Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon is distraught in his belief that "the Iraqi patriots are those who fight against us"-- so he wants to relive his youthful Vietnam War protester days in dissent against the US military effort over there. The other day he invited his email list to suggest what form the protest should take. Gordon offers an incoherent psychoanalysis of President Bush to justify all this. A deranged soldier killed in a tragic incident with Maryland police is his starting point for alleging the President's unfitness to lead. The outrageous line about Iraqi patriots is down in his 11th paragraph, but you have to read the senator's entire rant to get the full impact. What any of this has to do with his duties in the state legislature is not clear. Ken Gordon's complete 1/7 email is shown below. - John Andrews ------------------------------------------------------------------------- WE DON'T CONSENT Mass email from firstname.lastname@example.org January 7, 2007
James Dean, an army reservist from Maryland, locked himself in his father’s house and threatened to commit suicide on learning that, after having already served 18 months in Afghanistan, he was being sent to Iraq. A neighbor said that he was a good boy, but the notice of his deployment sent him into a spiral of depression.
The standoff with police ended when he was shot in the chest and killed.
His death will show up on Maryland homicide statistics, not the Iraq war deaths.
I have been in a state of low-grade horror ever since we knew the outcome of the 2000 Presidential election.
It was clear to me that we had elected an insecure person as President who would not be the primary decision maker in his own administration.
It was also clear to me that he substituted a commitment to ideology and religion for knowledge, study and analysis. He compensated for a lack of intellectual discipline by denying that the products of intellect matter.
In 2000 I didn’t predict that in six years he would have done as much damage as he has--I was hopeful that he would have humility and take advice from a broad spectrum--but in retrospect it does not seem surprising.
There are experts about Iraq, Iran and the Middle East. I am not one of them. What I do know, though, would have made me very cautious about attempting to impose our will on this region by force.
America has a history that has created a positive legend and a justifiable pride in its citizens. We fought for our own liberty. We created a democracy. We fought again against slavery and again against egregious dictatorships. Our prosperity and strength has made us proud but has also made us insular and arrogant.
Iraqis have a history and legend as well. This I don’t know as well, but I know that the people of the region remember the Crusades where Europeans came into the region and committed ruthless and indiscriminant murder. After the First World War the British imposed their will by force. In 1953 the American CIA helped overthrow Mossadegh of Iran and imposed the Shah, a cruel and heartless leader, albeit an American “friend.”
Perhaps the pride of the Iraqis is bound up in throwing the foreigners out of the region. Maybe the Iraqi patriots are those who fight against us. It is likely that we are on the wrong side of the history of the region, a region that nurses a sense of wronged injustice and humiliation.
Now the administration is saying put more troops in Iraq, a ”surge” it is called. We have 130,000 troops there now. Some are saying that if we had 160,000 it would make the difference.
I don’t know, but I do know this. We had 550,000 troops in Vietnam, a country of similar population. I also know that I don’t trust the people who are saying a surge will help. They have been wrong so many times. And they aren’t just accidentally wrong. They are programmed to be wrong because their decisions are ideological and not fact-based.
They cannot admit to making a mistake. This is more true of people who rely on ideology than those who rely on facts, because if someone who makes decisions based on ideology is wrong, than the ideology is wrong, and that is all they have. It is their core. If Bush’s ideology is wrong, then he has nothing.
This Administration is causing Americans and Iraqis to die in the Middle East, with a consequent reduction in the influence and safety of our country, in order to protect an always doomed and now obviously failed ideological approach.
I went to Washington in November of 1969 to protest against the War in Vietnam. As an attorney I represented people who were arrested for protesting against aid to the Contras and who blocked the entrance to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.
The current situation even more strongly demands action by the American people. We buy the bullets and the bombs with our taxes. We elected the President who decided to send James Dean back to the war. Our silence is consent.
Our President does not have the moral seriousness, the intellectual strength or the mature judgment for us to acquiesce in the decisions he is making in our name.
We need to take some form of peaceful action to demonstrate our lack of consent. Any suggestions?