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   Daily Blog - Tiger Software

                    November 8, 2007

           What or Who Is
  behind Nancy Pelosi?

   She Can't Be As Spineless
   As She Seems!  Can She?

An Opposition Party Leader's First
    Responsibility Is To OPPOSE That
    Which Is Wrong, Stupid, Immoral,

     So, Why Is She Giving George Bush
     A Free Ride?


William Schmidt, - Tiger Software's Creator
      (C) 2007 William Schmidt, Ph. D.  - All Rights Reserved. 

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      to william_schmidt@hotmail.com

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                   See also my earlier Blog on the subject:  http://tigersoft.com/Tiger-Blogs/10-5-2007/index.html

The Paradoxical Nancy Pelosi: 
                   Historically Savvy?
                                     A Spineless Dominatrix? 
                                                                    A Corporate Shill?
                                                                                             Ill-Advised and Arrogant? 

                        The Speaker of the House controls the Democratic majority to a very
             high level.   Wall Street needs to watch this woman carefully.  She is as powerful
             as she is a paradox.   Why has she ruled out impeachment?   That's what a
             majority of Americans, not just Democrats, want. 

                        Impeachment has always been a key Constitutional power of Congress.  The
            founding fathers knew all too well how tyrannical Kings could be, especially when at war. 
            The very threat of impeachment serves to hold arrogant President's back.  But "Fancy
            Nancy", dressed to the gills in expensive pearls, cavalierly, without explanation,  unilaterally
            took impeachment off the table. 
"She has voluntarily and unnecessarily granted to
            Dick Cheney and George Bush, full immunity and total escape from any investigation or
            prosecution for each and every violation of the U.S. Consititution, violation of Human
            Rights, or high corruption that they have committed either past, present, or future."

           ( http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/10/17/164221/61 )

                       What is just as bad, all year long since, she has prevented a vote which would
            simply de-fund Bush's war on and occupation of Iraq.<1>   The latest $50 biliion in
            appropriations has a "goal" set out for December 2008 to "stop combat operations."
             Nothing is mandated. "Goal" is vague.  And just how will Bush be penalized if he
             fails to meet the goal in December 2008.  By then, he will be packing his bags anyway.
             Who does she think she is fooling.  Moreover, she has not sought a vote on a rescinding
             of the 2002 authorization for the Iraq war.   Earlier in the year, she refused to bring
             forth a bill that provided appropriations only for "protection" and "safe deployment"
             out of Iraq.   She said she was afraid of how an impasse would look after a Bush veto.
             Such a bill was advocated by a number of progressive anti-war Democrats.  See
              bottom of page for the list<2>.

                      On 11/7, yesterday, to her fellow Democrats, she became an arrogant and willful
            dominatrix.  Using the powers that a House Speaker has, she compelled her Democratic
            flock to cower and do her bidding.    There would be no debate about how Cheney
            needed to be impeached to stop the current rush of the US into a new war, this one with
            Iran.  She whipped into line even  those Congressional Democrats who were co-sponsors
            of Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach Cheney, so that nearly every Democrat voted to send
            his brave Impeachment bill back to the Judiciary Committee. 

                     On Nov. 9th, Kucinich wrote Rep Coyners, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee:

                        "Recent reports indicate that the Vice President is attempting to shape the National Intelligence Estimate
                         on Iran to conform to his misperceptions about the threat Iran actually poses. Much like his deceptive efforts
                         in the lead up to the Iraq war, the Vice President appears to be manipulating intelligence to conform to his
                         beliefs. If the reports are true, they add additional weight to the case for impeachment
. I believe
             wpe15.jpg (3569 bytes)   impeachment remains the only tool Congress has to prevent
           a war in Iran."

                                           Why Is She So Afraid of Bush  and Cheney?

                            A year ago, despite the mandate handed her by American people to stop Bush's
            bloody, costly, stupid Iraq war, the House Majority Leader "took off the table"
            impeachment of Bush and Cheney even before she was sworn in or had a chance
            to take the measure of George Bush in January 2007.  Why did she do this?

1. Fear of Being Branded Weak on Defense and Fear of Dividing The Democrats

                          Maybe, her reading of history had convinced her that the Democrats will
           only be weakened by taking up the call for an immediate pull-out.    There's something
           to this.    Undoubtedly, she recalls the grim fate of  Democratic Presidential candidate
           George McGovern in 1972.   His anti-war appeal fell on deaf ears and he was beaten
           in a landslide.  


           The McGovern Campaign in 1972

In 1968, remember, Richard Nixon ran on a secret plan to end the Vietnam War, and America bought the promise. Four years later, there was no end in sight. George McGovern's anti-war message, with a promise to end the bombing on Inauguration Day, won him the nomination. He also stood for a Congress that reasserts its power to declare war and a war profits tax, good ideas even today. He didn't try to purge anyone. Indeed the McGovern campaign was completely inclusive, reaching out to the Henry Jackson-George Meany wing of the party, which had labeled him the candidate of abortion, acid and amnesty.  

McGovern was a bona fide war hero, the pilot of 35 missions over Europe in the Dakota Queen, a B-24 Liberator bomber. With the acquiescence of right wingers in the Democratic Party, Nixon portrayed McGovern as weak on defense, a cringing apostle of appeasement. Only days before the election, Henry Kissinger falsely pronounced that peace was at hand, and the resulting McGovern landslide loss contributed to his name being invoked as a symbol of failure.

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                                 Anti-War Parties in History           

                                Except for Russia in March 1917,  history does not offer many cases in other
           countries where a left of center party (or parties) made political  gains by opposing a war
           their country was involved in.  More often, a prolonged war serves to divide the left of
           center party and let rightists brand the left as traitors and make them scapegoats for
           losing a war.    That has happened in the US ever since the war in Southeast Asia ended. 
           Kerry, who actually served in Viet Nam, was branded a traitor because he turned
           against the war when he returned and testified against it in Congress.  (My brother.
           reached the same conclusion in 1970, also after captaining a river patrol boat (PBR) in the
           Mekong Delta.  And he was arrested for demonstrating against the war after the Navy
           tricked the protestors into trespassing onto the Oakland Naval shipyard. ) 

                        My guess is that Nancy Pelosi appreciates that it was the fragmentation of the
           Democrats into pro-war and anti-war factions which caused Hubert Humphrey to lose to
           Richard Nixon in 1968.    Thus, she seeks to avoid raising the issue of a pull-out or
           an impeachment.  If the issue is raised, the gap between the two sides will become very
           apparent and that will divide the party.  And that could lead to a defeat in November 2008.

                       History is instructive.  Elsewhere, in Germany, the leftist Social Democrats
           (SPD) were badly split by World War I.  Some supported the German war effort and
           others condemned the war.    Later Germans on the right blamed the socialists in 1918
           for signing  the Armistice.   The Nazis called them traitors, and claimed they had
           stabbed Germany in the back through their anti war activities and their signing of the
           Armistice.  They used this excuse in the 1930s to have them arrested, shot or placed in
           labor camps and prisons.    I would say that Pelosi should realize that the "far-right"
           in America is bound to say that peace activists lost the  war in Iraq,  just they as they
           claim peace activists demonstrating on TV in the US lost the war in Viet Nam.   She
           might just as well accept this and confront it, and head off that criticism now.   It
           absolutely cannot be avoided.

How Do "Chick Hawks" Get Away With Claiming
        A Special Mantle of Patriotism?

                     Already the Neo-Conservatives claim Murtha (A World War II veteran) and
            Nancy Pelosi "are at it again, engineering another strategy for defeat."  What they
            would prefer not to talk about is how many of the Neo-Cons who are so quick
            to send innocent American kids off to war are actually "chicken-hawks", who never
            themselves served in the US military in a foreign war.   There are to many familiar
            names that fit this description to do it justice.  But the  species "chicken-hawks
            include  Quayle, Bush Jr,, Jeb Bush, Marvin Bush, Cheney, Mitt Romney and all five
            Romney sons...

  • Karl Rove: did not serve.
  • Paul Wolfowitz: did not serve.
  • Richard Perle: did not serve.
  • Douglas Feith: did not serve.
  • Eliot Abrams: did not serve.
  • Ari Fleischer: did not serve.
  • Andrew Card: did not serve.
  • Ken Adelman: did not serve.
  • Don Evans: did not serve.
  • Michael Ledeen: did not serve.
  • Elliott Abrams: did not serve.
  • John Bolton: did not serve.
  • Rudy Giuliani: did not serve.
  • George Pataki: did not serve.
  • Kenneth Starr: did not serve

    Republican chickenhawks in the U.S. Senate:

  • Mitch McConnell, the current Republican leader in the U.S. Senate: did not serve.
  • Bill Frist,, the former Republican leader in the U.S. Senate: did not serve.
  • Trent Lott, the former Republican leader in the U.S. Senate: avoided the draft, did not serve.
  • Saxby Chambliss: did not serve. "Bad knee" He defeated tripelegic Democratic war hero Max Cleland by questioning his patriotism!

      Republican chickenhawks in the U.S. House :

    • Newt Gingrich   -- sought graduate school deferment, (too smart to die).
    • Majority Leader Dick Armey - avoided the draft, did not serve.
    • Majority Leader Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve.
    • Majority Leader John A. Boehner - did not serve.
    • Jack Kemp: did not serve. "Knee problem," although continued in NFL for 8 years.
  • G.O.P. Leader Roy Blunt: did not serve.
  • Bob Ney: did not serve.
  • David Dreier: did not serve.
  • Tim Hutchison: did not serve.
  • Christopher Cox: did not serve.
  • Dana Rohrabacher: did not serve.
  • John M. McHugh: did not serve.
  • JC Watts: did not serve.
  • Vin Weber: did not serve.
  • Bob Barr: did not serve.
  • Mark Souder: did not serve.
  • Walter Jones: did not serve.
  • Katherine Harris: did not serve. .

    Republican chickenhawks in the Executive & Judicial branches:

  • Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, and since presidential candidate: did not serve.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: AWOL from Austrian army base.
  • Marc F. Racicot, former Montana governor and attorney general, Bush reelection chairman and former head of the Republican National Committee
  • Don Rumsfeld: served in Navy (1954-57) as flight instructor.
  • Kenneth Starr : sought deferment (for psoriasis).
  • Bill Bennett : sought graduate school deferment, (too smart to die).
  • Ted Olson, (Starr's assistand, and since Solictor General)

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    Republican chickenhawk Mouthpieces :

  • Rush Limbaugh   -- sought deferment (because of a cyst on his tail end).
  • (Rush's Conservative brother) David Limbaugh: did not serve.
  • George Will     -- sought graduate school deferment, (too smart to die).
  • Pat Buchanan     -- sought deferment (for bad knee).
  • Pat Robertson   -- his US Senator father got him out of Korea as soon as the shooting began.
  • John Wayne     -- sought deferment (to further acting career).
  • Sean Hannity: did not serve.
  • Bill O'Reilly: did not serve.
  • Matt Drudge: did not serve.
  • Steve Forbes: did not serve.
  • Tony Snow: did not serve.
  • Michael "Savage" Weiner: did not serve.
  • Brit Hume: did not serve.
  • Roger Ailes: did not serve.
  • Chris Matthews: did not serve.
  • Neil Boortz : did not serve.
  • : did not serve.
  • Paul Gigot: did not serve.
  • Bill Kristol: did not serve.
  • Ralph Reed: did not serve.
  • Michael Medved: did not serve.
  • Charlie Daniels: did not serve.
  • Anne Coulter: did not serve.
  • Jerry Falwell: did not serve.
  • Alan Keyes : did not serve.
  • Ted Nugent: did not serve.

                   (Source: http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/chickenhawks.html   )

Nancy, It's Not That Hard To Defend Yourself from
       Republicans Who Wrap Themselves in The Flag.

                     Given how ubiquitous Republican Chicken-hawks are in Washington D.C.,
           and how it is they who are the ones challenging the patriotism of peace activists.
           it should NOT be very difficult to show voters that THESE  Republicans should be
           dismissed as hypocrites and self-serving jingoists.   Nancy, why don't you just
           show the voters that right wing super nationalism is most often a simple facade,
           to get votes and to promote war time profiteering? 

                     We are forced to ask again whether Nancy Pelosi really is afraid that
           impeachment will make Democrats seem unpatriotic to marginal voters.   Or, as I
           think is true, is Nancy Pelosi much more concerned about offending corporate and"
           media moguls who are benefiting from the status quo and have an interest in
           continuing America's huge level of military spending, which is greater than all
           the rest of the world combined!.    
                     There's another reason for doubting her motivation being one of political
           caution.  She must see that her spineless lay-down for Bush necessarily make her
           and the Democrats look weak and ineffectual.   This posture invites scorn, more
           Administration arrogance and also risks losing a lot of anti-war votes, as people
           decide not to waste their vote on weak Democrats.   She must realize this.  But she
           persists.  So, there must be other motives.    And spinelessness is not the real

2. She May Secretly Support The Occupation of Iraq 
      against The Wishes of Most Americans          

                        Perhaps, the Democratic Leadership is happy to get the votes of peace seekers,
            and it indulges them just enough to get their votes.  Perhaps, Nancy Pelosi and her
            fellow Democrats actually, but secretly, believe there truly is a light at the end of
            the fighting tunnel and that those who would kill Americans in Iraq  will soon be
            vanquished.    If this is the motivation, Pelosi et al. feel that  the war simply needs to be
            prosecuted more efficiently.  They rationalize the way they mislead the peace activists
            about their real intentions by saying to themselves that they know more about these 
            things than do war weary American people who just want out!. 

                          Clearly, Pelosi is not a peace activist.  She understands her own limitations. 
            She can't persuade others to accept an abrupt end to the war, if she can't articulate
            the power of peace.   And she can't do this if she lacks its spirit.   So, she misjudges or
            chooses not to listen to the heartfelt desire for peace in America.  I think it's fair
            to say that after a war longer than World War II, the American people generally do
            long for peace and   "normalacy"  (This was Harding's slogan in 1920, which he  used
            against the Democrats who ran the American war in Europe in World War I.) 
                         People do long for peace.  Country music has long been felt to be a bastion of
           support for the right wing of America.  But  listen to the lyrics of  country singer,
           Randy Travis  in "Whisper My Name".  The chorus  repeats "
Let Peace ring like an
           anthem through the years.
"  Other country music stars who are now peace activists
           include: Willie Nelson  and family , Vince Gill,  Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. 

                        By May 2004, only a third of Americans believed the US-led occupation of
            Iraq was doing more good than harm and a solid majority favored an immediate
            pullout.   ( http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-04-28-poll-cover_x.htm )
            In March 2007, CNN found that  only 46% of Americans thought the Iraq War could be
            "won".   54% of Americans said that the Bush Administration had mislead America
            into war.    60% want America to pull its troops "immediately" or "within a year".
"The drop in Bush's approval ratings on fighting terrorism came disproportionately from political
The poll suggests that views on the Iraq war's impact also remain highly partisan.
             Three in four Republicans said the Iraq invasion has boosted domestic security, while three in four
             Democrats said it has not. Political independents lean negative on the issue: About six in 10 said the
             war has not made Americans safer.
            ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/07/AR2005060700296.html )

                       Nancy Pelosi has given lip service to the majority of American's view on Bush's
             Iraq War when she calls it a "grotesque mistake" that has not made America safer.
             (Radio Address on 9/24/2004!)  But she seems to be doing very little to stop Bush.
              She has the options of defunding and impeachment.  But she does not use them. 
   On November 8th, she agreed to provide $50 billion more with a "goal" that
              combat would be ended by December 2008.  There is no mandate.  Thete is no
              requirement.   And just what will COngress do in December 2008 to penalize Bush
              if he does not work towards the goal Congress sets.  In fairness, the $50 billion
              is only a quarter of the $198 billion Bush requested.

              ( http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics/story/353229.html _

             wpe12.jpg (7334 bytes)
              "This is not a blank check for the President,”
               She does not explain how providing more
               money   will restrict Bush.  (11/8/2007)

3.  I Think She Wishes Not To Offend Corporate Campaign
       Contributors and Is Afraid of How The Mainstream Media
       Would Treat An Effort To Impeach Bush or Abruptly End
       The War.

                            Is Nancy Pelosi serving her campaign contributors rather than listen to
               her voters?  For the period 2007-2008, Labor unions have given her $210,000
               while Business contributions were $503,200.   Among her biggest campaign
               contributors are:
General Dynamics  $10,000
                                         Goldman Sachs       $10,000
                                         Chicago Board of Options  $10,000
Lockheed Martin     $10,000
                                         Metroplitan Life      $10,000
                                         Real Estate Rountable  $10,000
                                         Wells Fargo    $10,000

                             There are no oil companies listed here. 

                             Is she  too attentive to arms industry interests as a result of these campaign
              contributions?   That seems doubtful.  But  because she gets so much more
              money from corporations rather than unions, she is probably not willing to be very bold
              or do anything which confronts the status quo.   Impeachment  and a sudden switch
              in foreign policy  would certainly upset things.  Look what impeachment did to Wall Street
              in the Summer and Fall of 1974.  The DJI fell from 800 to 580 in two months. 

  Nixon's Resignation Caused 25% Drop in Stock Market in 1974
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                           Taking Bush on directly at the jugular would make people question authority.   
              Her actions do support the war, no matter what she says!  They do support domestic
              spying.    They keep in place the present White House which favors corporations at every
              turn.   In acting this way, she shows her corporate backers that she is not a threat to
              military contractors or the military industrial complex.    Similarly, the credibility of the
              mass media that sold Amercians on the war is not challenged.   Quick changes in
              prospective regulation of business are avoided.  These are what her actions communicate
              the the Power Elite.    Her San Francisco voters may be proud to have one of their own
              be House Speaker, but it is she is far less progressive than they are en masse. 

4. Is She Ignorant The Duties She Has To Protect The US
        Constitution?  Or Does She Just Not Want To Rock The
        Boat and Allienate Her Corporate and Mass Media Supporters.

                        More and more,  Nancy Pelosi reveals herself to be as arrogant as George Bush
            in her own way.   She treats with contempt those who protest the war outside her office.
“If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for
             loitering, but because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First
  - Nancy Pelosi   Apparently, she would like to arrest them, rather than
            respect them for exercising their rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
                         In San Francisco she refuses to meet peace protestors outside her Pacific Heights
            home or in her office.   "On Wednesday, about 20 demonstrators gathered outside Pelosi's
            San Francisco office -- but before they could enter, a staff member ushered the group down
            to a conference room seven floors below, where many voiced frustration that Pelosi was
            not being aggressive enough in seeking an end to the war.  
"They're continuing to fund
            the war, and it's ridiculous if you say you're against the war to keep funding it," Blome, a
            51-year-old El Cerrito resident, said of Congressional Democrats. "It's shocking how little
            the Democrats are doing to stop this war."

            ( See the reactions stirred by this article on   http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/03/12/news/state/31107184042.txt )

Five Hunger Strikers and Peace Activists Arrested At Federal Building:
                               Pelosi Refused to Speak with Peace Community
                      Today 5 CODEPINK hunger strikers and peace activists were arrested for a symbolic shut down
            at the Federal Building.  The women, Toby Blome, Jody Paulson, Pamela Stephens, Nancy Mancias, Pamela
            Bennett were arrested after blocking all entrances to the building for two hours.  They were arrested under code
            of federal regulations 102-74.385.  One CODEPINK activist, Rae Abileah, was injured after a federal police
            agent, who was unwilling to disclose her identity, pushed a door into Abileah’s body.

                     The women, who have been fasting for 11 days to meet with Speaker Pelosi about the war, recently
            received word from Pelosi’s SF Director Dan Bernal that the Speaker would not meet with peace groups
            in her district anytime during the August recess. Shut out and silenced by the Speaker, CODEPINK women
            held a symbolical shut down of the Federal Building on Thursday afternoon.

                     Women with CODEPINK: Women for Peace have been fasting and camping outside Speaker Pelosi
           and Senator Feinstein’s offices for 11 days asking for meeting about the war. In response to the tents pitched
           outside her Pacific Heights mansion, Senator Feinstein held a meeting at the encampment with the fasters
           on Tuesday, August 21, after which the group agreed to end their camp at her home.  Speaker Pelosi, however,
           has refused to meet and called the hunger strikers “nuts.” The fasting activists presented a letter to the Speaker
           asking for a meeting.  The letter was signed by 30 prominent peace and justice groups in the Bay Area,
           including Iraq Veterans Against the War, the San Francisco Labor Council, Jewish Voices for Peace,
          American Muslim Voice and MoveOn.

                    “Pelosi’s SF director, Dan Bernal, said the speaker refuses to meet with any of us, but won’t give us a
          reason why,” said hunger striker Nancy Mancias. “We will block the entrance to the Federal
        Building to symbolize our lack of representation by our elected representative

                      Can Nancy Be Trusted?

                       Nor is she competent or a woman of her word.  Just as Roberto Gonzales was
            resigning over allowing illegal wire-tapping and politicizing the criminal justice system,
            she arranged for an expansion of surveillance.  Some Democrats may say they were
            fooled by the Administration's new reports of a terrorist attack on Congress itself - which
            were false - when they passed this expansion.   But the ACLU claims the Democrats
            had lied about their intentions all along.  The ACLU was not consulted on this quick
            expansion of sureillance, as they has been promised.  An angry ACLU lobbyist 
            denounced the Democratic leaders,
“They turned around and screwed us over - and
            the Constitution - all at once.”

  (See:  http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=behind_the_fisa_flop )

           Conclusion:   It's Not A Question of Her
     Having No Spine

                      Pelosi has no interest in overthrowing Bush.  Her battles with the Administration
            are over issues the Administration cares much less about than the issues of war and
            peace.  Their top goals are international domination and military intimidation.  This works
            for Nancy Pelosi.   She wants to keep  the basic status quo.  She does not care that
            much about the Constitution,  or how her inactions weaken Congress and thereby
            threaten democracy and a divided balance of power, which is the genius behind American

                    She figures her Party is guaranteed to get  enormous corporate contributions in
            the next year,   for so long as she does not rock the boat.  Corporations have nowhere
            else to go.   Forget the long run or how this affects America for years to come, she wants
           to capitalize on this now.   Senator Clinton is also showing how true this is.  She is raising
            far more in campaign contributions than any Republican who would be Presdient.  The
            corporations are giving money to Democrats now because they know they will
            need "political access" when the Republicans lose the White House and much of
            Congress in 2009,  as seems very likely now. 

                      So, Pelosi is doing what Democrats always do.   She is taking progressives for
            granted.  She knows that they have nowhere else to go with their votes.  So, she
            positions herself just to the left of  Bush and waits for 2009.  Meanwhile, the US may go
            into a new war with Iran, and thousands in Iraq are dying or being wounded or scarred
            for life in a war that should not be fought and cannot be won.    

                    All this is starting to be understood by Wall Street.  It means there is a real chance
            for Bush will give the orders to send Cruise missles to attack Iran at any time.  And it
            means the Dollar will go lower and lower for another year, as the expensive 2 trillion
            dollar war becomes a 3 trillion dollar war.  Thus,  the Dollar is losing its friends.  It is no
            longer stable and reliable.   And the future is not bright.  The Fed may may be able to
            paper over the crack for another year, until 2009, as they are want to do.  But in 2009,
            they won't even try.  Then interest rates will go sky high, just as they did from 1978 to 1980.  
            Very depressing stuff to contemplete.  And it could all be brought out now, if Pelosi
            were a leader not just another hack opportunist - politician.  No wonder  Cindy Sheehan
            has decided to run against Nancy Pelosi for her San Francisco Congressional seat.
            Sheehan has at least one local supporter.  Daniel Ellsberg, who released the Pentagon
            Papers to show the pattern of Administration lies, Democratic and Republican, with
            respect to the War in Viet Nam.        
  ( http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/08/09/state/n120844D33.DTL    )


<1>   Please read valuable article by David Swanson - 
( )
"Over the past two months of repeated Congressional votes to fund the occupation of Iraq, culminating in President Bush's signing the bill on Friday, what – if anything – have we learned? Have we learned anything about individuals or political parties or activist organizations to trust or despise, or have we learned better what to demand of them regardless of such emotions? Have we learned anything about policies to support, battles to lose, pyrrhic victories, or how to talk about ending the occupation?

"A clear and growing majority of Americans wants to end the occupation. Yet many people are opposed to defunding it. So, not enough of us have learned that you cannot end this occupation without defunding it. And far too few of us fully understand that ultimately we'll need impeachment before the occupation actually ends.

"Because we don't grasp the need for impeachment, we focus on asking Congress to oppose the war but ignore Congress' failure to investigate the lies that launched the war (and we call it a "war," giving credence to the notion that it is something that can be won or lost). http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/22933 Because we haven't faced up to a choice between continuing the occupation and defunding it, we allow Congress Members to make anti-occupation gestures and then fund the occupation, not in order to prolong the occupation and fund its profiteers, but "for the troops."

"As long as we allow the pretense to continue that wars are fought on behalf of the young men and women sent to fight them, we will never see a serious effort on the part of the Democratic leadership in Congress to end the occupation of Iraq. One thing many people have gradually come to realize is that we have not seen such an effort yet, only pretenses of it. Certainly, some who now disapprove of what the Congress just passed still think they were right to support what it was doing two months ago, and it's less important to return to that debate than to get our act together from here on out. But we are more likely to make wise decisions in the future if we learn the right lessons from our mistakes. So, a quick review may be in order.

"Two months ago, peace activists were pushing hard for the House to allow a vote on an amendment by Barbara Lee to end the war. Numerous activist groups sided with Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership and opposed the Lee amendment in favor of a supplemental spending bill to end the war. The push back from principled peace activists against the supplemental was muted by concerns that if the Lee amendment passed, then the supplemental would be a good thing.

"On March 22nd, the Democrats decided not to allow a vote on the Lee Amendment. http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/20355 So the debate became clearly one for funding the occupation or not funding the occupation, but there was only one day to lobby before the vote, and numerous groups were pushing the idea that the bill was the best we could get and actually took serious steps to end the occupation of Iraq.

"This flew in the face of the simple fact that no bill at all would have been better than this one, not to mention that the bill promoted the theft of Iraq's oil, failed to use the power of the purse to end the war, and allowed Bush to "waive" other measures he might not like. The Democratic leaders themselves didn't pretend this was a bill to end the war, so much as a bill to move the war to Afghanistan. But the media lapped up the astroturf-roots talk about peace and standing strong against to Bush. Here's a video of Rep. Lynn Woolsey opposing the bill in a debate with Bob Borosage who promotes it as the best antiwar bill possible: http://afterdowningstreet.org/node/20356

wpe12.jpg (4558 bytes)    David Swanson is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA.    author's email

 <2> In a letter addressed to President Bush, the members below said:  

         ""We agree to only support appropriating additional funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during FY08
           and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq before the end of the
           President's term in office..
. Furthermore, this conflict has degenerated into a sectarian civil war and U.S.
           taxpayers have paid more than $500 billion, despite assurances that you and your key advisors gave our
           nation at the time you ordered the invasion in March, 2003 that this military intervention would cost far less
           and be paid from Iraqi oil revenues.  We agree with a clear and growing majority of the American people
           who are opposed to continued, open-ended U.S. military operations in Iraq, and believe it is unwise and
           unacceptable for you to continue to unilaterally impose these staggering costs and the soaring debt on
          Americans currently and for generations to come."     

Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA);
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA);
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA);
Rep. Ellen Tauscher (CA);
Rep. Rush Holt (NJ);
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY);
Rep. Diane Watson (CA);
  Rep. Ed Pastor (AZ);
Rep. Barney Frank (MA);
Rep. Danny Davis (IL);
Rep. John Conyers (MI);
Rep. John Hall (NY);
Rep. Bob Filner (CA);
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (NY);
Rep. Bobby Rush (IL);
Rep. Charles Rangel (NY);
Rep. Ed Towns (NY);
Rep. Paul Hodes (NH);
Rep. William Lacy Clay (MO);
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR);
Rep. Albert Wynn (MD);
Rep. Bill Delahunt (MA);
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC);
Rep. G. K. Butterfield (NC);
Rep. Hilda Solis (CA);
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY);
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY);
Rep. Michael Honda (CA);
Rep. Steve Cohen (TN); 
Rep. Phil Hare (IL);
Rep . Grace Flores Napolitano (CA); |
Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL);
| Rep. James McGovern (MA);
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH);
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL);
Rep. Julia Carson (IN);
Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA);
  Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ);
Rep. John Olver (MA);
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX);
Rep. Jim McDermott (WA);
Rep. Ed Markey (MA);
  Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA);
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ);
Rep. Rubin Hinojosa (TX);
Rep. Pete Stark (CA); Rep.
Bobby Scott (VA); Rep.
Jim Moran (VA); Rep.
Betty McCollum (MN);
Rep. Jim Oberstar (MN);
Rep. Diana DeGette (CO);
Rep. Stephen Lynch (MA);
Rep. Artur Davis (AL); Rep.
Hank Johnson (GA);
Rep. Donald Payne (NJ);
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO);
Rep. John Lewis (GA); Rep.
Yvette Clarke (NY);
Rep. Neil Abercrombie (HI);
Rep. Gwen Moore (WI);
Rep. Keith Ellison (MN);
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI);
Rep. Donna Christensen (USVI);
Rep. David Scott (GA);
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL);
Lois Capps (CA);
Steve Rothman (NJ);
Elijah Cummings (MD);
and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX);
Rep. Chris Murphy (CT);
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL);
Rep. Corrine Brown (FL);
Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS);
Rep. Mel Watt (NC);
Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY);
  Rep. David Loebsack (IA);
Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY);
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH);
Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR);
Rep. Sam Farr (CA);
Rep.  Henry Waxman (D-CA);
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA);
Rep. John Tierney (D-CA);
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX);
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA);
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH);
Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA);
and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY).



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