In 1813, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry sent a message after his victory over the entire British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie: “We have met the enemy and they are ours!”
More than a century later, cartoonist Walt Kelly, who once drew the “Pogo” comic strip, modernized that famous quote in a way that can be applied to the war in which the U.S. is engaged today, and to those who continue to enable it.
“We have met the enemy and they is us,” said Pogo in the comic strip.
One thing: This immoral war of aggression is no laughing matter.
More than 3,400 U.S. military personnel have lost their lives. Depending on the estimate you trust, from 60,000 to 600,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed.
More than $800 billion has been officially wasted, and before it is all said and done, this country will have spent more than $1 trillion, some same $2 trillion when all the medical costs and cost of replacing weapons and equipment are taken into account, searching for weapons of mass destruction that never existed.
In November 2006, the American voters sent a resounding vote of no-confidence to the administration of President George W. Bush. Majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate went from Republican hands to the Democrats, with one unmistakable mandate: End the war!
Yet Democrats, apparently, would rather co-sign the fighting, the bloodshed, the carnage, the killing of innocent Iraqis, and the deaths of thousands of young American troops, rather than stand toe-to-toe and fight rhetorically and politically with Pres. Bush, who appears to be bent on committing this country to a war without end, in Iraq.
On May 24, Congress surrendered the mandate it was handed by the American people to the war-hawk President and dropped their benign demand that the funds Pres. Bush needs to continue the war, must contain non-binding timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.
In the House, a total of 86 Democrats, including three of the top four Democratic leaders, voted to finance the war without restrictions until Sept. 30. The Senate approved the money 80—14. To their credit, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and presidential candidates Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and Hilary Clinton (D-N.Y.) all voted no.
There are other Democratic legislators who are notable for their outspoken condemnation of what is proving to be a ruinous situation for the United States, its military readiness, its prestige abroad and its moral authority.
“There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action,” said Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) who was unsuccessful in his push for a withdrawal of combat troops by spring. “Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq.”
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), an avowedly anti-war presidential candidate, also chastised his colleagues. “The Democratic Party has to choose,” said Mr. Kucinich, “between standing for peace or continuing to support war and occupation, between heeding the demand of the voters last November or caving in to the demands of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. We can’t have it both ways. We can’t facilitate the passage of another bill to fund the war and at the same time claim that we want the war to end. The public sees through such hypocritical maneuvering.”
There is little room left for such errors in judgement by America’s leaders.
“God is angry. God is angry. God is angry,” the Honorable Min. Louis Farrakhan warned again in his Saviours’ Day address Feb. 25 in Detroit. In 2001, in 2002 and in 2003, the Muslim leader spoke out strongly, pointing out the U.S. has been deceived by the so-called “Neo-Conservatives” into an un-winnable position in Iraq.
Sadly, we see Minister Farrakhan’s early predictions coming true. It was easy for the U.S. forces to rush into Iraq and topple the government of President Saddam Hussein. It is increasingly more and more difficult for the U.S. to get out of what has become a bitter quagmire.
Wide majorities of Americans are firmly opposed to the war to the point that most regret that the U.S. ever invaded Iraq in the first place. Pres. Bush also has record low approval ratings, yet Democrats have surrendered again and again to even a weakened President on the war.
Republicans who are in the grip of the so-called Neo-Conservatives still openly condemn members of the House and Senate who oppose this immoral war of aggression as “waving the white flag of surrender to al Qaeda.”
The truth of the matter is that the Democrats in Congress have waved the white flag of surrender to President Bush and his allies who want a permanent war and occupation of the oil-rich Muslim lands of the Middle East. That’s no laughing matter.