Thursday, March 15, 2007


WASHINGTON D.C.--People, you have to look at each one of these bills and proposals as steps. Yes, keep-hammering, but realize that if you push too-hard, you're going to scupper their genuine attempts in Congress to end this war sooner (rather than significantly-later). We have to learn from the last major anti-war movement that there is a time to rest, and a time to stand-down. Because this wasn't done, our involvement in the war in Vietnam lasted longer than it should have.

It wasn't just Nixon's fault, it was also the movement's. The GOP want to kill the process, but all they're doing is buying the president time. That's all they did in the last Congress, so it appears they've learned nothing from the 2006 midterms. That works for me, because they're endangering their long-term future as a party with any significance. That would be Spring in America:

Overall, the bill's price tag was $124 billion, and included funds for Democratic domestic priorities such as health care for veterans and children. The political landscape was different across the Capitol, where Republicans expressed confidence they had the votes to defeat an alternative approach advanced by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats. Their proposal sets a goal of a troop withdrawal by March 31, 2008. A mid-afternoon vote was expected. In the House, assembling the support needed to pass the withdrawal plan has become the first major test for the Democratic leadership that took office in January. Aides and senior lawmakers have expressed confidence in recent days that they would succeed, both in the committee and on the House floor next week. But prospects of the bill becoming law are dim. (AP, 03.15.2007)

This is the political reality in Congress, and once-again the GOP are the primary roadblock to peace and prosperity for the average person. Let the Democratic-majority do what they have to do in Congress to make this a reality. Events on the ground are going to decide this, not any one group of activists, not the Pentagon, not Congress, the Supreme Court, or even the Executive branch. The insurgents will decide this war. And stop pestering representatives like David Obey, go after that Rahm Emanuel and his faction of conservative Democrats. You're confronting the wrong people in many-cases. How about Hillary? How about those idiots in the GOP? They're the ones who need a good scaring about 2008, and those moronic conservative Democrats.

But even conservative old Sen.Chuck Schumer is lining-up with a withdrawal plan for Iraq, even while shills like Emanuel attempt to scare American Jews and Israelis that Iran is going to invade them at any moment. This is sky-high demagoguery, and it's not in the interest of Jews anywhere to believe it. It's in the interests of war-mongers in the governments (and boardrooms) of Iran, Israel, and America who benefit. They're playing with all of our lives, simply-put, to maintain and expand their (and their backers') power within human society. This has happened before when obsolete regimes (America included) and power-structures begin to sense their time-is-up on the stage of history. The Houses of the Hollenzollerns, the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs, and the Ottoman turks shook, and so too did our world as they scrambled to preserve their worlds. The trick is not getting-involved in helping them.

Did you notice that the newest budget request is now at $124 billion? Here's why, and I can't complain entirely: there's finally amendments in there to take-care of our wounded properly. Nonetheless, I agree in-principle that the overall thrust of the bill is a joke, and only allows Bush to continue his phony-war into 2008. That's about all it does, so how radical can a pullout by March of 2008 be?

To the GOP, this is anathema, and they're scared of losing what's left of their claim to being "strong on national security." Military leadership--both active-duty and retired--seem to feel otherwise, and a majority are backing most of the features of the Democratic proposals. But there are others. There are the Iraq veterans, and veterans of past-wars who have made it into-office in the last midterms, and will continue to do so. They are the people we can replace establishment hawks, the GOP-incumbents, and Democratic conservatives with. Seeing more Vietnam vets in there is heartening.

Sestak, 55, is one of five freshmen House Democrats with military experience who have emerged as party leaders in the congressional debate over President George W. Bush's Iraq strategy -- appearing with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking up in caucus meetings and advising more senior colleagues. Other members are looking upon Tim Walz, Joe Sestak, Chris Carney, Phil Hare and me to play a leadership role,'' said Representative Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, who served in Iraq as a captain in the 82nd Airborne Division. The lawmakers, who all oppose the war, get their first chance to influence the course of the conflict today as the House begins debate on military-spending legislation that includes a Democratic provision requiring the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq next year. (Bloomberg, 03.15.2007)

As we've seen with the events of September 11th, 2001, Afghanistan, standing-down when they could have captured Osama Bin Laden at Tora Borah, giving the aristocracy of Saudi Arabia a free-pass when they're known paymasters of terrorism, and so much more, one has to wonder why anyone ever believed them. The remaining GOP-incumbents in Congress are merely doing what they did under the former majority: lock-stepping with the president, and continuing to support his wrongheaded war that is sapping our wealth, souls, and security in the world.

The first-hurdle has been cleared today. Voting 37-27 along party lines, the House Appropriations committee has endorsed the bill with the March 2008 withdrawal (or sooner, if certain conditions and benchmarks aren't met by the Iraqi government soon) timetable and monies for wounded-troops intact in the language of the bill. Does it matter if it passes the Senate? No, this is a major first-step that would never have occurred under the GOP-majority, it wouldn't have even been considered. You can see that in their counter-proposals.

Despite the measure's approval, its longer-range fate is dim. In the Senate, minority Republicans can use procedural moves to block the troop withdrawal language and the White House has threatened to veto the bill if it contains the provision forcing the removal of troops. Rallying enough support for the bill, which allots $95.5 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been a challenge for Democratic leaders. Many party members support bringing troops home sooner than the 2008 deadline, while others have been reluctant to embrace a firm deadline to end the war. The defeated Republican amendment would have eliminated the 2008 deadline and inserted language that would promise not to cut funding for troops. (AP, 03.15.2007)

Yes, those number just keep changing. Expect more obstructionism from the GOP in the Senate, while we all the know that the White House will veto it no matter what. They cannot claim any spirit of bipartisanship when their own are calling for an end to this war. More GOP-incumbents will break-ranks as the conditions on the ground worsen in Iraq. It's an inevitability, making such obstructionism both pointless and criminally wasteful of the lives of Iraqis and American military personnel--but this has never been a concern of the GOP.

AP Today: