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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 05:47 PM
Original message
Quite an interesting perspective on the November election.
October 4, 2006

Op-Ed Columnist

If I Had One Wish
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

There are now so many books out on the Bush policy in Iraq with variations of the word fiasco in the title or the text that bookstores are surely going to have to be redesigned to create shelf space for this war: Welcome to Barnes & Noble: We have fiction and nonfiction on the main floor, poetry and mystery in the corner, childrens books upstairs and the Bush Fiasco section across the entire basement.

And the war isnt even over yet.

If there is a theme common to all these books it is the word incompetence. Reading Bob Woodwards State of Denial, about the completely dysfunctional manner in which the Bush national security team has conducted the Iraq war the president reportedly had to order Don Rumsfeld to return Condi Rices phone calls leaves you disgusted.

Which brings me to this Novembers elections. New York Times columnists are not allowed to endorse candidates, but I checked the rulebook the other day, and theres no rule against rooting for a general outcome. So here is my fervent wish: For the sake of the country, I really hope the Republicans lose the House and the Senate to the Democrats by one seat in each chamber.

It is so important that the Republicans lose, because if the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice team can get away with the grotesque incompetence they have exhibited in Iraq a war that was not preordained to fail, but was never given a proper chance to succeed it makes this country look like a banana republic.

If on the morning after the election these people come out smirking that their efforts to scare the public into voting again for their candidates worked, and therefore they can just stay the present course in Iraq which is not working it will send a terrible message about our democracy. It will tell us that the country is so divided, and so many districts gerrymandered in favor of Republicans, that performance does not matter any longer. Unless you are caught sending e-mail to a Congressional page soliciting sex, your seat is safe.

If we have any chance of salvaging Iraq and solving some of our real problems at home, it will only be as a result of some electoral shock treatment delivered to a Republican Party that has failed to demand even the most minimal competence and planning from its leaders.

But the reason I want the Democrats to win by only one seat in both the House and the Senate is because I want them to have such a slim margin that they will have to govern from the center to look for bipartisan fixes to the countrys major issues, which is the only way they can be addressed.

Were not just in a state of denial about Iraq, remarked Michael Mandelbaum, the author of The Case for Goliath. Were also in a state of denial about the deficit, health care, energy and Social Security.

Maybe the deficit can wait. But there is something immoral about kicking Iraq down the road for someone else to deal with it. Because the burden of Iraq falls unfairly and harshly on one small segment of our population: U.S. military troops and their families.

Yes, Mr. Bushs original vision of a unified democratic Iraq was compelling and important. But its not happening. Its become the second choice of too many Iraqis. Too many Kurds just want their own state; too many Shiites just want their own pro-Iranian zone in the south; too many Sunnis want the old order. Real democracy is too many Iraqis second choice. If that doesnt change, we cant go on having our first-choice kids dying for Iraqis second choice. Our top military people know things arent working. But they also know the Bush team wont order a Plan B, because it would be construed as an admission of failure and used in domestic politics. So we are staying a failing course.

You know how they say that after a while people start to look like their pets? Well, were starting to look like Iraq a bunch of warring political tribes incapable of acting in common for the greater good.

So heres hoping the Republicans lose the House and the Senate and realize that if they dont start acting responsibly theyll suffer an even worse defeat in 08. And heres hoping the Democrats win by just enough to love being back in power, but by such a slim margin they know that if they dont produce something by 08, theyll get defeated again.

Without restoring a legislative center that can tackle hard issues and demand sacrifices, were just going to keep kicking problems down the road from Iraq to Social Security until the road reaches a cliff and we plunge over the side.

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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Asshole.
He's just mad because he thinks Bushco has fucked up the war. This is just another form of denial. Friedman doesn't get it that we should never have been there in the first place, that we went in for bogus purposes, and that the war has been a huge success for the Iraqeteers(TM) like Halliburton & similar lowlife.
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mazzarro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Ditto that -- n/t
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 06:04 PM by mazzarro
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Exactly...
Edited on Sun Oct-08-06 06:17 PM by sendero
... Friedman and his ilk are just as responsible for this disaster as anyone is. His continual cheerleading before and after the start of the war, plus the FACT that as a self-proclaimed expert on the middle east he should have had a clue, we all did, that this war couldn't succeed NO MATTER WHAT.

All the blather about troop counts and such is and was nonsense, nothing could have made debacle turn out any different.

Screw Friedman and every other asshole now trying to distance themselves from this fiasco.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. So this * apologist has seen the light? He was part of the problem. nt
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RufusEarl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
4. I also disagree with his assessment of dem's governing from the middle,
i hope when the Dem's win they win big so they can govern from a progressive position. It may be the only chance to get our country back to working for the people, instead of just the elite.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
6. "...a war that was not preordained to fail..." ???
There are so many howlers in this Friedman piece, it's difficult to know where to begin, isn't it?

A war in which the vice president's own company had carte blanche to "lose" billions of dollars providing phantom services was "not preordained to fail"?

A war designed by the Oiligarchy, drooling over the maps of Iraqi oil fields, was "not preordained to fail"?

A war in which those who spoke Arabic and Farsi were purged from the occupation team, and replaced by stupid young Bushite Republicans, was "not preordained to fail"?

A war that was completely unnecessary and illegal, and that 56% of the American people opposed before it was even started, was "not preordained to fail"?

A war in which the war profiteering corporate news monopolies--the NYT prime among them--completely abdicated their responsibility to call the Bush Junta on its lies, and to hold them accountable for their thievery, was not "preordained to fail"?

A war of "shock and awe" slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent people, in which the first thing most Iraqis knew about us is that we torture people for stealing bread, was "not preordained to fail"?

This smug shithead has a lot of nerve talking about governing from the "middle." How about governing with just a modicum of decency?

But Friedman may in fact be a good predictor of what the Bush Junta has planned: a "close" election, compliments of their good buddies at Diebold and ES&S, in which the decent Democrats are outnumbered by the Bushite Democrats (the ones, for instance, who vote for torture) and the Bush "pod people," and thus our country will be hogtied to this war for decades to come, and will never take the strong measures needed to extract ourselves from it, and to reform this country as it should be reformed.

Cheney keeps predicting that they will "win." It seems nuts, but there it is. And the truth of it is that they, in fact, now have the capability to re-(s)elect themselves, using TRADE SECRET, PROPRIETARY programming code in all the new electronic voting systems, owned and controlled by Bushite corporations. These extremely insecure and insider hackable machines have proliferated all over the country. One insider hacker and a couple of minutes is all it takes to change millions of votes, leaving no trace. That's how vulnerable we are. And it would be quite smart on the part of these election thieves and treasonous individuals to temper their vote stealing this time in just the way Friedman suggests: a paralyzed Congress that can do nothing to investigate Bushite crimes, that can't stop the war, and that can't reform anything, not even the election system.

To those who object to SECRET vote counting by BUSHITE corporations, they will say, 'Look! It's not fixed. The Democrats won!' To those 70% of the American people who want this war ended now, they will say, 'But we must govern 'from the middle.' We must finish the job we set out to do. We must STABILIZE Iraq.' And when the Gulf of Tonkin-type incident that the Bushites are holding in their back pocket for Iran, occurs, they will say, 'Look, we just responded to an attack. We're just defending American's honor. We can't give in to 'the terrorists.''

We'll likely be hearing all this 3 to 4 months from now, from Thomas Friedman--the NYT's chief Bush Junta shill, now that Judith Miller is gone. I hope I am wrong, but that's sure what the set-up looks like.

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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Stop that.
You're scaring me. I get chills reading your scenario. It makes too much sense. If one can use a word like "sense" in this Alice-in-Wonderland 21st century.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yeah, I know. I scared myself writing it. But I do think we need to
face truth and reality especially in the way we strategize to defeat this Junta. To me, THE most important thing we must do is to get rid of these highly riggable electronic voting machines. I'm hoping for massive Absentee Ballot voting this fall, that could bring this system down, by the pressure on local/state electional officials. How can they defend--or retain--these "trade secret" vote counting machines--if no one will vote on them?

The "trade secret" code is a fundamental violation of democracy. We MUST NOT AGREE to vote on these machines. And if everyone who despises the Bush Junta--60% to 70% of the American people--votes by Absentee Ballot, we can FORCE reform NOW, before it's too late.

And if that fails, we get better organized for next time. I strongly believe that we will win, in the end, and restore democracy here. I really do. But we must get better at identifying the mechanisms by which they are controlling the country.

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. But Foley's online solicitations were Not preordained to fail!
He was never given the proper chance to succeed, the poor dear.

Same with Iraq...
:sarcasm:
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. Note how the Overclass wants Dems constantly beaten back and says so.
I first noticed Joe Klein talking this way in 1992.

The only good Dem majority is an unstable one where Repubs are still allowed to rule "from the center" = right. This is how the sophists move the debate.

Another important tool in their lexicon over the past 25 years has been convincing magazine-reading Americans that they are better, richer, greedier and more ambitious (and DESERVEDLY so) than other Americans.
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mrreowwr_kittty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-08-06 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
11. Only by one seat
And be like Lieberman.

Fuck you very much Friedman. :grr:
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