By David Swanson, http://afterdowningstreet.org
How many years have we pleaded and prodded and pushed and protested to try to find just one senator who would threaten to filibuster war funding for a war that many of them said they “opposed”? And now suddenly we have two senators threatening just that! We may, in fact, see a filibuster of war money, proving that such a thing is physically possible.
And how many years have we demanded that the House vote down bills to fund wars that a majority of House members have long claimed to “oppose”? Well, we may see that happen, and it may be thanks to the threat of a filibuster.
Sadly, peace is not as prominent in Beltway thinking as all of this would suggest.
We do now face the wonderful prospect of finally seeing someone in the Senate filibuster war money, but sadly it’ll be Joe
Lieberman and Lindsay Graham doing so for all the wrong reasons.
This has led “progressive” blogs like TPM
to advocate accusing Lieberman and Graham of “hurting our troops.”
Way to give peace a chance, everybody!
Lieberman and Graham have threatened to filibuster the war money (with the immediate deaths of thousands of U.S. troops that senators like these have always told us such a move would cause of apparently no concern) if and only if the House removes from the bill a ban on releasing photos or videos of US torture during the Bush-Cheney years.
Images of more recent torture would still be fair game.
Meanwhile, the Republicans in the House plan to vote against the bill because it also includes money for the International Monetary Fund. Some Democrats oppose that as well, and some Democrats oppose the ban on releasing torture photos (which could defeat the bill if Pelosi falls for Lieberman and Graham’s bluff and keeps the photo ban in the thing).
Then there’s Dennis Kucinich who opposes the war funding
because it’s war funding.
Fifty-one Democrats did vote No on this bill before the IMF and photo ban measures were added, but there are always Democrats who will vote against war as long as they know the bill is going to pass. The question now is whether we can find Democrats who will vote against this bill and defeat it. There is a real chance that we can.
Here’s a whip list with contact info and updates. (Help us update the list!)
Will your congress member vote No with those Democrats who support peace?
Will he/she vote No with those Republicans and Democrats who oppose the expense and destructive activities of the IMF?
Will he vote No because both measures put our grandchildren into debt and (I suppose this is the good news) most of the war money would be wasted?
Will she vote No against the blocking of torture photos from being released?
Or will he vote Yes for war, Yes for the IMF, and Yes for immunity for torturers?
The House is about to vote on another supplemental spending bill for continued and escalated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (without any exit strategy for Afghanistan whatsoever — having refused to include that amendment). We’re not accustomed to winning in our efforts to block war money, but the Democratic leadership has delayed the vote out of concern that we will — and is resorting to accusing Republicans of “not supporting the troops”.
Here are three reasons to join with the peace movement in asking your representative to vote No: This bill funds illegal and immoral wars; it funds the IMF; and it bans the release of torture photos and videos from the Bush-Cheney years. Republicans may vote No because of reason #2 (good for them!) and 41 Democrats have signed a letter from Rep. Maxine Waters asking for good changes to #2 (good for them! but why monkey around with a war bill?). Democrats may try to get reason #3 removed (good for them! but why monkey around with a war bill?). The “leadership” may stick in a cash-for-clunkers
measure or other bribe to get “progressives” to vote for the war money (measures that could be passed on their own). (Apparently 27 Dems want to be bribed with mass transit funding.) But what we need are No votes on the war funding, no matter which other outrages or good measures are attached to it.
Democratic congress members are starting to say that they’ll vote yes on this supplemental because it’s the last war supplemental. But would it be OK to murder one last person nearby? Will it be OK to fund death and destruction once it’s all done through the regular budgets? How can you ask a supplemental to be the last supplemental to kill for a
Call your Representative and urge them to vote no: 202-224-3121.
Whip list here with contact info and updates. (Help us update the list!)
Robert Naiman has been blogging about this at Just Foreign Policy and at DailyKos, and so has Digby at Hullabaloo, and Glenn Greenwald at Salon, and Nick
Baumann at Mother Jones, and Jason Rosenbaum at the Seminal, and Dday at D-Day, and Howie at Down With Tyranny.
Taylor Marsh loves wars but opposes the protect-the-torturers measure.
United for Peace and Justice is fully on board opposing war funding.
CODE PINK has sent two alerts already.
Congressional candidate to unseat Jane Harman, Marcy Winograd, has sent out an alert.
The Out of Iraq Blogger Caucus is blogging.
Progressive Democrats of America has a blog post here.
World Can’t Wait says they will oppose it.
US Labor Against the War has sent out an alert.
Iraq Veterans Against the War
(IVAW)’s Los Angeles Chapter has been doing a lot of great work around opposing the war supplemental, and to further support their work the national office will be sending an Email out to IVAW’s supporter list on June 8th asking supporters to send Emails and make phone calls to reps asking for a no vote.
Peace Action opposes the supplemental, and says they’ve sent several alerts, but is predicting failure.
Military Families Speak Out just asked the president to end the wars and so, presumably, will ask Congress as well.
Veterans for Peace has always opposed war funding and should do so now.
Thomas B. Edsall has blogged about this at Huffington Post, but framed it as a vote on
whether or not we adore Obama, who – by the way – is not a member of the legislative branch of our government.
Mysteriously missing from this campaign are the following groups and organizations. As this bewilders me, could you please contact them and find out why in the world they’re not opposing this war money? I’m sure they wouldn’t want anyone to think they only pretended to oppose wars when they were Republican wars:
The Out of Iraq Caucus, True Majority, Win Without War, Moveon.org, Open Left, David Sirota, TPM, Campaign for America’s Future, the Center for American Progress, and the American Friends Service Committee.