Now that the Iraq Study Group has handed in its term paper, now that we have stopped talking about "winning" and are waiting for the president to offer nothing new, may I suggest an exit strategy. Why not hold an election? Why not ask people to vote on whether American troops should stay or go?
I'm not talking about an American election. After all, we already voted against the Iraq War in November. This week, a CBS poll says that 75 percent of us now disapprove of the president's handling of the war.
I'm talking rather about letting the Iraqis vote. I'm talking about an Iraq referendum on whether we should leave within a year....
Ah, but what about the chaos likely to occur when and if we leave? The only question now is whether that chaos comes after a 2007 withdrawal, a 2010 withdrawal or a 2030 withdrawal. Won't we destabilize the Middle East by leaving? Won't we destabilize it by staying?...
Today we have nearly 3,000 American deaths, and by one estimate 650,000 Iraqi deaths. Is it worth it? Are the Iraqis better off without us? Why not just let them answer that question with a purple ink-stained finger?
My musings on current events, current projects, current anxieties and current delights.
I started this under the Bush regime when any grain of sand thrown into the gears of the over-reaching imperial state seemed worthwhile.
I have worked to elect more and better Democrats -- and to hammer the shit out of them once we get them in office so they do the things their constituents want and need. It's a big job.
It's mighty uncomfortable, getting by in a declining empire where elites maintain their power by massaging our mean streaks and mobilizing our resentments. This country and this "civilization" may be on their way out, but there's nothing else to do except try to make them as humane as possible along the way. That and to celebrate the extraordinary love that sometimes accompanies our species' bumbling way.
And the end hasn't come til it comes, ever.
Visitors will find a lot of commentary on books I'm reading here. I am very intentionally reading more offline these days because when it feels hard to find direction, it's time to learn something new.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. I am currently an independent consultant to organizations seeking "help when you have to make a fight."