Disturbing news today from a piece by Jeremy Scahill posted on Common Dreams, to wit: Obama plans to request an additional $75.5 billion in a supplemental appropriation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Could happen as early as today.
Say what??? A thousand times NO to this. No, no, NO! A million times NO. This is not what we elected Barack Obama to do; this is certainly not why he got my vote. If this is what his even-handed, let-me-listen-to-all-sides approach has produced, then he needs to find a new strategy. What's wrong with this plan? Where to begin?
How about: it perpetrates the abysmal failure in the mid-East bequeathed to the Democrats by Bush? I've been increasingly concerned that Obama is showing no great urgency about getting out of Iraq, and at the same time he's evinced great willingness to shovel more thousands of troops and billions of dollars into Afghanistan, a war that has even more hazy objectives than the one next door.
How about: we cannot possibly afford ratcheting up our military commitment for an undefined goal for an undefined amount of time in the midst of our current economic crisis. And to borrow a page from Bush and get funding for this by the off-book supplemental sleight of hand is just despicable.
How about: this course toadies to the Pentagon, which has stalwartly backed continued open-ended engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite their noises to the contrary and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' ongoing PR campaign about reformation of Pentagon spending.
How about: no matter how much money we pour into the Afghanistan rat hole, we cannot succeed there.
How about: nobody in the administration, or anywhere else, for that matter, has defined what success in Afghanistan is. What is the end state of the war there? When do we withdraw entirely? What are we doing there? What are we trying to accomplish?
How about: this is just plain madness because it will alienate a substantial number of his supporters both in the Congress and out here in the country.
I could go on about what an outrage this is just on the general principles of the inherent evil of war and how it robs the poor and destitute of their chance to improve their lives, but I won't.
One of the more insidious things about this betrayal of the antiwar Democrats is the lack of outrage among supposedly staunch liberal groups such as MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress. And why? Because they're afraid of getting on the wrong side of the administration on this (or apparently any other) issue and getting cut out of the White House loop. This report says Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is behind these machinations.
Well, I'm not going to silent about this disgrace. I'm going to scream bloody murder, and I'm going to continue screaming till sanity prevails. (I will probably destroy my voice forever.)