Addendum to "Lost Memo":
Stan Goff, a 25-year veteran of US Special Forces, is succinct when he refers to the "one, absolute, bottom-line point of agreement" between the DC foreign policy establishment represented by the late Iraq Study Group and the Bush Administration, namely the passage of Iraq's Hydrocarbons Law and the "privatization" of the oil industry. "The rhetorical scuffle between the two entities is not the what, but the how".
The disconnect between reality and rhetoric is simply too great to hope for alternatives or cure-all reform.
If people in power aren't willing to openly admit that the occupation of Iraq is about oil and nothing else, and that the violent rhetoric against Iran is not about the thoroughly unproven nuclear ambitions or a nonexistent threat to Israel, but about both oil and the Israeli Right's fears about the "demographic problem", there isn't a conversation to be had and there is no set of policy recommendations worth making. Democrats and Republicans alike aren't actually going to do anything responsible with regard to the Middle East until they are willing to admit that American foreign policy is primarily about corporations and imperial control, not about the interests and security of the American people or the freedom and well-being of sundry Muslim nationalities. Before they'd listen to anything the actual rod would have to say to them, they would need to come clean, and admit that they're imperialists. They're not willing to admit that, so there's no conversation worth having. Apparently, conversation requires a common language.
There's no reason to have faith in politicians prone to spouting the racist subterfuge about "Iraqis taking responsibility for their own security" after supporting over a decade of crushing sanctions, bombing campaigns, and then a brutal invasion based on malicious lies, all of which would tear apart any society. There's no reason to have faith in them if they continue to limit themselves to tactical critiques of an illegal war of aggression--not just the newcomer Obama (whom I and many left writers on the internet have decided to take to task for the same criminality all of his colleagues engage in) but all of his colleagues as well. The recommendation of a policy tweak here or there could not suddenly create a post-imperialist, post-capitalist peace-loving American foreign policy.
I chose to talk about reforming the democratic process (public funding of elections & steps against voter fraud) only in very minimal terms not because I think that it will cure the problems of accumulated power in the United States, but because it is a first step towards "building the new society in the shell of the old". That is what actually needs to be done, I think, from as many directions in as many places as possible (and it already is being done, right now). It's so important that I wish I were experienced in movement-building so that I could write about it more authoritatively. I can't, and that's why I'll shortly be starting a new blog with a number of other like-minded writers. More as it develops.