Everyone from Keith Olbermann to Ben Affleck got to demonstrate some fair and balanced venom last week directed at the Democratic Congress for their so-called "cave in" over the Iraq Supplemental Bill without guidelines for withdrawal. What's the surprise? Bush and the Wild Bunch may have lost their rubber stamp majority, but they're still looking to portray Democrats as abandoning our soldiers in the field on Memorial Day and thus, the cause of our increasing disaster. The Bushies have built so many straw men, they should have an art festival in the desert and burn them. But one skirmish doth not a battle make. Rather than send their troops into the fray like Pickett's Charge, some Democrats are keeping their powder dry and waiting until they have the votes to override a presidential veto.
I am not surprised. Since Bush's war is exactly like Vietnam, it will take more than one vote to force his hand. I, and others like me, in our little corner of West Tennessee, elected a liberal, anti-war Democrat to represent us in Congress, so we expected that his vote would be consistent with our wishes to end this war. Had Harold Ford, Jr. supported Rep. Steve Cohen's candidacy and run as a true Democrat, rather than soul brother to Joe Lieberman, he would be sitting in the Senate today. I don't blame the Democrats for appearing timid in the face of potential vilification. Even the fiercest partisan must admit the presence of many legislators who's sole purpose is raising money for reelection. Their fingers are constantly in the wind, their eyes are on the focus groups, and their ears are attuned to their political advisers. So, I don't blame the Democrats for vaccilating; I blame you and your complacency for not making yourself clearly understood. If your congressman or senator voted to continue funding this war and you are angry about it, it is your obligation to forcefully deliver the message.
Fortunately, it is not too late. Citizens who elected a Congress to put an end to the Bush atrocities must demand representation and the pressure must be maintained until a veto-proof majority is obtained. Netroots (i.e. e-mail, blogs, and postings) have proven to be effective. Even if a lonely staffer is at the other end of the computer, they will read your mail because data and public opinion are being compiled for a legislator. Find your Senator's or Representative's address at www.house.gov, or www.senate.gov. Another good link is www.congress.org.
Phone calls work and can be found at the same sights. Snail mail does not work because of the unsolved postal scares after 9/11. Some of these folks just don't know how to vote unless you tell them.
My heart breaks over the daily body count and the carnage in Iraq. These insideous roadside bombs make sitting ducks of our troops. But the U.S. Embassy, the largest in the world, is on schedule to be finished right in the same spot as one of Saddam's guilded palaces. There was never an exit strategy because we never intended to exit. At least not until the Bush puppet government can sign over international oil leases to the U.S. Cindy Sheehan deserves a rest. Now everyone, just like 1968, must choose a side and fight for peace individually. Only I never believed we would have had to fight this same battle twice. Sometimes I wonder when everyone who was affected by the Vietnam era will awaken from their sleep-walking and raise their voices, especially now when the communication revolution allows you to express yourself so readily and easily. Your representatives are on vacation now, probably just waiting to hear from you.
"The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people."
Martin Luther King, Jr.