in good conscience, throw up our hands when discussing the future of our Iraq ? Has anyone thought ahead ten years to the reaction of a humanitarian crisis in Iraq should they have “their dictatorship, their civil war”, as Jonathan Schell also writes? Human Rights Watch already reports that “unlawful arrest, long-term incommunicado detention, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees (including children) by Iraqi authorities have become routine and commonplace.” It would seem this is the appropriate time to apply an ounce of prevention.

As Senator Kerry, Senator Kennedy, and everyone on the left has stated, there must be no permanent presence in Iraq . True democracy and freedom means a sovereign Iraq . It would seem to me that this would be the central point on which everyone could rally around, a sovereign Iraq with a government of their choosing.

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3 Comments:

Blogger beachmom1 said...

I think Kerry's performance on MTP was mixed. It was a timing problem -- on the one hand, he came across as a bit negative on the elections, which went surprisingly well, not a good move in my view. However, he gave a concise 4 point plan for success in Iraq: training Iraqis, reconstruction and restoration of services, bring in the international community, and elections. The last one has occurred. Bush has been unsuccessful on the first 3. But Democrats are all over the place on this issue. Some want a complete pullout, others want us to stay and get the job done, others want to pull out if a, b, and c happen. I am frustrated with my party and Kerry! We need a united front that doesn't just criticize Bush but gives positives steps that need to be taken in Iraq for success. Until we do, we are doomed for Republican rule for years to come . . . A missed opportunity for Kerry to really shine. :(

2:40 PM  
Blogger IFK Editor said...

While I agree Dems are floundering on how to react to Iraq, I'm not sure I would fault Kerry too much in that regard.

My talking points for Dems.

1. We're happy for the Iraqi People.
a. Now lets get to work and see it through.
b. Train the troops, faster.
c. Reconstruct faster
d. produce an exit plan so we know how to measure success.

2. Then hammer the administration on Foreign Policy.
a. While some say this proves Bush right I say the opposite: Clearly there are limits to American military power. America needs strong alliances and cooperation, not preemptive wars. Americans Don't want to be the world's police, enforcing democracy, when we're not taking care of our own. We're stronger with friends.

b. Remind them how wrong Bush was on WMD's, which was the stated purpose for invasion. Governments must have credibility with their people and the world.

c. We didn't invade Iraq for altruistic reasons, otherwise we'd be helping the good people of Sudan, North Korea, the Congo, and on and on.

If anything Bush's policy is flawed and bankrupting our country.

While Bush spins poetically about Freedom and tyranny, he realizes he's overextended. Of course they'll tell you the exact opposite.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Ron Chusid said...

In looking at Kerry's negative comments on the election, we must keep in mind that he was interviewed early Sunday. News reports at that time were saying that turnout was only around 20% in Sunni areas, which would raise questions as to how legitmate the elections would be considered.

Reports later in the day increased this to around 40%. We should know better than to listen to election results from early in the day!

Personally I think it is way too soon to tell how meaningful the Iraqui elections are. A lot depends upon what form of government comes out of these and whether the government is viewed as legitimate by both Iraquis and the rest of the world.

5:53 PM  

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