Syndicated political columnist Molly Ivins died of breast cancer on Wednesday evening (Feb-1-2007) at her home in Austin. She was 62 years old. Her columns were published in over 400 newspapers accross the US. By typing her name into Google you will find dozens of tributes on her life and work. Here are many of her latest articles: http://www.texasobserver.org/molly_work.html.
And here is the last article she wrote on Jan 11, 2007. She railed against war and injustice to the very end of her life:
Stop it. Now.
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 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 are losing or will lose. 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. â€œYou have to internationalize the problem. You have to attack it diplomatically, geostrategically,â€ he says.
His assessment is supported by Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the senior American commander in Iraq, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recommend sending more forces only if there is a clear definition of their goals.
Bushâ€™s call for a â€œsurgeâ€ 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 based on much broader strategic implications.
About the only politician out there besides Bush calling for a surge is Sen. John McCain. In a recent opinion piece, he wrote: â€œThe 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.â€ 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 countryâ€”we have voted overwhelmingly against this war at the polls and in the 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.) 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. Sen. Ted Kennedyâ€™s proposal to control the money and tighten oversight is a welcome first step. If Republicans want to continue to rubber-stamp this administrationâ€™s idiotic â€œplansâ€ and go against the will of the people, they should be thrown out as soon as possible, to join their recently departed colleagues.
Anyone who wants to talk knowledgeably about our Iraq misadventure should pick up Rajiv Chandrasekaranâ€™s Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraqâ€™s Green Zone. Itâ€™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 Postâ€™s review notes, Chandrasekaranâ€™s book â€œmethodically documents the baffling ineptitude that dominated U.S. attempts to influence Iraqâ€™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.â€
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 weâ€™re for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bushâ€™s proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, â€œStop it, now!â€
Molly Ivins was a nationally syndicated columnist. Her last book, with Lou Dubose, is Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bushâ€™s America (Random House).