Happy Moratorium Day! Another $162-billion for war

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Another cave-in by Congressional Democrats.  Another deal to keep the war going, in exchange for a few crumbs.

Today is Iraq Moratorium day.  Do something to let them know what you think.

It’s true that 151 Democrats voted against the war funding.  So, if you want to thank them, go ahead — but don’t thank them too much, David Swanson  says.  Here’s the roll call.

“Not a single one of them did a damned thing more than vote no,” Swanson (left), of Democrats.com, ImpeachCheney.org and , AfterDowningStreet.org said in a Milwaukee appearance Thursday night.  They didn’t issue public statements to the media, write their colleagues, or do anything to press to defeat the bill.  “They voted no, knowing it would pass.”

That’s not why Americans elected a new Congressional majority in 2006, Swanson said.  We elected them to end the war in Iraq.  Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Dems like David Obey are happy to have negotiated a bill that the Republicans would vote for and pass. “They are hiding behind the troops,” Swanson said, when a majority of Americans in a Democrats.com poll said they would stop funding the war and bring the troops home within six months.

Democrats say we have to keep funding the occupation because it’s dangerous “to do what the majority wants” in an election year, Swanson said. They want us to elect them again so that they can do what they didn’t do last time we elected them.  But by spring, it will be only 18 months until the next election, so it will be dangerous again to vote to end the war, he said.

The fact that the House also voted for money for new veterans benefits, for unemployment benefits, and for flood relief is no consolation for funding the war.

Who wouldn’t support those items if they came up as separate bills, Swanson asked.

Instead, the veterans benefits are attached as an amendment to a bill that will result in many more deaths, physical and psychological injuries to American troops and Iraqis, and damage the US economy.  

“I favor veterans benefits and education money,  I favor unemployment compensation.  But not as lipstick on a genocidal pig, not as cover for a war,” Swanson said.

The bill goes back to the Senate, and perhaps back to the House again, and people should speak out again, but there is little hope for a different outcome.

“Use the Iraq Moratorium tomorrow to raise hell about what just happened,” Swanson said in Milwaukee less than an hour after the vote.

He ended with a warning about the primacy of elections.  We need to resist the idea that all power resides in the White House or in the political parties, Swanson said.  If elected, Barack Obama will undo some of the damage George Bush has done, but “requires that we have our eyes open, know where he is now and what it will take to move him,” said Swanson, who isn’t endorsing anyone.

Today’s news stories included some quotes from House members illustrating what Swanson said:

“The way it’s been set up now, whoever … is president will have a few months to think through how we are going to extricate ourselves,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., a key negotiator.  [Obama has been too busy running for president to think about what how we will get out of Iraq?]

“The president basically gets a blank check to dump this war on the next president,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass. “I was hoping George Bush would end his war while he’s president… For me this is one compromise too many, one cave-in too many.” [For me, too.]

“I am concerned that some people out there might be angry{at Dems for not ending the war],” said Representative José E. Serrano, Democrat of New York. {I hope so.  I am.]

“The president simply will not sign such legislation [calling for troop withdrawals],” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an opponent of the war. “Our troops are in harm’s way. They need to be taken care of.” [Speaking of hiding behind the troops…]

Ms. Pelosi said House Democrats had done what they could. She blamed Senate Republicans for thwarting the anti-war push, saying that most Republicans stood solidly with Mr. Bush and denied Democrats the 60 votes needed to overcome filibusters. “The 60-vote requirement to bring up legislation in the Senate has prolonged this war,” said Ms. Pelosi, who called the result a tragedy. [It is a tragedy, brought on by the Democrats who had enough votes NOT to pass a funding bill but lacked the guts to do so.]

Eighty Democrats voted for the war funding, by the way. Check the roll call.  You may want to have a word with them.


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  1. Are you as pissed as I am?  Not surprised, but pissed.

  2. But I liked this:

    He ended with a warning about the primacy of elections.  We need to resist the idea that all power resides in the White House or in the political parties, Swanson said.

    No power should reside in the White House or the political parties.

    The worse things get and the more people struggle, the more politicized they become, and the more the system is shown in stark relief, for more and more people to see.

    In times like these, people learn the limits of electoral politics, and some of them move on to other tactics.

    I believe elections are largely a distraction, as made abundantly clear by the current crop of Democrats and their supporters.  

    • OPOL on June 21, 2008 at 03:49

    before we fall out of love with the rats who keep stabbing us in the back?  I say it’s time to form a ‘resistance’ party.  The Democratic Party has clearly outlived its usefulness.

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