Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Texas Hold 'Em: Last Call for Escalation

Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War. He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and calm pulse to exterminate his kind. He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out...and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel. ..And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood off his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man"--with his mouth.

-Mark Twain; What is Man?

In an attempt to “Bring the public back to the war,” the Decider plans to address the nation tonight and sell his “new” strategy to the American people. Bring back? I’m sorry, but did I miss something here? I don’t recall taking a hiatus or commercial break form the Iraq War. It must be nice to have that luxury, eh George?

Despite popular opinion/criticism from military experts, the legislative majority, and the majority of American voters; it appears that the Decider has already decided. Political prognosticators project the Decider will call for an additional 20,000 to 50,000 troops to help escalate the War in Iraq. Tragically, the Decider has metamorphosed into “The Gambler,” playing a political game of no-holds-barred “Texas Hold ‘Em.” What are the stakes? Human lives. And it appears the Gambler has no qualms with upping the ante, tapping into the House bank for more soldiers to fuel his hand. It must be nice to have that luxury, eh George?

You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,
Know when to walk away and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealins done.

-Kenny Rogers; “The Gambler”

Tonight as we watch the Gambler attempt to make his case to the American people, we’ll assume the role as spectator as we watch him gamble our soldiers’ lives away, sacrificing Democracy in the process. Until then, it’s imperative that we know where our representatives stand and contact them, letting them know where We the People stand:

Senator Chuck Grassley: “Holde ‘em, ‘All in’…
"I think what he needs to do ... is make it clear - not to the American people but the Iraqi people - that this is your last chance if you want America's help getting you to a peaceful society. You have got to pick up an increasing amount of the responsibility yourself."

...and call Iraqi People”

That would be an agreement by the Iraqi prime minister to spend $10 billion of Iraq's own money and commit more Iraqi force against all violence, or "it'd be a waste of time to send more military in there," the senator said. Grassley said the Iraqi political component should be seen as the centerpiece of any new initiative.

Senator Tom Harkin: “Fold ‘em and Walk Away”
"My position is clear: There is nothing to be gained by escalating our involvement in Iraq and putting more of our brave young men and women in the midst of a civil war. The deteriorating situation in Iraq cannot be solved through military action. It requires a political solution."

Rep. Tom Latham: “Hold ‘em”

Bush's plan is that military forces led by Iraqis and supported by Americans would go in and clear out insurgents in Baghdad and Anbar province, then remain and hold the areas until some unstated time in the future.Latham said he is "extremely frustrated" by the war, and worried about U.S. troops, though he doesn't want the United States to sustain what would be perceived as defeat.

Rep. Steve King: “Hold and raise the stakes”

Bush's plans are consistent with policies King has long advocated to win the war on terror in Iraq."Whatever their strategy is, with 150,000 in the country right now, another 20,000, if they think they need them, I would never say no to that."

Rep. Leonard Boswell: Undecided
"Iowans are starting to wonder, where's the end to this?"

Rep. Bruce Braley: “Hold ‘em and see where the House stands”

Declined to comment until after the president's nationally televised speech, but spokesman Jeff Giertz said Braley is "opposed to a troop surge."

Rep. Dave Loebsack: “Fold ‘em and walk away”

A plan for additional troops should be called an "escalation" rather than a "surge." "I think it goes in exactly the wrong direction of what we should be doing at this point - I believe we should begin to de-escalate.”

In the meantime, although it may be too late to sway the Decider (if that was ever possible), be sure to sign the following online petitions:

Vilsack’s Petition, “Communities Opposed to Escalating the War Resolution”:

MoveOn’s petition: No Escalation in Iraq