Crossposted at Daily Kos.

If you don’t know me from my posts here, let me introduce myself: I am a far-left, anti-war Democrat with a pragmatic streak the size of a continent. If you don’t quite see how someone like me can classify herself as a political pragmatist, ask an oldtimer about my days as a Kerry Cheerleader Extraordinaire…

I hereby reiterate the conclusion to which I came some time after the election: Pragmatism has ceased to be an option.

We, the Democrats and progressives and leftists and liberals who believe this war to be wrong, must appeal to our representatives in Congress. We must hammer them with insistent demands.

Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi should get every single Democratic member of Congress out on the wide open space in front of the Vietnam Memorial for a press conference… and declare the war in Iraq to be a mess that will, if not withdrawn from immediately, make Vietnam look like a school ground rumble.

People are dying and suffering for nothing. This is no fucking chess game; this is a rock bottom issue of morality. Anyone who supported or supports this war supports murder and mayhem. And anyone who stands by and does nothing, says nothing — is also supporting death and destruction.

It is INDEFENSIBLE. No good can come of our presence in Iraq; it will simply continue as it has and eventually get worse. More people will die and suffer maiming, more children will lose their parents… and another generation in the Middle East will grow up despising the United States as a mortal enemy. And, frankly, I can’t blame them.

I, of course, have the luxury of wearing my broken heart on my sleeve, of speaking out vociferously against the war and agitating for immediate withdrawal of all coalition forces — because I am not a politician, much less up for re-election in 18 months.

Likewise, the Democrats have the dubious luxury of not having to make the decision — because they do not yet, unfortunately, have the numbers to force Bush to pull us out of Iraq, let alone impeach the motherfucker, which any RATIONAL legislature would already have DONE by now.

The sensible and prudent Democrats almost all advocate, among other things, international support achieved through making the UN a full partner in “help(ing) the Iraqis build a stable, peaceful and pluralistic society.” (from John F. Kerry’s Op-Ed Piece in the Washington Post, Tuesday, April 13, 2004.) Certainly it has become the only “safe” position to take in the face of our woeful lack of influence or power in Congress.

I am thoroughly acquainted with the perilous vicissitudes of retaining what little hope for making up lost ground in 2006 we may have, of how imperiled so many Democrats already are in their re-election bids.

Some, whom I have had the displeasure to witness on various blogs, are taking every opportunity to employ the kind of vicious, counterproductive rhetoric against the deluded pragmatism displayed by these Democrats, which Ralph Nader used to such great and terrible effect against Al Gore in 2000.

Such behaviour, should it affect the mid-term races the way it affected Mr. Gore and put the election within Mr. Bush’s reach, will do nothing to further the goals of these so-called “progressives.” If the previous term is any indication of the cutthroat hubris with which this Administration will use its power to complete its goals (by now transparent to everyone at a third grade reading level)… the next four years under Bush and a Republican dominated legislature may result in a disfiguration of the world as envisioned by the likes of George Orwell and company.

But there comes a time when pragmatic caution is not only regrettable but damned immoral. This is one of those times. Every Democrat in Congress should band together and in one voice, declare the war in Iraq to have been a dreadful mistake on their part — and deliberate deception on the part of the Administration.

The onus is on these Democrats and everyone who feels in his heart as I do — that this war is folly on a tragic scale — to speak the truth as loudly and as often as possible. And since they show absolutely no signs of neither being willing to do so nor even believing that pulling out is the only possible solution — it is no longer enough on our part to merely work to ensure a net gain in 2006. It is incumbent upon every man and woman of conscience to persist in demanding of our leaders that they unravel the Gordian knot tied so tightly and recklessly by George W. Bush.

I am not delusional. The Byzantine ways of war, while utterly unfamiliar to me as a civilian, are obviously complex, and unimaginable to me.

Which is why the raising of voices, the carrying of signs, the marching en masse to declare to the leaders of the world and the peoples of the world that we must end this conflagration NOW is so vital to a (relatively) positive outcome. Delay in our support for withdrawal further delays the decision-makers’ beginning the process of withdrawal.

How much sooner would the lamentable and catastrophic Vietnam war have ended had the protests begun years earlier? We are no longer the naive population we once were, blindly and trustingly acquiescing to the patriarchal edicts of our leaders. Ill-informed as we may be collectively, we have FAR more access to the truth now than we did then. We know enough, now, to speak up when we notice a naked emperor strutting down our streets. We MUST.

It is tragic and outrageous that these words must be spoken once again: How much longer, how many more people must die in service of George W. Bush’s insane folly? Must we surpass the official death toll of Vietnam before we collectively run out of snooze alarms? What will it fucking TAKE to stop this madness? How can you ask someone to die for a mistake?

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