Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Molly Ivins’ last column

This was Molly Ivins’ last column. May this shining light rest in peace. Thanks to Dean for forwarding the graphic by Sherffius from Cagle Cartoons.

In a less rousing, more tongue-in-cheek and cynical vein, see Micky Z.‘s only half-comical Top Ten Reasons Why the White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchal Culture (WSCPC) Will Not be Toppled Any Time Soon.


Bush gave us war – now give him hell for it

The purpose of this old-fashioned newspaper crusade to stop the war is not to make George W. Bush look like the dumbest president ever. People have done dumber things. What were they thinking when they bought into the Bay of Pigs fiasco? How dumb was the Egypt-Suez war? How massively stupid was the entire war in Vietnam? Even at that, the challenge with this misbegotten adventure is that we simply cannot let it continue.

It is not a matter of whether we will lose or we are losing. We have lost.

Gen. John P. Abizaid, until recently the senior commander in the Middle East, insists that the answer to our problems there is not military.

“You have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geo-strategically,” he said. His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the departing senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who only recommend releasing forces with a clear definition of the goals for the additional troops.

Bush’s call for a “surge” or “escalation” also goes against the Iraq Study Group.

Talk is that the White House has planned to do anything but what the group suggested after months of investigation and proposals based on much broader strategic implications.

About the only politician out there besides Bush actively calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: “The presence of additional coalition forces would allow the Iraqi government to do what it cannot accomplish today on its own — impose its rule throughout the country. . . . By surging troops and bringing security to Baghdad and other areas, we will give the Iraqis the best possible chance to succeed.”

But with all due respect to the senator from Arizona, that ship has long since sailed.

A surge is not acceptable to the people in this country — we have voted overwhelmingly against this war in polls (about 80 percent of the public is against escalation, and a recent Military Times poll shows only 38 percent of active military want more troops sent) and at the polls.
We know this is wrong. The people understand, the people have the right to make this decision, and the people have the obligation to make sure our will is implemented.

Congress must work for the people in the resolution of this fiasco.

Ted Kennedy’s proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step.

And if Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administration’s idiotic “plans” and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recent colleagues.

Anyone who wants to talk knowledgably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s “Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone.” It’s like reading a horror novel. You just want to put your face down and moan: How could we have let this happen? How could we have been so stupid?

As The Washington Post’s review notes, Chandrasekaran’s book “methodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraq’s fiendish politics, rebuild the electrical grid, privatize the economy, run the oil industry, recruit expert staff or instill a modicum of normalcy to the lives of Iraqis.”

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush’s proposed surge. . . . We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, “Stop it, now!”

3 comments on “Molly Ivins’ last column

  1. Pingback: Molly « Forever Under Construction

  2. servant
    10 February, 2007

    Molly had a strong cult following for America liberals. Even though I’m from the mid-west, almost everyone in the U.S. has someone like Molly in their family. A woman who liked to drink and smoke and use foul language, Molly’s bullshit detector went off the second anyone tried to slide an unexamined truth into the conversation. She had no use whatsoever for pretense of any kind. Molly was Molly. Take it or leave it. Molly was what we call a straight shooter.

    She was famous for plain speaking and applying generous doses of common sense to political problems with Texas vernacular. Molly kept alive the tradition of Will Rogers – a person from the country who pretends not to know what’s going on in fashionable circles but keeps an eye open for exactly how fashion affects the rest of us. For all our talk of independence and rugged individualism, Americans love their herd instinct. There’s a tendency in American popular culture to take up ideas just because everyone else is doing it. That’s why you always need someone like Molly around. Molly was like cow girl in that respect, cracking a mean bullwhip, saying something like – you people would get a good laugh if you could see how silly you look right about now.

    Gonna miss ya like hell Molly!

  3. peoplesgeography
    10 February, 2007

    Great cartoon Serv., thanks for the chuckle

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Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"