Friday, March 23, 2007

Iraq War Supplemental Passes with Republican Defections

I am glad this thing passed the way that it did, not on a strict party line vote. However, I would have loved a stronger signal that this war is ending, versus the war enabling piece of legislation that did get through the House. It would have been nice to see votes of conscience from Minnesotans that should have been with Kucinich, Woolsey and Waters. This was an opportunity for Ellison to prove that he was the stuff he was sold as, but this begins to confirm the growing suspicion of his motives that started on the day he endorsed Obama. Ellison is a politician first, and a peace person second. Oh well.

On David Swanson identifies eight Democrats and one Republican voted against the measure for the right reasons. Clearly these Representatives are the seeds of movement that will grow if Bush vetoes the current bill, and hopefully control outcomes in considering funding for wars of agression and the Global War on Terror in the regular budget. Hopefully they managed to win some concessions or support for their standalone measures that would change the direction in Iraq.

Our best hope for another chance to aggressively defund the war is a Bush veto, or some radical change in the Senate that in reconsideration of the Senate version, or in a conference that would cause failure of the measure. Bush probably can realize that this the best he is going to get, but he may prefer the spectacle of a veto, and tight days or months for the forces in the field. He will use the "bully pulpit" one way or another to try to advance his world view and blame Democrats and muslims for every thing he percieves to be wrong in the world, regardless of the real cause.

I am disappointed that this war continues through 2008 now. I am a little comforted that it will be waged with more attention paid to the needs of the U.S. Armed Forces, with some constraints on contractors and Private Military Corporations. The focus on making this war profitable has obviously made it that much more unwinnable.

The fact that the Republicans had both defectors for the funding, and at least one member who was a conscientious objector to funding the war shows that both the pro-war camp, and the seriously anti-war camp, are bipartisan/non-partisan.

Erroding the false party-line divide, reducing the purely partisan rhetoric will eventually lead to a sober reassessment of the conflict for all Americans, as an American crisis and not an opportunity to make hay at the other party's expense.

A lot of lives are at stake, and a lot of lives have been lost or utterly ruined by the war, which was unnecessary and illegal.


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