Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Ideas for the next go around with the Emergency Supplemental

My strong preference:

For Iraq:

No funding for continued operations of an offensive nature, no funding to equip the Iraqi army - there are enough guns already in Iraq, and too many Iraqi polical and army units are using them to kill civilians, rival militias, maybe even U.S. forces. Building an Iraqi airforce is essentially justifying permanent U.S. bases.

We allow for force protection, for military guards at the U.S. Embassy, for training for the police and military that is very limited in scope, for preserving something like a no fly zone to keep Iranian military aircraft out of Iraqi airspace, and for airborne surveillance of Iraqi terroritory to prevent the emergence of the terrorist freehold and training camps that the GOP is so afraid of now, but was hot to create and support under Reagan.

The withdrawal or redeployment of forces out of Iraq should be fully funded, and begun immediately.

The Iraqi Petroleum Act that would enforce favor to U.S. corporations in Production Sharing Agreements needs to not be a condition for anyone. In fact it should be discouraged, unless it is written by Iraqis in their own Arabic, on their own terms... there can be no reward to U.S. corporations for our illegal war of choice in Iraq, or we will have more and more of these things.

For Afghanistan:

We should put in a prohibition on U.S. funds being used to plant mines anywhere in Afghanisan or Pakistan.

We should put in a prohibition on giving any group weapons or training to participate in covert operations against Iran. I fear that we are rearming elements of al-Qaeda and the Taliban who are willing to try to destabilize Iran, or liberate from the Iranian government's control those areas with ethnic minorities also found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, like the Baluchis.

We should fully fund excelerated production and deployment of those MRAP vehicles Sen. Biden and others have mentioned, to Afghanistan only, and only fund in this measure what can be delivered before a regular budget request would come online.

The whole great big Global War on Terror:

We should hope to have the Murtha language for rest, training, capability to apply to deployments in Afghanistan, and any other front in the Global War on Terror.

Funding for security measure in all other areas should not be in this next Emergency Supplemental attempt, but put into the regular budget.

A lot of money should go into the Defense Language Institute, and more MOSes that don't require intensive security clearances should include serious language training. Language and cultural training funding should be provided to other national security agencies.

A capacity, wholly staffed by civil service federal employees, with a firewall to prevent former and future intelligence and military compromise, should be funded to handle the humanitarian emergncies that the U.S. has created in Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, the Sudan, etc. If you need some military pork for hardware, this new humanitarian service could own a couple C-130s, MRAPs, helicopters, all the tents and electronics and littoral vessels that could be used in the next Hurrican Katrina or the next Indian Ocean tsunami as well. It could be the American answer to the Swedish Rescue Services Agency. It would be the Peace Corps on steroids.

Other blogs are also putting forward good ideas:

Big Tent Democrat has written this piece: On the Iraq Supplemental: KISS

Bill Scheurer has posted this on AfterDowningStreet.org: Iraq War Vote: Take A "Do-Over"

David Swanson writes this: What to Do if Bush Vetoes

mcjoan on DailyKos has this piece that outlines a range of options, and has attracted a lot of comments: Post-Veto Planning

I am open to ideas and tips, just e-mail me.

Thanks!

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