Monday, April 30, 2007

What's next?

Shmuel Rosner, Chief US Correspondent for Ha'aretz, said this morning "The Israeli public stands to learn from the Winograd report what the American public has learned following the Iraq War: Successful leaders require good judgment, moderation and farsightedness. In lieu of these, they must produce victories on the battlefield."

The Winograd Report states that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert failed "severely" in applying sound judgment, responsibility, and caution in his management of the Second Lebanon War.

"Olmert is responsible for going to war without a proper plan. He is responsible for the goals not being carefully and clearly set."

(emphasis is mine.)

Sound familiar? Yet Olmert, despite the harsh criticism and demands that he resign, refuses to step down. He knows well that if he resigns, he might as well take up gardening because his career in politics will end. If he sticks it out, he may weather the storm. Tragicly, he may remain in power, the will of the people be damned. And this sounds all too familiar to me vis a vis our own situation in the United States. Change the name: Bush is responsible for going to war without a proper plan. He is responsible for the goals not being carefully and clearly set."

The Winograd Report also states: "part of the failures and deficiencies we found were not limited to the Lebanon war or to the decision makers we investigated."

In other words, there is a failure in the system. You can change the faces, but they all play by the same broken rules. If you want real change, the system must change. Every day, an increasing series of embarrassments are revealed in Washington and Jerusalem. Yet, despite the voice of the citizens of both the United States and Israel, Bush and Olmert remain in power. And the system remains unchanged.

We get up, we go to work (or not.) We pay our bills (or not.) We go about our day-to-day business somehow a step removed from the actual events. Yet how removed are we? Really? On Thursday night, I learned that the oldest son of a work collegue was shipped out to Iraq in January. We have a volunteer army - this kid signed up after we went to war, he knew that he'd be sent to Iraq. What does this tell me?

Over the weekend, there were concentrated sets of rallies to set the Impeachment process in motion. There are demands that Bush, and Cheney, be impeached. We're seeing Paul Wolfowitz under fire; demands that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales step down and be investigated. Randall Tobias just resigned abruptly in a scandal involving the DC Madame. In Israel, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz was forced to resign a couple of months ago. What changes? What's next?

We do need to change the system, and I am not clear how we go about it. It isn't so much that I believe we need a Revolution, as I believe we need to enforce a system of checks and balances. Our system was designed to prevent absolute power. Our government has become all about creating and enforcing absolute power. This Administration, and the parallel Administration in Israel, are proof positive that Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

(cross posted at The Katrinacrat and The Fat Lady Sings)


Peacechick Mary said...

One thing I hope Americans have learned loud and clear from the Bush regime is that we can never trust politicians - not one of them. We need some laws that prevent them from doing some of the things we have endured, but I don't know what or how. Maybe we should have an automatic mid-term keep or recall election. Good point and great analysis, Jood.

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

God, it provides so much food for thought but as far as action goes, I feel stuck in the mud. How many rallies can I attend? Not that I care if I have to attend one every day, and maybe that is the answer, but how much do we have to voice our disapproval of the status quo before anyone will listen?

The system is the Military Industrial Complex. With that much money being thrown around, how do we fight? I have not watched much news lately, but I doubt there was much coverage on the Impeachment Rallies.

We need more vocal politicians like Kucinich, former Senator Gravel, and Murtha.

I really believe if the Dems would get mad, really mad, and stand up and fight we would be okay, but someone has the dirt on all of them. Most of them are compromised. I think we need a whole new generation of public servants who are pissed off and ready to serve the public and not their pocketbooks and base desires.

Lulu Maude said...

Maybe it was just a ploy, but Sharon seemed to be getting it... and then he had a stroke.

I don't believe in divine cause-and-effect, fortunately, but that was one case of terrible timing.

Did Dubya stuff Olmert's ballot box? Lend out Karl Rove for his election?

betmo said...

we have the power of the purse- and i don't mean congress. this country is in the shape it is partly because of our capitalist society. research and boycott as much as you can- buy wisely. there are always going to be people who want to keep their job with lockheed martin- trust me- owego, ny is 15 minutes away from me- and that's all you hear about here because of the stagnant economy. band together- and keep it out there and going- that's all we can do. involvement is something that they didn't count on. they can be stopped.