By The Progressive on December 18, 2006
Harry Reid No Majority Leader
By Matthew Rothschild

December 18, 2006

The leadership of the Democratic Party is nowhere—nowhere on the Iraq War.

Look no further than Sunday’s “This Week” program, where Harry Reid was asked about the latest crazy idea from Bush and company: the surge —throwing 20,000 or more additional U.S. troops into Baghdad.

Reid is supposed to represent the opposition, but on Iraq, he’s providing no real opposition to the Bush course.

Reid, who came to power as Majority Leader in the Senate on the gusts of anti-war sentiment, amazingly is on board with Bush now.

“If the commanders on the ground said this is just for a short period of time, we’ll go along with that,” Reid said.

Go along?

Come on, Harry, get with it.

Sending more troops to Baghdad is only going to result in more U.S. soldiers dying.

It’s only prolonging the inevitable, which is that we’ve got to pull our troops out of there, not keep sending more in.

Reid is supposed to represent the opposition, but on Iraq, he’s providing no real opposition to the Bush course. Oh, he can say, as he did on Sunday, that "the American people will not allow this war to go on as it has." But he won't do anything to prevent it from going on as it has. His only proposal, to date, has been to send an envoy to Iraq, as if that would solve anything.

He’s to the right of Colin Powell on the Iraq War at this point.

Powell, who was on “Face the Nation” Sunday, said, “The American Army isn’t large enough to secure Baghdad.”

So Bush’s former Secretary of State has the wisdom and the guts to say this, but the leader of the Democrats in the Senate somehow has neither.

The American people want out.

Harry Reid wants in, at least for the short term.

I don’t call that being a majority leader.

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Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.

On November 20 every year for the last fifteen years, transgender people gather for vigil ceremonies to acknowledge...

Yesterday the U.S. Senate narrowly defeated a bill that would approve construction on the Keystone XL pipeline.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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