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February 19, 2007, Volume 14 Nr. 6, Issue 225

Democrats and Liberals: Lacking Conviction.
The Door That Cannot Swing Both Ways.

Jozef Hand-Boniakowski

On February 16, 2007, the United States House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution “rebuking” the “new” G.W. Bush regime policy in Iraq: a troop “surge” of 21,000. This so-called symbolic rejection of the latest Bush Iraq war escalation is a ploy for people's 2008 presidential votes, rather than any real imposition of justice upon the orchestrators of the illegal war in Iraq. The Democrats would like the us to believe that they (Democrats) are opposed to the war in Iraq while continuing to support the infrastructure necessary to continue it. They verbally condemn the administration and the war, continuing to pass legislation and funding that makes it possible. After passage of the non-binding resolution on February 16, 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated, “The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home safely and soon.” Sure it will, Nancy.

On April 23, 2006, a Newsweek headline declared, “Balad Air Base in Iraq Evidence That U.S. Planning to Stay For a Long Time; 15-Square-Mile Mini-City One of Four 'Superbases' Where The Pentagon Will Consolidate U.S. Forces”. The article stated that, “There is ample evidence elsewhere of America's long-term plans. The new $592 million U.S. embassy being built at the heart of Baghdad's 'international zone.'“ Newsweek quotes, Barry Johnson, a spokesman for CENTCOM in Baghdad, saying. "What we have in Iraq are 'contingency bases,' intended to support our operations in Iraq on a temporary basis until OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) is complete." The Pentagon has learned much from George Orwell's doublespeak. So has the Democratic Party which wants us to believe that supporting the war effort is not the same as supporting the war, that supporting the troops is not the same as supporting the killing death and destruction. Yes it is.

Just when will OIF be completed? Chris Floyd, in “Claiming the Prize: Bush Surge Aimed at Securing Iraqi Oil, makes the case that victory in Iraq and acquiring Iraqi oil resources are synonymous. Floyd points out that in the, few days, the Iraqi Council of Ministers is expected to approve a new 'hydrocarbon law' essentially drawn up by the Bush Administration and its UK lackey, the Independent on Sunday reports. The new bill will “radically redraw the Iraqi oil industry and throw open the doors to the third-largest oil reserves in the world.” (January 9, 2007)

The Democrats in the U.S. House know full well what the war in Iraq is all about. They know that victory is what comes out of the ground for access to that oil is what controls the global economy. Floyd continues,

Put simply, the Bush Family and their allies and cronies represent the confluence of three long-established power factions in the American elite: oil, arms and investments. These groups equate their own interests, their own wealth and privilege, with the interests of the nation - indeed, the world - as a whole. And they pursue these interests with every weapon at their command, including war, torture, deceit and corruption.

By continuing to fund the war, by supporting the mechanisms that make the war possible, the Democratic Party is supporting war, torture, deceit and corruption. They are guilty of the same murder and crimes against humanity that the Bush crime family is guilty of. Supporting the troops is making those crimes possible.

Many liberals who make the claim of being anti-war distinguish between supporting the troops and not supporting the war. This door doesn't swing both ways. Knowing the Iraq war to be illegal and immoral, how can liberals support those who willingly participate in carrying it out? In a letter to Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, regarding the Catholic Church's “just war” theory I wrote,

The evil in the world today is war and violence as a means of settling disputes between nations and people. To suggest that some evil is just in order to fight another evil brings rationalism as justification to the victor. The victor then can have a moral claim, via "just war", to accept it all, atrocities included.

Those who rationalize the morality of supporting the troops make the immoral possible. We are either opposed to the illegal war in Iraq, or we are not. We can support the victims of war on all sides, without supporting the killers, and without encouraging the killing. To do otherwise is to lack the conviction that the Iraq war is illegal and a crime against humanity.

War is murder. We cannot be in support of murderers while opposing murder. I will not honor that which makes murder and war possible. Liberals and Democrats want to condemn war and then honor or commemorate those who make war. Those who kill are killers no matter what the cause or ideology, or what the flag, or what the religion, or what the reason. If, as Nancy Pelosi says, “There is one proposition on which we all agree: our troops have performed excellently in Iraq. They have done everything asked of them”, then she, and we, have honored the killing in our name and at our request. I will not honor that.

The recent non-binding resolution passed in Congress against the escalation in Iraq has the Democrats having it both ways, again. Those in Congress who oppose war should shed the G.W. Bush avoidance complex of not taking responsibility. They should offer the proof of their convictions for ending the war by defunding it. U.S. Representative, Dennis Kucinich, stated,

The Federal Court has made it abundantly clear that once a war is well underway, Congress' real power is to cut off funds. Funding the war is approval of the war.

Mernie Aste and Molly Morgan, Support the Troops, (June 2003), write,

"Support the troops" provides a sound bite for people conditioned to regurgitate the propaganda of the warmongers without having to think. It channels their emotions - fear, pride, sorrow, anger, concern for loved ones, rage - into something that serves the interests of the power-holders. Its intent is to put the responder on the defensive in the same way as asking, "When did you stop beating your wife?” For the person who's never beaten his wife, this is not and answerable question.

The original (2002), No Killing in Our Name: Protest Statement of Conscience Against War and Repression, stated,

Let us not allow the watching world today to despair of our silence and our failure to act. Instead, let the world hear our pledge: we will resist the machinery of war and rally others to do everything possible to stop it.

Supporting the troops” is not resisting the machinery of war, nor rallying people to stop it. Neither is passing a non-binding resolution opposing the surge in escalating the Iraq war. Democrats claim that they were fooled on Iraq when they voted to give Bush the authority to make war. They now claim that the evidence was either faulty or manipulated. I do not believe that they were fooled. They were spineless. I believe most Democrats knew exactly what the war on Iraq was about. It was about oil and global hegemony. The horrendous destruction of New York's Twin Towers was a convenient excuse for the war planners as it justified implementing one of the many Pentagon war scenarios and responses.

In “America's Good German's? A Mercenary Society”, Robert Jensen, tells us that,

The problem is not just that the United States now has a mercenary army but that we are a mercenary society.

The problem is not just that our army fights imperialist wars, but that virtually all of us are in some way implicated in that imperialist system.

Liberals, Democrats, anti-war, peace and social justice people must come to terms with the war in Iraq, U.S. imperialism, and its mercenary society. We either support imperialist war or we do not. We either support the criminal behavior of the Bush/Cheney regime or we do not. The accountability door cannot swing both ways much longer without falling off. History will judge the United States harshly on the war in Iraq. It will judge us, the people, for making it possible.

Jozef Hand-Boniakowski is co-editor and co-publisher of Metaphoria along with his life partner and wife, JeanneE. He is 30-year veteran retired teacher and a member of Veterans For Peace. His writings have appeared in Metaphoria, After Downing Street, Buzzflash, Counterpunch, Thomas Paine's Corner,, Omni Center, Rutland Herald, Times Argus, and others. 

©2007 Jozef Hand-Boniakowski, Ph.D.

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