Powerful Democratic Sen Carl Levin, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has become the first openly imperial Democrat by assuming that he has the right to tell Iraq what to do with its government.
Declaring the government of Iraq “non-functional,” the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that Iraq’s parliament should oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet if they are unable to forge a political compromise with rival factions in a matter of days.
“I hope the parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government,” Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said after a three-day trip to Iraq and Jordan.
Levin’s statement, the most forceful call for leadership change in Iraq from a U.S. elected official, comes as about two dozen lawmakers are traveling to Iraq during Congress’s August break to glean firsthand assessments before receiving a progress report next month from Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander there, and Ryan C. Crocker, the U.S. ambassador.
Levin’s comments show just how deeply the Democratic leadership has internalized the foreign policy establishment’s unquestioning acceptance of the fundamental neoconservative belief that the US is and ought to be an imperial power, complete with satraps and client states. It seems not to have occurred to him that Iraq’s internal politics are none of his business.
Instead, he’s mouthing off to the press with heavy-handed “suggestions” about what they ought to be doing in the full expectation that they will listen and, he “hopes”, obey. He sounds like Palmerston talking about India 150 years ago, from the pretense that the Iraqi govt is “free” to the ominous unstated warning about what will happen if it doesn’t do what it’s told.
It’s bad enough to hear this sort of thing from imperialist Pub punks like Perle and Kristol. To hear it from somebody like Levin is depressing – and dangerous. If the “opposition” party is on the same faulty page as the imperial party, making the same false equivalences, supporting the same false arguments, and selling the same false solutions, where does that leave us?
Americans are not, by nature, imperialists. The party hierarchies may have accepted, even embraced, the idea of an American Empire. We have not. The public is emphatic in denying the whole notion of US imperialism as represented by the Iraq occupation, and the quickly rising disapproval ratings for the Democratic Congress are unambiguous. We reject imperialism, we expected the Democrats to reject it – that’s why we elected them – and as they move further and further toward imperialism rather than away from it, we are rejecting them.
The message couldn’t be clearer and still they’re ignoring us. Levin can go on tv and spout imperialist arrogance and nobody so much as raises an eyebrow. Is it any wonder the Dems won’t get us out of Iraq? They have the same imperialist outlook as the Pubs.
What makes you think they’ll stop an invasion of Iran?