Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Madam Secretary, Why Don't They Love Us?

On Fox News Sunday (2/25/2007), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explained why Congress should not reconsider the 2002 authorization of discretionary force granted to George Bush. Jr.:

“It would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that, so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown.”

The implied camparison between Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein is absurd. Hitler conquered Europe, invaded Russia, and killed millions. Hussein was steam-rolled twice and captured in a hole in the ground. The Roosevelt administration did not have to invent stories about German and Japanese aggression to sell a war. And there was no resolution that “allowed” us to prevail or which gave President Roosevelt extraordinary war powers.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The next day, Congress declared war against Japan. Three days later, Germany delivered a declaration of war to the State Department’s European Division under Secretary of State Cordell Hull (left), one of Rice’s predecessors. Congress declared war against Japan and Germany in the quaint, pre-9/11, Constitutional way.

U.S. Presidents did not determine post-war plans for Europe. Over Republican opposition, Congress approved the Marshall Plan and President Truman signed it in 1948. It was named after General George Marshall (right), former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who became Secretary of State in 1947.

The U.S. occupied Germany and Japan through the early 1950s, but the Germans and Japanese did not shoot U.S. troops or plant roadside bombs. Now, flash forward. Through war and economic sanctions, the U.S. has killed more Iraqis than former U.S. client, Saddam Hussein, who was overthrown and hanged in a soap episode you can download on the internet. Inexplicably, some Iraqis are still targeting their liberators and anyone connected to those liberators. I don’t understand, Madam Secretary. Why don’t they love us?

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