war, wart

6 07 2007

When I read articles like this one in the New York Times headlined, “G.O.P. Support for Iraq Policy Erodes Further,” I can’t help but get this kind of smug, triumphant feeling in my chest.

That’s a little heartless of me, considering the report comes from hundreds of families of soldiers who have pleaded that the course in Iraq is nothing short of devastating:

Speaking to reporters on a conference call from Albuquerque, Mr. Domenici said his change of heart came after conversations with the families of New Mexico soldiers killed in Iraq who asked him to do more to save those still serving there.

The story uses Senator Pete V. Domenici, a Republican from New Mexico who had strongly supported the war and the Bush administration since we initially entered Iraq, as a representative tale to illustrate eroding Republican support in Congress for the ever-disasterous course in Iraq.

Domenici is not alone: Republican Senators across the board are disheartened by Iraq’s failure to cooperate (who would’ve thunk it? The Iraqi people aren’t down with modern imperialism? You don’t say…) , and as a result are urging the President to climb off that doomed horse he’s stubbornly been riding for five years and choose another strategy.

So yeah, it’s a little bit tempting to sit back and spout off a few zinging “I told you so’s.”

But let’s not. Because this is our opportunity as a population of progressives to show Congress blatantly what it is we want from them. As the House and the Senate flounder around trying desprately to figure out what to do next, there are a fair number of American people who already have a good idea.

And it isn’t enough to send an e-mail or click a button on the Internet on comment religiously on the Daily Kos.  Political activism is embarassingly tawdry these days. Organize. March. Go door-to-door. Bombard your Congressman with letters. Get out of the house for a change.

I think that because people have grown so used to instant satisfaction that they’ve grown disillusioned with the slow process that is political activism. Oh, you marched in a rally and it didn’t stop the war? Guess what? That’s not how it works.

These messages take a long time to send, but they are effective.  Now that the system is so vulnerable, for the first time in years, real change is possible




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