Alan Simpson is right and while America decides how to save face, the people of Iraq will continue to needlessly suffer as a result of America's intransigence and rogue behavior in Iraq; behavior that was fully supported and encouraged by too many in the fascist wing of the American church.
Former Senator Alan Simpson said that there has been a loss of confidence expressed by the American public in the American government, and I concur. The behavior of the government, with respect to foreign policy and international relations over the past 6 years has set the United States back about 50 years, I would say. Just consider some of the comments that have been openly expressed by citizens of other nations and other world leaders, even by leaders of nations and organizations that are friendly to the United States.
If the Iraq Study Group says anything, it says to me that our government, with respect to carrying out American Foreign Policy, has simply failed over the past 6 years. Instead of solving problems our American government has succeeded in creating astronomical problems and catastrophes for the United States and the world.
It also says that our foreign policy apparatus in Washington is broken and has been broken by and large as a result of an obstructionist President who had zero intention of working with the other branches of goverment, an unqualified man who set out to pursue his own narrow agenda in Washington DC and around the world. One could conclude that the very notion that groups like this, the ISG, had to be convened in the first place indicates a clear and present failure by our Washington D.C. officials who were being led by the incomparable and less than qualified President of the United States.
What have we been paying our elected and other government officials for over the past year, if we have to turn around and convene and pay another group of past and retired officials to do what our current officals were supposed to have been doing themselves?
Just consider the redundancy of some of the suggestions in this report with what has already been proposed. As I listened to portions of the report that were made public, I kept saying, and where have we heard this before? Much of what we heard was ideas that had already been suggested by the Democrats, Tony Blair, and others. And we all know that the opinions of the Democrats and others were summarily dismissed or treated as folly by the President and his Administration.
Clearly the President also ignored those disparate voices in Congress and in his Administration who held a viewpoint that differed from his own limited and myopic viewpoint.
Having to rely on outside study groups on the one hand might appear to be a plus to some Americans, however, I suspect that both Secretaries' of State probably offered similar suggestions or expressed similar conclusions to the President, and they were apparently ignored in favor of the war hawks in the Bush Administration. Interdepartmental and interagency study groups should be part and parcel of any Administration, and they should be taken seriously, and not be made fun of as the President was often wont to do!
Why wouldn't Mr. Bush listen to his current and former Secretary's of State, the State Department, Congress and others who were a part of the official policy making apparatus in Washington DC? Did he lack confidence in them as we lack confidence in him? Why did he permit the Defense Department to usurp the State Department on numerous occasions? Why did Congress have to convene yet another group just to hear what many in Congress, who were summarily ignored and castigated, had been saying all along? How can a President get away with completely ignoring, obstructing and usurping another branch of government over a 6 year period?
If I was a member of Congress, Dr. Rice or Colin Powell, particularly the latter, I would be furious that I had been permitted to be upstaged by former Secretary of State Jim Baker; the President appears to be willing to listen to him. I would insist that the President begin to listen to me or I would go public or resign, given the President's refusal to take me seriously. Well, Colin Powell did offer his resignation, then withdrew it, then was told that he would not be retained.
Finally, I project that if we follow the suggestions of the ISG and were to engage in a leveraged withdrawal of America's troops over the next 365 to 400 days; based on our ongoing average of a loss of one servicemen per day since entering the Iraqi theater, we would have projected losses, at a minimum, of about 400 more troops. And those future losses would be as a result of a strategic blunder,failed Government policy and failed leadership.
America should immediately withdraw from Iraq, concurrently with responsible nations and organizations who should step in and take over. Clearly no right thinking American would continue to argue that America has been acting responsibily in Iraq. America's hostile take-over of Iraq must stop and Bush and Cheney and numerous religious leaders in America should simply step aside!
And of late, America's religio-fascists have fired the latest President of the Christian Coalition who was apparently not hawkish enough for them; he wanted to expand their agenda in order to help alleviate poverty in the United States. Also, the America's religio-fascists of late are going after Rick Warren author, and pastor of the Saddleback church in Southern California. His sin? Permitting Senator Obama to come to Saddleback and to speak! Several other clerics, members of the Christian Coalation and the Religious Right in America are being attacked by christian mafia members for simply disagreeing with the tactics, positions and policies of their mafioso leaders. I once experienced the same under a Christian leader that I served under.
We have been living in a period that in many ways has been similar to the McCarthy period in America. The difference however, is that a group of politicians and church leaders in American have been conducting themselves in fact been conducting themselves in the fashion of an American style totalitarian Party. During the McCarthy era, many American citizens were only accused of having been a part of a totalitarian Party! I forecast that there will be a major restructuring in American churches over the next fives years. And part of it will be to rid ourselves of the fascist and pompous leaders who have taken over our churches.
Just as we must do in government, we must find qualified and viable leaders whose focus is on righteousness and justice instead of self-aggrandizement and social control.
Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon