Monday, August 28, 2006

Monday with McKenna: "Stop the Madness"

Related Links for today's Monday with McKenna:

"Cut and Run? You Bet" (Gen. William E. Odom, Foreign Policy Magazine)

"Where Bush's Arrogance Has Taken Us" (Jim Hightower, Alternet)

"7 Realities on the Fallacy of Iraq" (

"Clinton Got a Blowjob" (song by Eric Schwartz)

And now, here's Terry:

I’m getting a bit worried: the mid term elections are coming, and I don’t see the Democrats doing enough to win.

Yes, I know the polls show that if the election were held today, the Dems might win one or even both houses of Congress – but the elections are NOT being held today, so I’m worried that the Republican message (that the Democrats can’t protect us) will win out.

Just look at the slogan “cut and run” – it manages to appear in nearly every interview with a Republican – no matter the question or thrust of the interview. And the Democrats are afraid to say – yes, we want to cut and run! For the alternative is to send more and more young Americans off to slaughter – and for what?

Oddly, this reminds me of 1968. In 1968, most Americans felt that the war was going nowhere and that we were being lied to by our government, yet America elected a paranoid war monger (Nixon) who made the war even worse until he killed enough Asians to declare “peace with honor.”

On the face of it, it should be easy for Democrats to tell Americans that the Iraq war looks like meaningless slaughter – that our continued presence may only make things worse. And George Bush is making it even easier: in a news conference this past week he continued to tell us that if we fail in Iraq, the terrorists will “follow us here.” Clearly nonsense.

But the Republican sound byte machine seems to be working – even in the best of the mainstream press, Democrats are continually asked to defend themselves.

And by the way, I’ll grant that if the US armed forces can make a difference for the safety of Iraqis, then perhaps we should stay – but when Generals Abizaid and Pace appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on August 3rd, their expressions did not suggest confidence in their mission.

So… Democrats need anti war counter measures.

They should start by attacking not just the Iraq war, but the notion that we can go it alone in the world. Thus they must attack both unilateralism and pre-emptive war. These sounded great in theory – but in practice they just don’t work.

And our refusal to engage both our allies AND our real enemies has set us back, perhaps by a decade. For example, after the fiasco in Lebanon we can see now that it would have been better if we were already speaking to Iran and Syria – but we weren’t; and better had we maintained a close relationship with France (who we desperately need now) but we didn’t – we insulted them.

Then they need to articulate the fact that the world is not ours to solve – not to manage, police or bully.

After that, the Democrats need talking points and a slogan. The specialists can draft talking points, but here’s my suggestion for a slogan:


—T. McKenna

...tomorrow, Terry is back with insights on the fallacy of pre-emptive war.

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