For about the past twelve months, we Democrats have allowed ourselves to be distracted by the mainstream media, who has done nothing more than promote and exaggerate minor political points — all the while ignoring the war, death, poverty and corruption that is “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
I’m sure I’m going to get some angry commenters who question my patriotism for this statement above. But does patriotism mean blind faith in political leaders who have a proven business interest in the outcome of war? Does it honor the men and women in uniform who serve us? Is it justice for the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire?
Two stories caught my eye this morning. First, this from Think Progress:
Bush administration blackmailing Iraq over long-term military agreement
Yesterday, the UK Independent reported that the Bush administration is trying to push a secret deal to “perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely.” Today, the paper has more troubling details about the Bush administration’s shady tactics:
The US is holding hostage some $50bn (£25bn) of Iraq’s money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government into signing an agreement seen by many Iraqis as prolonging the US occupation indefinitely, according to information leaked to The Independent.
US negotiators are using the existence of $20bn in outstanding court judgments against Iraq in the US, to pressure their Iraqi counterparts into accepting the terms of the military deal.
The Bush administration is arguing that some of the Iraqi funds would lose immunity protection if the U.N. mandate “is not replaced by the new agreement.” But the Washington Post reports today that the Iraqi government may request an extension of the mandate. Juan Cole and Spencer Ackerman have more.
Next, from antiwar.com, please read
Sunday: 2 US Soldiers, 28 Iraqis Killed; 18 Americans, 58 Iraqis Wounded
A suicide bomber killed a U.S. soldier and wounded 18 more Americans in northern Iraq. Anoother U.S. soldier was killed during a roadside bomb blast in Baghdad yesterday. At least 28 people were killed and 58 were injured across Iraq. Meanwhile, Turkey reported striking suspected Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq.
In al-Rashad, a suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. base, killing one soldier and wounding 18 more. Two Iraqis were wounded as well when the bomber drove a bomb hidden under a pile of animal skins into blast walls protecting the base. Police added five civilians to the tally of wounded. A conflicting report said that more soldiers were killed.
So, while the media tries to distract us with stories about Hillary Clinton’s cleavage and Barack Obama’s lapel pin, it is our duty as citizens of this most powerful and fortunate nation to filter out this detritus. Already we see shoddy reporting on the rising cost of gas — stories that address neither our dangerous oil dependence nor the fact that supplies of oil are actually quite high, with the rising cost mostly a reflection of speculators and investors — have we learned nothing from the housing crisis?
I cannot begin to tell you how disappointed I am in the outcome of the Democratic primary race. And if you’ve read this blog much, you know how I feel about how unfair the
crowning nominating process in the Democratic Party was this year. But I do believe this debacle will bring about major changes in the DNC rules regarding primaries, caucuses, delegates, and superdelegates. Next time. But at this point, we must all get behind the presumptive nominee Barack Obama and work to end the war in Iraq. The worst case scenario at this point is John McCain in the White House, and you will surely help him get there by either voting for him, or by not voting at all in the fall.