Working the Political System

 In Bush Administration, Congress, Iraq, Justice, Middle East, military, Peace, Peace Action, reconstruction, Senate, troops, Uncategorized, Veterans, War

The Senate has let down the troops and the nation once more. Despite new pushes from both the Democratic and Republican sides of the isle the voices of moderation, peace, and patriotism were overshadowed by those of the war mongers and politicos. A bill, proposed by Sen. Jim Webb, one of the few Senators who have a child serving in Iraq, was centered on troop readiness: it said, “Men and women serving in the military deserved the same amount of time at home that they served overseas. The proposal died when the Senate voted 56 to 41 against moving to a vote, four short under the Senate’s rules.” (New York Times July 12, 2007).

A number of Republican Senators have come out and claimed “there needs to be a change of course in Iraq.” Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John Warner (R., Va.) and former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), worked with the White House at the outset of the war; but, are drafting their own legislation to force the President to ‘change course.’ I would ask, what does this ‘change’ mean? Wall Street Journal – July 12, 2007

The same is true for Democrats who are hungry to set themselves apart as the peace party. Sen. Carl Levin, who is a Chairperson on the Armed Services Committee, has proposed a mandatory deadline for troop withdrawal by April 30th. Sen. Harry Reid and Levin have co-sponsored another bill demanding a complete withdrawal in 120 days after enactment.

Another piece of bi-partisan legislation, brought by Sen.’s Ken Salazar and Lamar Alexander, calls to change the mission in Iraq with a goal of getting troops out by the end of March. New York Times – July 12, 2007

Of course, none of these Senators are talking about the massive project of reconstruction in Iraq; the amount of work and money it will take to fix the mess we created in Iraq.

Part of what is keeping Iraq votes stagnant is the hard-line attitude of some Senators. “Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, sought to close ranks in advance of the vote {on Webb’s amendment}. In a private meeting, an aide confirmed, he urged members not to join the “wimps,” a term he used to describe senators who have broken with the president” (New York Times – July 12, 2007). On the other side, “Reid harshly dismissed the measure with the broadest bipartisan backing — a compilation of Iraq Study Group recommendations offered by freshman Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.). The Salazar proposal, which as of last night had attracted six Democratic and six Republican co-sponsors, “won’t change one thing that the president does,” Reid said, who is opposed to anything short of legislation ending U.S. combat operations.” (Washington Post – July 12, 2007)


Not one Senator legislatively acknowledges the impossibility of the situation in Iraq and the decades it will take to rebuild the countries infrastructure, government, and culture. Bush wants to wait until September to judge the situation — but even from oceans away we, the people of the United States, know the situation is grim. It will be grim in September and for the next few decades. All we can do it push for responsibility and peace.

It seems our representatives are in need of some guidance from the public. Peace Action has prepared a tool for you to contact your representatives during this critical time. We have pre-written a letter based on our priorities but I encourage you to change it to suit your view. Most importantly please remember to speak out. “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate tireless minority keep to set brushfires in peoples minds” (Samuel Adams).

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    AIPAC’s hypocrisy is stomach-turning, to say the least. The goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to be slapped across the knuckles while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored. And who is propping up AIPAC’s hypocritical position? Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

    As Sen. Clinton embraces Israel’s violence, as well as AIPAC’s duplicitous Iran position, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the recent shelling of the Gaza Strip. Over the past weeks Israel continues to mark the occupied territories (they call ‘buffer zones’) like a frothing-mouth K9 on the loose.

    Hillary Clinton’s silence toward Israel’s brutality implies the senator will continue to support AIPAC’s mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories, as well as a war on Iran in the future. AIPAC’s right — even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against Hillary “warmonger” Clinton.

    It is safe to say that Israel’s bomb building techniques are light years ahead of Iran’s dismal nuclear program.

    AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the U.N. Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous U.N. Resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including U.N. Resolution 1402, which demands that Israel withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once.

    As the top Democratic recipient of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle thus far, pocketing over $58,000 as of October 31 last year, Senator Clinton now has Iran in her cross-hairs.


    Israel has most likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons.

    Clinton embraces Israel’s violence, as well as AIPAC’s duplicitous Iran position, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the recent shelling of the Gaza Strip.

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