Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Feast of Arrogance

Arrogance for breakfast: "Bush would veto any bill drafted by House Democratic leaders that would fund the Iraq war only into the summer months."

Once again, he's shooting his golden goose. The new bill is actually closer to a collapse than a compromise, as UFPJ points out:

The new bill provides $40 billion immediately for the war in Iraq and contains no timeline or goals for troop withdrawal. In addition, the bill attempts to coerce Iraq into opening up its vast oil reserves to U.S. and multi-national oil companies. The bill sets the stage for another confrontation with the Bush Administration on Iraq in July. The President will have to file progress reports to Congress before they will vote to release another $45 billion to extend the war through September.

This is an unacceptable capitulation to White House pressure. While creating new political problems for the President, it allows him to continue the escalation and persist in policies that have already failed. The promise of another Congressional vote in three months is no substitute for effective action to bring the troops home. We cannot stand by while Congress plays games with the lives of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis.

Update: The McGovern Bill

UFPJ just sent out this memo (1:00 PM) to its member groups (DR is one):

McGovern bill to get a vote TODAY.

The Democratic leadership of the House is supporting a revised version of HR746 -- Rep. McGovern's bill for troop withdrawal and to cut off funding for the war. This is a significant victory for the anti-war movement and the anti-war members of congress.

The bill has a new number HR2237 and it would redeploy troops from Iraq quickly and cut off funding for the war. In addition, it requires that all U.S. military bases in Iraq be turned over to the Iraqis. But, some important changes have been made:
- the word 'withdrawal' is replaced with 'redeployment'
- it would go into effect '90 days after enactment' instead of the 30 days in the original bill
- it would withdraw all US troops except for troops engaged in limited operations against al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist, and for training Iraq troops [these are the loopholes UFPJ objected to in the previous supplemental bill -- these exceptions could allow 20,000 to 30,000 troops to be left behind]
- in addition to clarifying that economic and social reconstruction aid for Iraq continues, it adds the word 'diplomatic' as well, so that funding for our embassy personnel is not cut off

This is not the peace movement's perfect bill, but it does mandate a redeployment of troops quickly, and cuts off funding for the war. It also requires tht U.S. military bases be turned over to the Iraqis. A stong yes vote on the bill will also send a powerful signal to the Democratic leadership that there is support in the House for cutting funding for the war. [Note: there will be differences of opinion among UFPJ member groups on whether the quick redeployment date and cut off of war funds outweigh the loopholes allowing so many troops to stay in Iraq -- since the vote is this afternoon, there is not time to come to consensus around this question]

The bill will come up for a vote before the House votes on the supplemental funding bill.

The Progressive and Out of Iraq Caucuses support the McGovern bill, and several of UFPJ national groups are calling for a yes vote on the McGovern bill. The sense of the Conveners of the UFPJ legislative working group is that we should support and mobilize YES votes for this bill.

Arrogance for lunch: "Kick the press out." Glad to see you've gotten over your social phobia, Dick. All this, perhaps, because the soldiers are so lost in the chaos of urban guerilla warfare that many of them have forgotten what we're fighting for in the first place.

Arrogance for dinner: Led by CNN climatologist Glenn Beck, who recently referred to Al Gore as a Nazi (which didn't go over too well with the ADL), the global-warming-is-a-hoax marching chowder society is attacking Democrats for writing legislation to make climate change a national security priority. Never mind that the Pentagon, the Army, several generals, and the U.N. have all said that's exactly what we should be doing.

And here's a little snack: Verizon says that spying is free speech. Another one of those miracles of money and the corporate lawyers it buys: tyrants become saints, corporations become persons, blood is made wine. Top that, Jesus.

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