December 11, 2006

Republican senator unable to continue ignoring reality, grows a conscience

Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon has apparently got to the end of his rope over the folly of Iraq, conveniently after the mid-term elections and tragically, only after many years and thousands of lives lost in the effort.

All the unending twisted lies and propaganda issued by the White House and backed up lockstep by the Republican party in a constantly shifting attempt to rationalize the invasion of Iraq seemed to suddenly give way to a moment of clarity for Smith as he gave an impassioned floor speech Thursday.
"I for one am at the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up by the same bombs day after day. That is absurd. It may even be criminal. I cannot support that anymore."


Democrats have been saying this to deaf ears for many YEARS now. No one would listen, and many simply sneered and mocked them as appeasers or accused them of actually wanting the terrorists to win and other similar insane notions.

And people went right along with it like scared sheep. And in their fear and massive ignorance of the truth, they actually thought it was patriotic to attack anyone who dared question Bush's policy. (though it wasn't entirely their fault. They were fed a constant stream of lies and misinformation through the massive right wing media effort, but they should have been able to know when they were being duped. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see it was pure B.S.)

As I've noted with regret several times in the past, NOTHING will get any attention or action in the last several years unless a Republican says or does it, as the press and D.C. treat Democrats like an abused spouse to bat around and ignore. Perhaps that MAY change now, but it remains to be seen if Dems will actually be treated as an actual part of our government.

With their battered wife psychology, let's hope the Dems are able to stand up and be assertive and haven't been cowed into a state of timidity due to getting clubbed over the head every time they spoke, no matter how important or sensible what they said may have been, as has been the case for years. It will take the press and the people to actively reject the bullshit from the right, and some signs show that that is already happening. Could it be that the American era of Goebbels-like propaganda, where Republicans believed that saying the right hot-button words and phrases over and over was more important than actually providing responsible leadership is coming to an end?

So after supporting the misguided slaughter of thousands of our men and women and the squandering and theft of many billions of our tax dollars in Iraq for many years, and now that his party is safely in the minority, Gordon Smith finally grows a conscience.

Good for him. Better late than never. But it's a true shame and outrage that he either had felt this way for some time and was afraid to speak up until now or couldn't realize this much sooner.

The most refreshing and sobering aspect of Smith's statement, is his acknowledgement that the Iraq invasion may very well be criminal. It's certainly immoral, and I firmly believe it's illegal on many levels, as is the torture policy and other extra-constitutional measures and violations of the Geneva accords instituted from the very top of our government.

The scope and extent of these things will take years if not decades to emerge, if they ever do, unless of course, Cheney has a deathbed attack of conscience and confesses. But I think he knows he's heading for hell and Satan wouldn't like it if he did. Getting the truth or evidence from what is universally acknowledged to be the most secretive administration in history (who made one of their first orders of business to both deny access to Daddy Bush's papers but to ensure that none of Junior's papers will be able to be accessed or studied perhaps forever.) will be a daunting task. It's only hoped that some who know the truth will step forward at some point.

Gordon is not a lame duck, and faces election in 2008 so his statement is not without risk. Is his sudden attack of morality and honesty the beginning of a trend among Republicans trying to do a quick 180 from their steadfast support of the reckless and utterly incompetent policies of the Bush administration?

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