by Ron Fullwood
"Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose—and you allow him to make war at pleasure." --Rep. Abraham Lincoln, February 15, 1848
BUSH wants more money from Congress for his Iraq occupation and he wants it now. The lame-duck militarist claims to have already burned through the billions Congress gave him just months ago and is threatening to put our national security at risk (according to his own projections) in order to maintain and continue the failed mission which Americans have told him repeatedly to end.
In his weekend radio address, Bush scolded Congress for their delay in sending him legislation which would further fund his fiasco. "It is time for the Congress to do its job and give our troops what they need to protect America," he told listeners. Citing their reluctance to just hand over the money he requested in his February budget to "carry out combat operations against the enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq," Bush said the delay would "soon begin to have a damaging impact on the operations of our military."
However, it's his Senate republicans who are are refusing to advance the $50 billion the Democratic majority has already approved in the House. The reason is obvious. Democrats are insisting that Bush agree to some sort of timetable for an end to the dubious operation which has claimed over 3880 American lives and has sparked resistant violence which has resulted in the deaths of 100's of thousands Iraqi civilians. Republicans are determined to allow the administration to continue on indefinitely, without any rebuke or reprimand of the apparent deception of Bush's February assertion that "America's commitment (to Iraq) is not open-ended."
"If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people -- and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people," Bush told the American people from the White House library in February.
There is no evidence, at all, that Bush's Iraq diversion has done anything to "protect America," but, there's ample evidence (outlined repeatedly by the administration's own intelligence officials) that the invasion and occupation has fostered and fueled the violence of individuals who may be inclined to attack our nations or our interests and allies abroad. It has been demonstrated, however, that the safe haven he's provided the original 9-11 suspects for over six years in Afghanistan/Pakistan by virtue of his obsession with owning Iraq has allowed the terrorists a perfect platform to spread their anti-American propaganda around the world with impunity.
There's no evidence, at all, that any of the escalated military forces' increased deadly assaults on Iraqis has brought about any of the political reconciliation Bush promised was an integral rationale for his refusal to relent and follow the demonstrated will of the American people that he withdraw. It has been warned by Iraqi and American officials, however, that the military 'gains' need to be immediately followed by some sort of political reconciliation effort by the protected Iraqi regime or any perceived progress will quickly become moot.
"It's one thing to have brought the violence under some semblance of control, but it's another to follow up" with reconciliation, reconstruction and stabilization," Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte cautioned yesterday from Baghdad's green zone. Failure could result, Negroponte warned, in Iraq "falling back to the more violent patterns of the past."
It's a familiar reality though, from this White House, that there is absolutely no integrity or continuity in the actions taken by the administration which would actually address the repeated admonitions of even their own minions. The latest sickening evidence of Bush's determination to defiantly feather and indefinitely perpetuate his Iraq expedition came in last week's video-pact made between our lame-duck militarist and the main beneficiary of his coup, Maliki. The false treaty, the "Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America," has the unmistakable taint of Bush's presumption of the legitimacy of his own autocratic rule.
In the agreement that the U.S. Executive and their U.S. military commanders initiated and completed with the Iraqi government, unilaterally, without any congressional approval, Bush intends to initiate an indefinite, "long-term relationship" with Iraq which, his 'war czar,' General Lute said today, would include negotiations which could lead to the establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq. In a gaggle with Lute and White House press secretary Perino, the general was asked whether the agreement would result in a long-term military presence, and how large of a military presence would there be:
LUTE: (The) shape and size of any long-term, or longer than 2008, U.S. presence in Iraq will be a key matter for negotiation between the two parties, Iraq and the United States. So it's too soon to tell what shape and size that commitment will take. But you can be sure that that will be a key part of the negotiations that are framed in today's document.
Q And permanent bases?
LUTE: Likewise. That's another dimension of continuing U.S. support to the government of Iraq, and will certainly be a key item for negotiation next year.
In effect, the administration and their generals are busying themselves with perpetuating their manufactured military meddling in Iraq without any regard at all toward the will of Americans that they desist. Democracy be damned, the lame-duck militarist has found all the support he presumes he needs behind the presumption of his command of our nation's defenders. "Military leaders have told us what they need to do their job," Bush insisted in his address to Americans this weekend; to do the "job" that Bush has unilaterally decided.
His top man at the Pentagon has directed the Army and Marine Corps to "develop a plan to lay-off civilian employees, terminate contracts, and prepare our military bases across the country for reduced operations" in order raise enough money to continue his occupation in defiance of the insistence of the majority of the members of Congress (and a clear majority of Americans) that he withdraw.
It is the president, himself, who is threatening, and has put at risk our nation's defenses with his squandering of resources and manpower in Iraq. It is the president, himself, who is now threatening to cannibalize necessary elements of our national security to further his unsupported defense of his dubious Iraqi prize. His republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail are also threatening our nation's defenses in their refusal to rebuke Bush for continuing to force our soldiers to fight and die for an Iraqi regime which has no ambition greater than the defense of its own U.S. enabled position of contrived authority.
Bush has openly signaled his intention to stage a quiet coup of sorts - within the liberating bounds of his assumed presidency - over the most controlling lever of constitutional authority those we elect to Congress have over the Executive's ability to wage war; their ability to provide or withhold money. How Congress reacts to that defiance may well be the determining factor in the progress and success of the administration's (and their republican lackeys in Congress') last major betrayal of our democracy.
Offering the administration a dime without a definite commitment to withdrawal all military forces from Iraq will ensure the occupation's perpetuation into infinity. Allowing them to unilaterally and indiscriminately lop off vulnerable civilian employees and other essential elements which support our national security to further their Iraq folly will permanently codify their reckless rape of our nation's defenses.
n a Rose Garden lecture today, used to highlight Bush's latest attempt at tyranny, the lame-duck militarist mocked the Democratic majority's maneuvers designed to thwart any more of his opportunistic, autocratic recess-appointments and complained (once again) that Congress wasn't listening to his handpicked generals.
"Instead of listening to the judgment of General Petraeus, they are threatening to withhold money he needs unless they can mandate an arbitrary date of withdrawal," Bush complained.
What's a lame-duck decider and his military cabal to do? Nothing that their decidedly hapless opposition in Congress won't allow.
Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
Posted in full with author's permission.
Originally posted at opednews.com: http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ron_full_071203_bush_will_take_every.htm