By David Swanson
Here’s the Iraq bill the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on, on Wednesday:
Here are the actual talking points the Democratic misleadership thinks will coat this pig with lipstick:
“Iraq Redeployment Bill
1. “Requires the redeployment of US troops from Iraq to begin within 30 days of enactment, with a target for completion of December 15, 2008;”
No, the counter-recruitment movement and the worst year of U.S. Army recruiting since the Vietnam War requires the withdrawal, not redeployment, of a small number of troops. Targets are for archery camp, not for dictators. Asking Bush and Cheney to agree to a “target” or a “goal” that you know they will never attempt to meet is not helpful or appropriate. We can do that. You are the United States Congress. The first half of the U.S. Constitution is devoted to making you the most powerful branch of our government. Have you read it?
2. “Requires a transition in the mission of US forces in Iraq from primarily combat to: force protection and diplomatic protection; limited support to Iraqi security forces; and targeted counter-terrorism operations;”
Call it whatever you want. They’re not occupying YOUR country. People in Iraq sometimes used to have good moments. Their lives were constrained by a brutal dictator, but they had predictability, stability, and even good times. They now have almost unmitigated misery. Over a million of them are dead. Over 4 million have been displaced. You have done this to them by funding your occupation of their country. Your first act must be to stop funding genocide. Period. Stop funding it. No more bills.
3. “Prohibits deployment of any troops not fully equipped and trained; waivable with a presidential national security certification;”
Do you not understand that even when you require Bush and Cheney to do things, they laugh at you? How seriously do you think they take waivable suggestions? The American people consider waivable requirements of Bush and Cheney to be indications that you are either insane or believe we are remarkably stupid, and we know you’d never think we were stupid.
4. “Extends to all US government agencies and personnel the limitations in the Army Field Manual on permissible interrogation techniques;”
So do the Eighth Amendment and the Convention Against Torture and the Geneva Conventions. So what? The question is what you are going to do about it. Pretending that until this moment the CIA was permitted to torture is a way of granting immunity, when you should be drafting indictments and articles of impeachment.
5. “Provides $50 billion to meet the needs of the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but defers the consideration of the remainder of the President’s nearly $200 billion request.”
Name me one troop who believes he or she is going to get that $50 billion or any sliver of it. I dare you to pass this bill with an amendment that makes it conditional on majority approval by the active duty troops in Iraq whose bodies you hide behind. Give them a choice of coming home or “being funded,” and your whole charade will collapse.
This is a bill first and foremost to do what you bury in your final talking point: throw another 50 billion dollars at the occupation of Iraq. You’ve consciously avoided banning the use of this money for attacking Iran. You’ve required no withdrawal, no closing of bases. You’ve not used the power of the purse. You’ve not so much as mentioned mercenaries or contractors. You’ve not explained where this $50 billion will come from, mush less all the other resulting costs. Your own study says we’ve already spent $1.5 trillion. And you want to spend more? Again, are you insane?
Bush just signed the biggest military pork bill in history. Withdrawing from Iraq is pocket change. You can pass a bill to fund a withdrawal if you want to, but this isn’t it. This is a bill to fund more occupation.
Ninety of you committed to not voting for bills like this one: http://afterdowningstreet.org/peacepledge If you do not stand by your word, your word will be known as worthless henceforth.
Speaker Pelosi, if you are willing to cut off the money should Bush not accept your latest bill (as if the Senate will), then why not cut the money off now? There are lives in the balance and your top concern is being able to “blame” Bush for saving them? You need to get out more. Talk to people. Listen to them.
Here’s something they just told pollsters at American Research Group: 94% of Democrats say Cheney has abused his power, 69% say he’s committed impeachable offenses, 63% say he should be removed from office. You only said impeachment was off the table for Bush, not Cheney. And, even then, you said you could not predict where investigations might lead.
Stop funding genocide, Nancy, and allow the Judiciary Committee to do it’s job, and your desk will be covered with flowers and your coffers overflowing.
Any of your gang who votes to fund more war will have only impeachment as a path to redemption. If they fail there, they will be utterly worthless, and you will be to blame.
Email Congress: http://www.democrats.com/peoplesemailnetwork/124
Phone Congress: 202-224-3121.