Wednesday, January 10, 2007

DKos diary, 1/10/07 - A Congress of Peeps: Potential for an American Coup D’etat

The representative discourse on Iraq is now between Wesley Clark and John McCain. On Jan. 7 and 8 Senator McCain and General Clark stated their positions on the op-ed pages of The Washington Post. Clark was the first to speak up in opposition at this critical juncture; just as the President refutes again learned advice and commits himself to a surge in troops and the neocon agenda. Clark and McCain are now the Single Combat Warriors for the two positions on Iraq.

This is Senator McCain’s position published by the Post on January 7: “The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own – impose its rule throughout the country.” He says he knows accelerating the deployment of troops is a “terrible sacrifice” and the troops will be disappointed, but then, “ . . . they will shoulder their weapons and do everything they can to protect our country’s vital interests in Iraq, and win this war.”

General Clark writes on January 8: “The truth is that the underlying problems are political, not military . . . Absent . . . fundamental change in Washington's approach, there is little hope that a troop surge and accompanying rhetoric will be anything other than "staying the course" more. That wastes lives and time, bolsters the terrorists and avoids facing up to the interrelated challenges posed by a region in crisis.”

Senator Kennedy gave a dramatic speech yesterday opposing the surge and placed a posting on DKos, which links Clark to Kennedy in stepping forth first on the issue. Kerry undoubtedly will follow with his Senate mate – indeed, Senator Kerry spoke up in general opposition to the McCain surge in a Washington Post essay on December 24. Gary Hart, one of the best minds in Democratic politics and consistent from the first on Iraq, has also posted a brilliant essay this morning at The Huntington Post.

But this is most important. The headline in today’s Washington Post reads: “With Iraq Speech, Bush to Pull Away From His Generals.”

When President Bush goes before the American people tonight to outline his new strategy for Iraq, he will be doing something he has avoided since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003: ordering his top military brass to take action they initially resisted and advised against.”

This is the new political matchup: Clark, Kerry, Kennedy and the Generals. And on the other hand: Bush, McCain, the neocons, 12 Republican Senators, the Christian Zionists and the Terry McAuliffe agency with its new Gray Champion, Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton has supported and endorsed the invasion of Iraq from the first, and now her silence on the issue is deafening.

General Clark can now count on support from the Northeast and its traditional New England liberals, represented by Kennedy and Kerry. For you all out of state, it is natural for us in New England to think of ourselves as apart from New Yorkers - most old timers I knew up here in northern New Hampshire were not really all that impressed when the Red Sox won the World Series a few years back; all they really cared about was winning the Pennant against the NY Yankees.

Kerry has been encouraged by New England politicians to commit to running or not. They want to place their bets either with Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. Had the Iraq debate shifted after the Baker report, Clinton and Obama might have been reasonable candidates to agree with Northeastern sensibilities. But it is clear now that Bush will not yield on this and McCain is now fostering the neocon agenda.

If Senator Kerry declines to run for President in ‘08, he could well throw his support to Wesley Clark. In doing so, he would help bring the Northeast with him. Kerry admires General Clark, as could be seen in his speech at the Democratic Convention, which owed much to Wesley Clark. I believe he would have wanted General Clark as his VP, but Clark had already made clear earlier that he sought no such position.

And I think now in particular Kerry has no love for the McAuliffe/Clinton camp, as McAuliffe will be running a regular dog and pony show promoting his new book in the next few months & publicly besmirching Kerry's reputation. (A “revealing and waggish memoir . . .” writes one pundit.) We Yanks hate that. Our trusty local Boston columnists and pundits have also abandoned Kerry as well, ramping up for Senator Clinton.

I'd like to see a solid veterans' Quaternary: Clark, Kerry, Jim Webb, John Murtha unite here - I know Webb says he hated Kerry's guts and wouldn't talk to him for 20 years, but he is a genuine individual and said in his Virginia primary campaign when asked if he still hated Kerry, that after 9/11 all his anger fell from him. As it should have all Americans. In this, Clark, Webb and John Murtha could help bring us in the Northeast into the American mainstream and help dissolve red state/blue state contention. In a way, the fate of the Northeast could lie today in Senator Kerry's hands.

But something else has happened here: Something vast. Today, for the first time in our American history, we have the potential for a revolt of the Generals; an actual coup d’etat.

We are now committed to the same path to failure which we took in Vietnam, but now the stakes are much higher.

This is not Vietnam. Today, in the climate after 9/11, we Americans honor our soldiers and the truth is we did not in Vietnam. Most of the military commanders at the helm today served in Vietnam. They don’t like the way they were treated then by Congress, by the war Presidents, by Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in that period (who wrote years later that throughout he hadn’t a clue) and by the American people. There is still blood on their hands.

Among the best and brightest at the military command today there are vows by these honorable warriors never to let that happen again. Now it is happening again, and Bush is treating the volunteer Army and Marine Corps like peasants swooped up by the handful by Peter the Great, endlessly away from their families and loved ones and off to fight the Suleiman. But there is potential now and it is entirely possible that Bush today faces a revolt by military commanders.

It would be in fact, an American coup d’etat.

Technically, we are approaching that phase of political devolution. Coup d’etat occurs organically in tribal or underdeveloped countries or emerging democracies when elected or traditional political institutions fail.

In the last six years we have seen the failure of a Congress of Peeps in voting for a war resolution it knew to be a deception and even more so we have seen a complete failure of the press at the highest ranks. The press accommodated, appeased and enabled war fever and absolutely egged on the Dungeon & Dragons warriors in the Oval Office. We have seen the failure of the Supreme Court in propping up an illegal election. And most important, we have seen the failure of the American people who let this all come to pass with nothing more than an effete, deconstructivist pout.

The Judiciary, the Legislative, the Executive, the Press, the People: In the last six years we have experienced a catastrophic failure of American self-government. The only other major institution left in this country with its honor intact is the military.

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