U.S. House of Representatives Democrats will more than fully fund President George W. Bush's request for money to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, but are still debating conditions that could be attached, senior lawmakers said on Thursday.I know I shouldn't be surprised by this, and unfortunately I'm really not. And yet it is still astonishing. The Democrats won Congressional majorities in November on the strength of widespread dissatisfaction about the War on Iraq, but it was immediately clear from the public statements of such moral vacuums as Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards, among countless others, that no substantive changes were forthcoming. Again, the sheer contempt for democracy is breathtaking. We should always remember that Democrats are imperialists, too. They only oppose Bush insofar as they think he has bumbled things badly (and insofar as they hate like hell that they're not in power). That the United States has invaded and occupied Iraq, a country that was no threat to anyone: this is an ongoing War Crime, of the most basic type. But the Democrats don't care. They don't care because they share the basic belief that the US should be able to do what it wants in the world. More to the point, they "don't care" because they operate within a worldview that doesn't accept that War Crimes can be committed by Americans. To them, the concept is unthinkable. What Americans do is right, by definition.
I look on this state of affairs in despair. It seems increasingly likely that the US will attack Iran some time soon. An attack on Iran would be an appalling atrocity, and the ramifications of such an attack, while unpredictable, are likely to be devastating. How can we stop it? I don't know that we can, really, but we owe it to ourselves to try, to make some noise. In a couple of recent posts, I've linked to the blog Once Upon a Time..., written by Arthur Silber. He's been posting at a tireless rate about the mendacity of our political culture, in general, and the continuous bombardment of lies about Iran, in particular. I recommend you add his blog to your daily reading, if you haven't already. Last week, in part three of a series ominously titled "Dispatches From Germany, Summer 1939", he lists some things we can do to help "Build an Effective Resistance" to the run-up to yet another war. They involve doing a lot of things that often seem pointless--like writing our Representatives and Senators, newspapers, other public figures. I know they've seemed pointless to me, anyway, and I very seldom do it. But I plan to do it now. As a not-widely read blogger, I will probably ramp up my posts about this, but if you have a wider readership and happen to read this, please take the opportunity to speak out against an attack on Iran as often as you can. If you've already been doing it, I applaud you. If we're wrong about the likelihood of an attack on Iran--well, I hope we are. If we're not, then we need to do all we can to stop it from actually occurring. Waiting until an attack finally happens will be too late.
Incidentally, Silber helpfully provides a link to the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nüremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, 1950. It's always worth taking a look at these, in case you've forgotten their content, and then re-familiarizing yourself with American actions abroad since then (William Blum is always useful on this score, as in this article, or if you have more time, try his book Killing Hope). Compare. It's a depressingly sobering exercise.