January 31, 2007

I've admired Joe Biden for a long time. Year after year, on issue after issue, he's stood up for progressive values, inclusion and social justice. He's a smart and experienced leader. This excerpt of his recent Meet the Press interview avaliable on Youtube is a good example. I haven't decided which candidate for president I support yet. But I think we Democrats could do a lot worse than Joe Biden and, sadly, probably will.

January 29, 2007

President Bush has repeatedly said that Democratic Party leaders and other opponents of his actions in Iraq have a responsibility to do more than just criticize his plan for a troop surge. Instead, he says, critics of his policies should offer up their own plan. Bush has a point.

So, all together now, a newly minted Democratic Party Plan for Victory in Iraq:

Step One:

President Bush and Vice President Cheney should accept full personal responsibility for their miscalculations and blunders and resign. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would then be immediately sworn in as the next president. In taking this step President Bush should acknowledge the simple fact that an American president cannot lead our nation in a time of war effectively without the support of the American people. Resignation would be a patriotic step on the part of the president and vice president. At this stage, it is also the only way either one of them can possibly salvage the legacies they worry about and earn the respect of our nation and of history. Their resignations would position President Pelosi and her administration to make a fresh start, restore credibility to White House statements on foreign policy and enable American diplomats to reengage our now alienated allies and trading partners in the pursuit of peace, stability and basic human rights in the Middle East.

Step Two:

President Nancy Pelosi should order a plebiscite election in Iraq within 90 days, with the voting supervised by the United Nations. The Iraqi people should be given two choices: an Islamic religious dictatorship or a representative democracy operating under the rule of law with respect for basic human rights, including the rights of women, a free press and complete freedom of religion. If the Iraqi people vote for an Islamic dictatorship then the United States should hand over complete power to the most responsible religious leaders it can find and immediately withdraw all troops. If the Iraqi people vote for a representative democracy then move on to Step Three.

Step Three:

If the Iraqi people vote to maintain and extend a representative form of democracy President Pelosi should turn to our allies and trading partners and ask them to join us in marshalling and deploying a force of at least 600,000 troops or more, in numbers realistically sufficient to restore order and stability to Iraq and to secure its borders. If any of our allies or trading partners refuses such assistance the United States should immediately assess trade tariffs on products and services exported from those countries to the United States. The proceeds from these trade tariffs should be used to pay the pro-rata share of the peacekeeping force and expense that non-participating countries would otherwise have provided if they had stepped up as willing partners in the campaign to restore order in Iraq. The stabilization force should stay in place in Iraq until such time as the Iraqi government is in a position to safeguard the restoration of peace and security. At that time, all foreign forces would be withdrawn.

Now, wouldn't it be wonderful if the next time President Bush says, "well, so what's your plan?" some leading Democrat says, "well, Mr. President, actually we do have a plan and, respectfully sir, it begins, for the sake of the country, with your resignation."

January 27, 2007

A new friend just turned me on to Kiva.org. Wow. The site reminds me how more and more these days we are seeing the Internet finally living up to its earliest promise and potential and roots as a tool designed to nurture more advanced forms of human cooperation and social organization. Sites like Kiva fulfill that promise. Long live Peter Kropotkin!