Never mind the small token troop reductions the president mentioned Thursday night. The Bush administration has no intention of ever withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq-indeed, Cheney and other neocons want to deepen the blood-quagmire by striking Iran (see below)-but something has got to give. The war is costing $10 to $12 billion per month when the nation is already perilously in debt because of massive high-end tax cuts. But we refuse to be told, “No, you can’t have sturdy infrastructure because the money’s tight-we’re at war.” If that were an honest argument, the White House or Congress would move to reverse some of the Bush tax cuts, share the sacrifice. But no.
The mainstream media (CNN, Katie “Navy SEALs rock” Couric, Fox News) disregard the fact that the American public has never felt right about this war. Just like the president, they blacked out the massive nationwide protests saying “Don’t go to war.” (We recall a protest sign from an early 2003 anti-war march in New York that read, “Corporate Media Loves a War.”) It is now pretty widely accepted that we were steamrolled into this war by an impatient administration with a deceptive sales campaign that would not take “No War” for an answer. The public’s uneasiness has fluctuated, but poll after poll and reporters’ interviews in every part of the country show that whatever the public may have thought when the war started in March 2003, by the time of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, support had vanished. We want no more of this war. It has been mishandled from the outset; it has degenerated into a civil war our exhausted soldiers can’t police; we have no business over there anymore (if we ever did); the president’s justifications for our being there keep shifting . . .
And meanwhile we see our nation falling apart, bridges collapsing, levees giving way, cities flooding, people without jobs or ability to pay for medical attention, the housing market in crisis . . . And the president addresses the nation about a long-term residence in Iraq, an “enduring relationship.” Did he mention the Pentagon has announced it’s building a base and fortified checkpoints along the Iraq/Iran border? And we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators, and it will be a cakewalk, and the insurgency is in its last throes . . .
Is he talking about an enduring relationship that keeps costing at least $10 billion a month?
The White House points to a diminished treasury to justify repetitive cuts  in public expenditures, yet it never curtails the drug-fiend-like appetite for war spending (see the documentary “Why We Fight “). This appetite will grow as long as “we the people” wait for others-other activists or principled congressmen or disillusioned generals-to loudly, forcefully demand change. Rather than “starve the beast,” tame the war machine. Regulate its appetite. Easier said than done, but not impossible.
If you want to join us in pressing on Washington, visit our “Political Action ” page, and check out some of the “Pro-Peace | Anti-War” groups at left.
There’s a big peace march in Washington today, Sat. 15th. Speakers include Cindy Sheehan, Ralph Nader, Ramsey Clark. Let’s all go.