I am very pleased that Congress is finally debating Iraq.
Personally, I think that the primary reason that we haven't made strides in rebuilding Iraq is that Bush and the neocons have stifled debate. Since the debate had been stifled, the political players in the world were reduced to base posturing and behind the scene maneuvering.
Democracies are born in debate.
I've said in previous posts that Bush's proposal of a troop surge was brilliant as it changed the debate from one of how we will retreat to one about winning the peace.
It seems to me that peacekeeping takes two components: The first is a consensus, the second is a great deal of analysis. You can't achieve either of these components without discourse.
Just as violence is infective, so is discourse. Drawing people into a debate about the future turns people from violence to peace.
The only problem with debate is that people expect debate to end with action. In most cases, new legislation and new laws just get in the way. I hope the debate continues to focus on nonbinding resolutions, and not on Bills.
The thing that really puzzles me is that the Republicans had been systemically winning each of the debates on the economy and economic policy up to Bush's invasion of Iraq.
I watched about a dozen speeches from Democrats and Republicans who were really engaged in spirit of the debate. The obstructionist Harry Reid was the only speach I could not stand. Worms like Reid, however, have their greatest effect when discourse is stifled. They slink back into the dung pile of obscurity when real debate takes place.
BTW, when you listen to the debate, notice how Ried tries to trip up the debate on linquistic nonsense. My guess is that, like Hugo Chavez, Reid is a disciple of Chomsky. One of the nonsense soundbytes that Reid repeats is that there is not a military solution, only a political one. Of course, if you look at history of the human race, you will find that militaries (peacekeeping forces) are pretty much always present at the start of any sustained peace process.
If we really want to engage in word mincing, I think a better description is that we won the war quite easily. The war mission was accomplished a long time ago. We have been failing the peacekeeping mission that must follow a war.
Reid's second mantra is that the "sectarian violence" has turned into a "civil war." This is supposed to trigger some sort of neuron in our brain that tells us that we must retreat because it is unwise to get involved in a civil war.
Again, if we see our current situation as one where we won the war a year or so ago, and that we are now engaged in a difficult peacekeeping mission, you would see Reid's arguments as dust. Peacekeeping missions have stopped civil wars. For example, in post the Rwanda genocide, Peacekeepers were able to stem the number of retribution killings that could have easily doubled the body count.
But, why is that ugly obstructionist Reid sticking in my mind. I just saw 19 beautiful debates where Democrats and Republicans were starting to find consensus. We have to break from this situation where neocon clowns like Bush and progressive jokers like Reid rip us apart.
The pieces of the debate I saw (Harry Reid excluded) were great.