"...what is being proposed is nothing more or less than, really, a charade."
- Walter Jones (D-NC 3rd district)
House Leadership Fears Open, Honest, Fair Debate on Iraq
The House leadership (partisan Republicans) are scrambling to cut off meaningful debate about Iraq in order to cover for the failed policy there. Raw Story is reporting that "a group of Democratic and Republican House members held a press conference today at the Capitol with their hands 'literally tied' to protest the blocking by Republican leadership of any real debate about the war in Iraq."
"Do not put us through the farce and the fraud of a pseudo-debate going nowhere and ending nowhere. This is not about a discussion of cutting and running. This is a question of whether the Congress is going to sit and watch while people are dying."
- Rep. Neil Ambercrombie (D-HI)
The House leadership continue to misjudge the hearts and minds of the American people. They've taken them for chumps - suckers - for just a little too long. You see fatheads like Karl Rove belligerently spouting, like a rebellious pimply-faced adolescent, that his party owes no one an apology for their tremendous amount of misjudgements and errors and lies told about Iraq, labeling a pointless occupation as "the central front in the war on terror."
"It is a cynical attempt to mold politics into a document that their political spinmeisters come up with to turn Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terror, all munched in together, assuming that the American people are too stupid to know the difference."
- Rep. Martin Meehan (D-MA )
I don't personally want my government representatives to sit on their partisan asses and make cute and meaningless little "thank-you" resolutions and propaganda statements to cable news pundits while people die needlessly and soldiers fight for freedoms being blatantly denied to the People of the United States to have a realistic discussion about a war in which those soldiers are engaged.
Let's Talk Turkey. Who Wants a Quagmire?
"Let those who believe that we should be in Iraq for the next 15 years or 20 years go on the floor and talk about it. Let the members of the House meet their constitutional responsibility and debate it and vote up or down."
- Iraq had no connection to 9/11. If Republicans are going to keep bringing up 9/11 as if it's connected to Iraq, they should be asked where Osama bin Laden is each time they raise the spectre. After all, wasn't he was the mastermind behind 9/11? Weren't we going to drain the swamp? The swamp has not been drained and we ran headlong to a another swamp altogether - and nearly drowned instead of drained.
- Bush is abdicating responsibility as commander in chief every time he says he's leaving it all up to General Casey to be the one who has the last say on troop levels in Iraq. Shit - who's the President, anyhow? For all his passion about defending the chaotic and unecessary path he took us down in Iraq, this abdication of the highest responsibility always makes Bush look weak and indecisive.
- Terrorist threats around the world will not fade away on their own - but the war in Iraq has created more terrorists than there ever would have been had we not precipitated an unjust and unnecessary unilateral war against a nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with the terror threat that faced the world in the first place. (That lies were told to the American public only serves to make things worse for those who participated in the knowing transmission of the lies).
- The President looked high and happy at the press conference today on the heels of killing the Bin Laden substitute boogey-man al Zarqawi. Will it be enough to remember this day when the television screens report on and on about the senseless killing that goes on in that country every day? I know of a soldier who came back after his first tour of duty in Iraq and told a classroom filled with ninth-graders that each Iraqi citizen that came up to him would say the same thing: "Thank you for getting rid of Saddam. Now you can go home." There's no sin in helping these Iraqis to find a political solution to the problems of their new democracy, and there would be myriad intelligent ways to internationalize the effort. But this occupation should have ended years ago. A foreign power killing Iraqi citizens embroiled in sectarian strife is not a good accompaniment to winning political hearts or minds and anyone with a fifth grade education should be able to see that. It never should have even taken place.
One of the ways House Republicans have made it clear they are not interested in getting to the bottom of the Bush Administration’s mismanagement of the Iraq War is by repeatedly blocking the Democratic proposal for an Iraq “Truman Commission.” During World War II, then-Democratic Senator Harry Truman conducted a series of famous oversight investigations into the Roosevelt War Department’s conduct of the war. The beneficial effects of these investigations (conducted by a Democratic Congress into a Democratic administration) were to reduce inefficiency and fraud in the defense contracting process and to strengthen our war effort. Not surprisingly, House Republicans have shown more interest in protecting the Administration from scrutiny than in ensuring that taxpayers’ funds are not being wasted and that our soldiers have the equipment they need. Republicans opposed a Democratic motion to consider the proposal in May 2005, and then blocked Representatives John Tierney (D-MA) and James Leach (R-IA) from debating the issue on the House floor during consideration of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (H.R. 1815).
Take Back America Breaks Agreement with Conscientious Citizens
"We were amazed to discover that the organizers of Take Back America treat dissent the same way that the organizers at a Bush rally do," said Ms. Murphy. "Most progressives do not support Hillary Clinton, and stifling our legitimate, heartfelt opposition to her pro-war position is an outrage. I guess we have to take back ‘Take Back America.’"
I think it's very important for you to know about suppression of dissent and a breaking of trust within the Democratic party. Officials of the "Take Back America" conference violated a trusted agreement made prior to the event regarding the logistics of protest from the moment citizens arrived at the event, which is held annually in Washington, D.C. Bear in mind the fact that this conference is supposed to be a venue for prominent progressives to gather and debate the major issues of our day. Read Medea Benjamin's story.
This, people, is not good news for America. It's telling us that, even at the doorstep of the party that boosts itself as a party that invites free speech and debate, there are limits when it suits a political purpose. Agreements they make in good faith will be crushed whenever they deem it necessary to do so.
Is that the kind of party with whom we wish to identify?
We'd best see some public statement of explanation or apology here.
If you see the injustice done to progressive citizens at this conference, please sign the pledge at Voters for Peace. (endorsed by Casey Sheehan's momCindy)
This time vote for what you believe in.
Hear this NPR story about the Take America Back conference, along with interviews of some of the attendees by Mara Laisson.