Below article was written by me in Dailykos.com, here. I post very occasionally in dailykos about American politics:
Political reconciliation hasn't happened, and violence has leveled off and may be creeping back up," said Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., chairman of the House committee. "So how can we encourage, if not force, the intransigent political leaders of Iraq to forge a real nation out of their base sectarian instincts?
That above is from AP article here on the Petraeus testimony.
That is a Democrat there, talking as if the Iraqis actually invited the USA to invade them.
American liberals and progressives complain all the time that Democrats in the Congress and Senate are not opposing Imperialism enough. I have seen many imply that the Democrats really do oppose imperialism, but are afraid of being attacked on national security platform.
Read that quote above - it looks almost as if Congressman Skelton admits no culpability for the United States in the current mess - oh no, the States went in with noble intentions and is still acting nobly; but curse those nasty Iraqis for being so sectarian!
The presidential candidates, of course, have to be more careful about this. They never, ever blame the policies that took America here.
Yet we are all scrounging through campaign speeches and debates to find out evidence that Obama or Hillary will indeed make a difference in foreign policy.
We can stop looking forward to that.
If YOU were the most powerful person in the world, and your "base" is asking you to relenquish that power and position, so that "America's image" improves abroad, will you do it?
If YOU were sitting in the Capitol Hill, being solicited by the lobbyists of a hundred countries around the world, knowing that you could use your military at your bidding, at your convenience, would you relenquish that power and seek "multilateralism"?
I think, by definition, it is impossible - for the men and women who are at power's doorsteps in the United States Senate, Congress and White House - to voluntarily give up power. Saying "No" to aggressive war CANNOT be done by the men and women who are at the power center. It is futile to expect that.
Of course, I accept, that if you took long term interests into consideration, it probably makes sense to curtail that power - probably. But they do not know that for sure. All that they know is that it is going to take a long time and the results are iffy, in their mind, to take the noble route of NOT using America's power.
So, what do they do?
They ignore their base.
Why complain about that? Aren't the expectations of us, the leftists, incompatible with human nature itself? How can we expect this from America's leaders?
This is what they mean when they blame "the angry left". Because these leaders know that you do NOT hold the power of America's military (I know, you think you do) - so it is easy for you to ask for moderation of that power.
The leaders are sitting with that power at their finger tips. Why would they get down from there?
There are two assumptions that mess up our politics:
1. That America is the democracy that others should aspire for. Partly true. But then you think America has already reached the zenith of the democratic system. No, you have not. You think that senators and congressmen SHOULD exercise power with caution because you think YOU are in charge. But you are not. It is no different from any other system around the world - the powerful like power. They think they deserve power. No surprise there.
2. That the right leader will tone down American imperialism. That will never happen, because it is against the nature of powerful men to take down the source of their power by several notches.
What, then, is the solution for American Imperialism?
I think we have a lesson from history - the same solution that solved British Imperialism. Imperialism can only be ultimately confronted, exposed and eliminated by the victims.