The Vietnam Strategy - Dead on Arrival

In the next few days, President Bush will propose his latest strategy for Iraq, one that counter to public opinion as expressed in repeated polls and the November elections will escalate the war, adding more troops and putting them in the most dangerous places. Since the military officers who are actually there don't support this strategy, he is replacing them. Since the universally respected ambassador to Iraq doesn't support the strategy, he's getting slid over to the United Nations, which anyone who knows the Bush administrations attitude toward the UN knows isn't a promotion except on paper.

How should the Democrats in Congress and we as the progressive/reform wing of the party react to this? With three words: Dead on Arrival.

The words that surround a policy suggestion in the first few days often control the debate. This is the essence of framing. We want to make that debate "is it Dead on Arrival or is it not?" Then we want to move the debate so that it quickly becomes obvious the answer is yes and we can move on to other alternatives in Iraq.

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Binging on Surging (political cartoon)

Crossposted from Town Called Dobson

click to enlarge

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Reprinted from The Satirical Political Report

Tired of Bill Safire's annual "Office Pool" column in The New York Times? -- the 2007 version of which appeared today. Sick of his not-so-subtle slants to reflect his right-wing wish list? Well, here then, is the only Office Pool you need, the First Annual "Office Satire Pool" for 2007:

1. George Bush will:

(a) stay the course, (b) give in to his urge to surge, (c) cut and run, (d) cut his wrists.

I hope for (d), but fear it'll be (b).

2. Dick Cheney will push for the invasion of:

(a) Iran, (b) Syria, (c) Iraq, all over again, (d) The Democratic-controlled House and Senate.

My pick: All of the above.

3. Osama bin Laden will:

(a) be captured while dining with Pakistan President Musharraf, (b) take over as the lead anchor on Al Jazeera, (c) be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bush, for ensuring W's re-election.

The answer is (a), but you won't hear about it, since Bush needs both Musharraf and bin Laden.

4. Which politician's platform to battle the E. coli threat will be most ridiculed:

(a) Hillary Clinton's centrist-tacking "All meat should be safe, legal and rare," (b) John McCain's "Send in more bacteria," (c) John Kerry's "How do you ask a man to die for a last steak."

Obviously (c), which will be played to death by the Swift Meat Company veterans.

5. Which position will the extreme Right-Wing do a dramatic reversal on:

(a) abortion, (b) tax cuts for the wealthy, (c) global warming, (d) human cloning.

The correct answer is (d) human cloning, which has already occurred, based on the fact that Pat Buchanan appears simultaneously on every cable news station.


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Brent Budowsky on the Mark Riley Show

If you have enjoyed Brent Budowsky's commentaries, you'll love hearing him interviewed on Air America's Mark Riley Show each morning from Tuesday, December 26 through Friday, December 29, 2006, 5 AM to 6 AM Eastern time.  If you don't receive AAR by broadcast or by satellite, you can listen on the internet

And this is from a recent essay posted at

The American People Did Not Vote To Escalate The War In Iraq: Write Congress Now.

by Brent Budowsky

Let's have instant replay of the day before the Congressional elections when Republican and Democratic candidates were asking the country for their votes in their final summation:

How many candidates for the House or Senate said: "Vote for me, and I will escalate the war in Iraq"?


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It's an ESCALATION, Not a "Surge"

This is right on. The Republicans and Big Media have successfully bamboozzled the Democratic leadership in DC into seemingly going along with this escalation of troops. It's a direct contradiction of the '06 mandate given to the Democrats to stop Bush and get out of Iraq. It is the Democrats that will bear the costs at the polls, if they allow an escalation to happen. Bush and Rove know that, whereas the Democrats, once again, seem like they just wish the war would go away. Jerome

If there's one thing we've learned about Karl Rove's MO it's that his job number one is to start by figuring out the poll-tested term that has the best chance of selling Bush's policies to the public and then job number two is making sure that that term is the one everyone in the media uses. Prominent examples include "social security reform" and "personal accounts" instead of "social security privatization" and "private accounts;""sectarian violence" instead of "civil war;""healthy forests" instead of "clear cuts;" you get the idea.

So I don't mean to chide anyone in particular for using the term "surge," since everyone else is doing it too. But why on earth is everyone calling it a "surge" when in any other combat situation in history the same shift on the ground would be called an "escalation?"

For examples of progressive blogs using the term, and a few closing thoughts, there's more below:

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