Last night I took notes while watching the talking heads on the news programs. They were discussing what the Dems would/should do now that they control Congress.
It is clear to me that the American people are being prepared to lower their expectations now that the Dems will run the show in Congress. Here is a sampling:
* Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said that we must now "narrow the parameters of the debate" about Iraq. We should know in a year if a new policy is working in Iraq.
* Don Haass from the Council on Foreign Relations said there will be some troop reductions, that we will move troops out of Baghdad, sit our troops at the new permanent bases so that we have fewer casualties, guard Iraq's borders, and work on diplomacy more with Syria and Iran to get their help. The U.S. military role in Iraq would be "limited".
* Newly elected Sen. Claire McCaskell (D-MO) told Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball that she'd likely support John Bolton's nomination at the U.N. (which has still not been approved by the Senate) even though he has pledged to destroy the U.N. Luckily it was reported today that Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chaffe today said he would work to block the nomination. Sen. Chaffe, a real moderate, was defeated for reelection by a Democrat.
* Time Magazine's Jay Carney said the U.S. couldn’t leave Iraq because it would create "catastrophic chaos". We must get out "in a reasonable manner" he maintained.
* Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) who has authored the "redeployment" plan calling for U.S. troops to be moved to Kuwait, where we can bomb them from a distance and send Special Forces troops back into Iraq as needed, said there would be no cuts in Iraq war funding from the Democrats. He also said that the military now needs a lot of money to "resupply and retool" the Pentagon after they have had so much hardware destroyed in Iraq. I was once in Murtha's office years ago. He has all kinds of models of weapons systems displayed throughout his office. He is a true friend of the military industrial complex.
* My own “liberal” congressman, Rep. Tom Allen (D-ME) was on the radio yesterday and he said as long as the troops are in Iraq he feels a "moral obligation" to continue to fund the occupation. He is calling for a phased withdrawal sometime in the next year and he also supports the Murtha redeployment plan. I read today that CNN's exit polls of Maine voters revealed that 65% of them opposed the Iraq war.
Bush's nomination of Robert Gates to replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon must be strongly resisted by the peace movement. Click on the link above and see what former CIA veteran Ray McGovern has to say about Gates while he was at the CIA. McGovern says Gates was "the one most responsible for institutionalizing political corruption of intelligence analysis". He would fit right in with the current crowd in Washington.
So to me the early signs are that the Dems, despite the fact that they rode the peace movement momentum into power, intend to play ball with Bush and keep the Iraq occupation going. Most importantly, the Dems plan to keep the military production process alive and well in order to ensure the military empire is well equipped and active.