Sunday, February 18, 2007

Unfortunately Cynicism is the Only Answer

Washington Post blasts Rep. Murtha first about his comments wherein he implies House debate being not important (the resolution which opposes Iraq war escalation) and secondly the cynicism implied in his suggestion to link the coming war budget to Army preparedness. On the other hand NYT wants Congress to link war financing to the benchmarks attained by Iraqi government.

(Washington Post Editorial ‘Not the Real Vote’; )
(New York Times Editorial ‘On to the Hard Part on Iraq’; )

Both these editorials indicate how Americans are still ready to believe this White House and how Americans are gullible for exploitation by this President.

Rep. Murtha indeed may be contradictory and cynical in advocating his line of politicking within Congress. But what do we do when this Administration continues to pour more American forces and then presents it as fait accompli to the Congress in funding this escalation while along the way preparing for another war with Iran?

It needs to be understood that regardless of constutionality and political acceptance; once American soldiers leave shores; they must be financed in all circumstances. There is no compromise even when a President is literally a murder of these troops by dispatching them in a war of no use. This means these editorials need to understand that there is no way, simply no way, for Congress to stop these soldiers once they are outside of USA and then return of those troops is totally dependent on the Commander-in-Chief for all practical purposes. It does not matter how many strict bench marks Congress set for the Iraqi government to attain or to what an extent Congress attempts to micro-manage the war. And this is exactly what VP Cheney and Pres. Bush know.

It is not in the possibility of realm for Rep. Murtha to change the American constitution and political system so that the Congress has some effective control on the war conduct. Americans pride for their President as the CEO – supreme and with total power. But when a CEO becomes rogue; the corporate board replaces that CEO. True there is impeachment, but for all practical purposes it is a dead letter due to the necessary requirement of getting it passed through both houses. American system is not like Parliamentary System where Union Cabinet can override Prime Minister or Parliament can pass simple majority no confidence vote to force resign Prime Minister and change the course of a war. The way American system works is Congress can only ‘declare’ a war; kind of starting of the race. After that it is all Presidents’ show. Though Gov. Bill Richardson is talking about binding ‘de-authorization’ resolution to end the war; troops being already in the war theatre kind of makes the resolution dependent on how far Pres. wants to listen to such resolutions and how far he is ready to bring them back.

And that is the real point. To believe Pres. Bush would alter his war policy in accordance to resolutions adopted by Congress is the height of naiveness. Both Washington Post and New York Times are victims of this naiveness. One only needs to read Frank Rich’s columns in NYT to understand the machinations this administration is up to; or the extent to which this Pres. would lie while pursuing his policy. What 6 years of Pres. Bush’s rule have shown us is Pres. Bush will continue his policies until it is impossible to stretch any further. With the deployment of troops in the Iraq war, he does not have to stretch it any further. He knows perfectly well, once the troops leave America; he has got what he wants.

It may be sad or utter low level ‘gutter politics’, but what Rep. Murtha is proposing; that is the only way to assert some control on the conduct of the war and prevent any new wars. It is not Rep. Murtha’s fault that American system is so lacking when it comes to wielding some rational control on the war proceedings. So much for the great vaunted American political system and the great institution of Presidency!

What we want is Rep. Murtha to be as ruthless as this White House is in furthering his plan to strangle the Commander-in-chief. Too bad that path is cynical. Well, we can say that it is an opportunity for Rep. Murtha to show the leadership courage – how much criticism and condemnation he can sustain while pursuing his war financing bills.

Umesh Patil
Cupertino, CA 95014
February 17, 2007.

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