Yes, we illegally invaded, ad "broke it." But the reason it is not being "fixed' is that Bush has refused to send sufficient forces to provide security. Most of the bombs are targeted at and killing Iraqis, not Americans.
What we all want is to END the war. I think that is how we should be framing this. We want to END the war. The next thing is to talk about how to accomplish that. So does just packing up and leaving accomplish that?
And the next question is, what are the implications for our own security if we just leave? What if radical Islamists take over Iraq - and gain the resources of a nation-state to use against us?
We have been saying that the invasion has not made us safer, and that it created more terrorism not less. But those are not just political slogans. The invasion of Iraq DID make us less safe and DID create more terrorism. So aybe it is NOT such a good idea to just pack up and leave not.
We need to leave in a way that provides security for Iraqis - most likely by bringing in the UN - so they can set up a stable government and justice system capable of keeping a lid on things there.
What if we bring the troops home based on Democratic demands, and it turns out that "We are NOT safer now" is more than a slogan? What if it turns out that we are RIGHT that where Iraq wasn't a terrorist state, it is now? What if it turns out that Bush's mistake DOES cause Iraq to join with Iran?
What if the millions of people pissed off that we invaded, killed their families, destroyed their cities and tortured people decide to do something about it? Is that really what we want to have created and then leave? A war doesn't stop because one side says "time out." A war stops when there is a settlement between the warring parties. What if we are attacked by the elements we have created in Iraq and then leave behind? Will any Democrats ever get (or deserve) another vote?
We HAVE TO bring security to the country, even if it means paying the UN to bring in a million peacekeepers. (Obviously I am not advocating continuing the situation we have in place now. Bush should betried for the crime of aggressive war.)
"I'm beginning to believe that the best way to end the war in Iraq is not so much as the Democrats uniting against it (sorta late for that), but for the Republican Party to have a division over staying or getting out of Iraq."
Bingo. The Dem leadership should stay out of it for now. Just like the Social Security debate, nothing good comes to them from getting in the way of a train wreck in progress.
They simply have no input that will be acted on anyway. Demanding "withdrawal" only sets them (and us) up for the blame.
Gary, I think it depends on what you mean by "outside of the party."
On the Right, the Heritage Foundation, and the 400-or-so other right-wing advocacy/PR organizations are outside of the party, but own the party. They are outside of the party but they ARE the party.
I really believe the answer lies in studying and understanding how the Right accomplished this huge shift that has occurred in the American electorate since the 70's. They laid out a plan, and followed it, and here we are. They designed an infrastructure to carry out the plan, and built it, and there it is.
So we are beginning to understand how their infrastructure - their "noise machine" - operates, and there is a lot to learn. (I think that Lakoff's "framing" and analysis of the conservative and progressive cognitive associations are great, but really they mostly describe some of the techniques being used on us rather than lay out a plan to fight back.)
I think the most basic element is that all of their organizations always, always promote a core ideology, and only after enough repetition to create a favorable response in the "public mind" do the narrower interest organizations come in, always tying their narrower issues to the core ideology.
And all of their organizations follow a strategic narrative about their opponents, and everything is tied to that narrative. THAT is what is keeping people from turning to the opposition s things fall apart. They have a "bad feeling" about liberals and Democrats, a mental association of emotions of humiliation and shame and disgust that will keep them from that.
As a result, there is a core level of support now for the Right and their ideology, even among people who don't understand that is wht they are supporting. It goes way beyond politics and that is why Bush is not likely to fall below this 40% level. (Nixon reached 20% because there had not been such a "branding" effort yet.)
So now WE need to build advocacy/PR organizations that reach the general public with positive marketing, promoting Progressive values and bringing positive associations into people's minds. This requires a long-term effort, but has to start happening before it can start working.
This is a lot for a comment, and needs to be detailed. I'm working on a piece about this...
Also, think about what deductions mean. Suppose you have a corner grocery store. You buy $50,000 worth of stuff and sell it for $100,000.
Do you pay tax on the entire $100,000 of income? Is that fair? But if you want to "deduct" the cost of the goods that were sold, then we're right back to arguing about what should or should not be deducted.
So I propose instead clear ways to eliminate the purchase of tax breaks that we see happening now. Which takes us to a bigger problem - the influence of money in our political system. That's a different subject.