Since I can't talk with him and the rest of the Defund the War Lions over on his GBCW diary, I'll post it here.
Not sure how much I can stick around, but please give me some ideas if you them.
I want to believe.
I really do.
- The issue is far too important to be constantly bogged down by discussions on individual candidates. Enough with the 2008 Presidential Election already – especially on this issue.
- The only practical way to force the president to exit Iraq without help from Republicans is to go down the defunding path. We only need a simple majority to try defund our involvement in the War in Iraq. The budget battle will be fierce, but it is possible to win it.
- By announcing our date for defunding and sticking with it, we gain a political advantage over Bush and company.
- All this talk about forcing other plans is just talk as we don’t have the votes.
Removing American troops from the field in Iraq is only half the equation. We need a plan in place to at least try minimize the violence after we leave. I have been asking for responses to this issue over the past few days, and they have varied around three basic themes...
- We don’t have the right to interfere with how the Iraqis solve their internal problems. I would agree except for the obvious counterpoint. We were wrong to start the war, but since we did, we now have the responsibility to try minimize the violence.
- We simply don’t know what will happen when we leave. Things may actually get better. While it’s true we don’t know with certainty what will happen, we have the ability to reason what could or likely would happen. Many of us recognized the long standing feud between the Sunnis and the Shiites before Bush and Co started the war and warned of a possible civil war. It’s seems strange to now say things just might get better between them. If anything, their anger has intensified in the past four years. Both sides have plenty of money and easy access to weapons and ammunition. Assuming things will get better is at best a stretch. At worst it is like wishing for ponies.
- All out civil war is inevitable. By staying, we only delay the bloodshed and will ultimate make things worse. Ok, if this is really true, then I will back the plan to defund the war now. But is it? For the past four years, we have only relied on plan A. The surge is simply plan A on steroids, it is no different at it’s core. We have yet to try other containment ideas which include separation of the warring sides for a cooling off period and defunding of both the Sunni insurgents and the Shiite militias. There are other options out there. They may not work, but is there no chance?
Here’s the real question. Don’t we owe it to the Iraqi people to try another plan before we simply pull out and say ‘have at it guys’?
And how do we get this plan in place? Well there’s the rub. Since we can’t force Bush to enact any detailed plans in Iraq on our own, we can’t force him to put in place any good measures to reduce the long term trend towards chaos in Iraq before we leave. All we have is the defunding option. This only gets half the job done.
In short, Part 1 of any good Iraq strategy (Timetable for a US Pullout) is doable under defunding but Part 2 (Doing What We Can to Avoid All-Out Civil War) is not. Since we cannot force Bush’s hand on Part 2, I find I cannot ultimately support the defunding idea.
So why should the Defund the War Lions (see my last diary) care if they can win me over? After all, I’m just some dude with a keyboard, a place to vent to people I like, and a single ‘little’ issue I’ve tried to but can’t get around.
Well, I believe that unless we can come up with some answer to Part 2, we will have a hell of a job convincing the American people to support defunding when the inevitable budget battle heats up to full temperature. A hell of a job.
Any ideas? Like I said, I really want to believe.