Tuesday, March 27, 2007

More transparency, attention of the media required in Senate emergency Iraq war supplemental

First, it was not clear to me, last night, when I last posted about this supplemental, whether S. 965 was going to be debated or voted on today, or H.R. 1591. So Sirota is right, to some extent, the grassroots anti-war movement does not have a great deal of experience or insight in the federal legislative process. At least he is right about this particular node of the "professional protest industry" not having that experience.

What I would like is more cooperation with the staffers and lobbyists that have a similar outlook on the need to end this war as soon as possible, to prevent war if it can be avoided with Iran, and to impeach the President and Vice-President. I can use information about schedules, about plans, about talking points. Lots of people, at least from Minnesota who are out in D.C. have my e-mail address. Use it. Not only do I have 40-50 return readers everyday, and random spikes in traffic and search engine traffic from around the world, but I have 150+ plus political activists, DFL party members, friends, bloggers, on a list that I occasionally spam without too many complaints, when I think something really needs attention. I have the good sense to remove opponents of my position, like Ollie Ox, etc., when I don't want to broadcast to the democratic center, and when I have something for everyone I have Green, GOP, intelligence community and State Department employees that also can get included. When I feel totally desperate and fucked, then I message recipients in a few other countries too.

It sucks being inaccurate about the facts, but I am hopefully clueing people into a process that we have to learn and understand, and effect.

What is clear right now is there will be a vote to limit debate tomorrow. A cloture vote, a vote that would block any filibuster, but there is no sense that the GOP is considering a filibuster.

I think prolonged debate would not be a bad thing at this point. However, if Bush is certainly going to veto this thing as it is, sending it to him and getting it vetoed, and getting back to creating a new emergency supplemental, before it becomes a real emergency, is important.

I think there is no reason why the next version, upon a veto, can not be made significantly stronger, significantly directing withdrawal of regular combat forces from Iraq.

I am not an isolationist. I am for trade with Iraqis where we can do that with some fairness, and putting them back in the box where we are concerned with Iraqi violence spilling over into other regions, or fueling genocide. I am for an arms ban for Iraq, for its government and its extra-legal armed groups, whether that MeK targetting Iran, Badr Corps targetting al-Qaeda or Sunni militia, Sunni leadership, what have you. It is the perfect complement to the new U.N. ban on arms sales from or to Iran.

I am for developing more insight into Iraqi culture, language, political realities. I am for training up special units, both humanitarian and those with intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism capabilities, for political and civilian coordination. But I am against trying to force an outcome that will be financially rewarding to Bush and Cheney and PNAC supporters, at the cost of taxpayer's treasure and true patriot's blood.

Redeploy out of Iraq, and especially Baghdad and the Sunni triangle now. Develop the appropraite capability if we have to go back. Train up a large number of both civilian and military teams to really function in that environment. Take the economic lure, and the ideological blinders off of the administration and their corporatist supporters.

I may not completely understand politics, or war, or trade, but I do know something about the Islamic world, despite my sinful looking life here in the West, drinking too much, dancing with pornstars, starting too many arguments, saying stupid things at the right moment, being too truthful, breaking too many hearts and being absolutely committed to not making any commitments that I can't slip out of. The one thing that I learned from reading Feynman was not about physics, but the importance of telegraphing incompetence in administrative duties, and thus preserving time for research.

If you've caught my act in Las Vegas, or Banda Aceh, you can imagine how good I would be in Kabul, Dubai or Jeddah. Though I strongly prefer SE Asia, to any other place, I will go anywhere, Sana'a, Mogadishu, Baghdad, to argue for and work towards a meaningful peace, if Americans become truly sincere about seeking it, instead of more war profiteering. Until then, I am going to keep dancing with pornstars, bar tarts, and bloggers. When in Rome...

E-mail me if you have any useful information, perspective or you want to make a meaningful deal. If you want to help save Rep. Keith Ellison, placate the supporters that he let down, then I suggest Senate sponsorship of HR 808, or action on HR 1234 as this next step for peace.

Obviously, the objection to HR 808 we heard from Walz was that $8 billion dollars was not a trivial sum of money to be seeking for a cabinet level Department of Peace and Non-violence, but we've seen at least that be doled out in unrelated pork in passing this bill, as if it were a trivial sum.


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