Friday, May 25, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #58 - Part 3

The Little Thing: "precipitous withdrawal"

Readers of my blog know that I occasionally refer to "the little thing." So this is I think the first in what might be an occasional series called just that - "The Little Thing." I often find that what really gets me, what really gripes me, about something is not the big thing that everyone else is talking about, but it's rather some little thing, some minor point, some aside, in a story that sets me off. So here's an example:

You know, or at least I hope you do, about the vote this past Thursday where the House of Representatives rejected an amendment that would have put a swift end to the war in Afghanistan by saying funds could be used only for the "safe and orderly withdrawal of US troops and military contractors." It lost; in fact it wasn't even close. The vote was 303-113.

Opponents did this despite admitting that Americans are tired of this pointless war and that it is as unpopular as Vietnam was in the early '70s. Americans now oppose the war in Afghanistan by a margin of well over 2-1. But that fact, to what should have been no one's surprise, didn't matter.

I wasn't surprised either by the result or even by the margin: After all, it wasn't until 1970 that the first significant move in Congress to cut off funding for the Indochina War was seen and Congress didn't actually cut off funding for combat operations in the area until after the Paris Peace Accords in 1973. So now as then, the people are, in the words of Rep. Barbara Lee, "far ahead of Congress."

So that wasn't the thing that got me. No, it was this little thing, quoting from the article: "Opponents of the amendment conceded that the public has grown tired of war, but they argued against a precipitous withdrawal."

I read that and was like AARGH! "Precipitous withdrawal?" What decade is this? Talk about your '60s flashback. "Precipitous withdrawal?" That's exactly, in those words, what calls to end the Indochina War were labeled - that is, when they weren't called "cutting and running" and we weren't called "nervous Nellies" (or "an effete corps of impudent snobs" or "nattering nabobs of negativism" - good times, good times).

"Precipitous withdrawal"- that means "getting out of a stupid, pointless, wasteful, idiotic, inane, cruel, bloody, mindless, destructive war any faster than the militarists already planned on doing because doing that would mean admitting how badly they screwed up in the first place and we just can't have that, the desires of the public be damned." It's what we heard then, it's what we hear now, it's what we hear every single freaking time that the people of the country suss out just how lame our misleaders really are when it comes to spilling our blood.

"Precipitous withdrawal." When you hear that, you know one thing: They intend for us to continue to kill and die - and they don't have one damn actual good reason for it.


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