Endorsing Doing Nothing on Iraq

David Sirota, (David responds to me here) of all people, is recommending a column that seems to endorse doing nothing to end the war in Iraq:

There is one decisive action that the Congress could theoretically take with respect to Iraq given Bush’s Constitutional authorities. Tina Richards referred to it in her exchange with Obey. Congress could simply refuse to pass any legislation providing further funding for the war. That sounds both simple and effective. But there are serious downsides to such a strategy that devoted opponents of this war should reflect upon. . . . Well-meaning people can argue about whether or not such a strategy would be good policy or whether or not it would be good politics. But there is little room for argument as to whether such a stance is a viable legislative strategy.

So there you have it, we "idiots" can do and should do nothing. Boy, aren't you glad you voted for Dems in 2006 in order to end the war in Iraq?

This may be an honest opinion but what I do not understand is the hostility to folks like me that are trying to pressure the Dem Congress to do the right thing? Why would it bother these people so? Cuz it makes their lives and the lives of the former employers more difficult? Are they serious in arguing this stuff? I mean, David Sirota, the fire breathing David Sirota, is endorsing this?

Tell me again exactly why Dems are different on Iraq? Is this really the line they are going to trot out?

I do have one substantive response to what I can only consider a deliberate distortion:

Failure to pass further appropriations means a cut-off of supplies to troops in harm’s way. It means no fuel, no ammunition, and no medical supplies. As the months pass and the Congress and the President remain at an impasse, the men and women on the ground in Iraq will not only be caught between Sunni and Sh’ia militias, but also between the two branches of their own government. Such an action would actually even deprive the President of the funds needed to bring the troops home if he suddenly came to his senses and decided to do so.

This is just plain mendacious. No one is proposing anything like that. No one. My own proposal is this:

In reality there are two positions available now -for ending the Debacle or for continuing it. It is that simple. And the choice is binary. Because President George W. Bush makes it so. Bush listens to no one, except Cheney.

Many ask 'so what is a Democratic Congress to do?' With Mitch McConnell promising filibusters to all attempts to revoke the Iraq AUMF, cap troop levels and to cut funding for the Iraq Debacle, what is it I am asking of the Democratic Congress?

Let me explain again - I ask for three things: First, announce NOW that the Democratic Congress will NOT fund the Iraq Debacle after a date certain. You pick the date. Whatever works politically. If October 2007 is the date Dems can agree to, then let it be then. If March 2008, then let that be the date; Second, spend the year reminding the President and the American People every day that Democrats will not fund the war past the date certain; Third, do NOT fund the Iraq Debacle PAST the date certain.

Some argue we will never have the votes for this. That McConnell will filibuster, that Bush will veto. To them I say I KNOW. But filbustering and vetoing does not fund the Iraq Debacle. Let me repeat, to end the war in Iraq, the Democratic Congress does not have to pass a single bill; they need only NOT pass bills that fund the Iraq Debacle.

But but but, defund the whole government? Defund the whole military? What if Bush does not pull out the troops? First, no, not defund the government, defund the Iraq Debacle. If the Republicans choose to shut down government in order to force the continuation of the Iraq Debacle, do not give in. Fight the political fight. We'll win. Second, defund the military? See answer to number one. Third, well, if you tell the American People what is coming for a year, and that Bush is on notice, that i t will be Bush abandoning the troops in Iraq, we can win that politcal battle too.

Understand this, if you want to end the Iraq Debacle, this is the only way until Bush is not President. If you are not for this for ending the war, tell me what you do support. I think this is the only way. And if you shy away from the only way to end the Debacle, then you really are not for ending the war are you?

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    Please, not so loud. n/t (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by cal11 voter on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:08:35 PM EST

    I know Pelosi is trying to sleep (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:15:37 PM EST
    But that's not BTD's problem. ;-)

    Louder. (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:14:06 PM EST
    More often.



    Thank you.

    Well (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:19:34 PM EST
    Gotta respect J.'s space too.

    Eye on the Ball (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:17:49 PM EST
    It may be that the powerful and mighty, whether or not it is in their own minds, have to come up with their own original idea so as to maintain their wizzard status, Sirota, Hillary et al.  

    Clearly I heard it first from BTD, and believe that it was his original idea. But If it means saying that I heard it from David Sitota first in order to get momentum behind doing nothing to fund the war, I will. I will support anyone who claims it was their idea, no problem.

    The issue is too important for it to turn into a pissing contest.

    I'll say it was Bush's idea (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:19:09 PM EST
    if that's what it will take.

    ahhahahha (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:26:07 PM EST
    Ambien in his water and a secret tape player under Cheney's pillow, repeating defund the war over and over while he's asleep?

    Not defund, it's no fund the war (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by TexDem on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 05:17:37 PM EST
    Defunding is a GOP term. If I understand BTD correctly, you fund to the declared date whether that be October 2007 or March 2008 but you annouce that ther will be no funds available for U. S. Forces beyond that date. You have from now until that date to make you position and arguement to the American public.

    It's no funding not defunding. Defunding requires taking money away, no funding requires not giving them the money to start with.

    Did I get that right BTD?


    My response (5.00 / 6) (#5)
    by David Sirota on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:18:42 PM EST
    My response to this is here. Bottom line: Shrewness and principle are not mutually exclusive, and disagreements over tactics do not automatically mean someone is substantively selling out their principles.

    David (5.00 / 7) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:21:25 PM EST
    Our heated words, appropriate for two hot head friends, were exchanged in private.

    What I will say in public is that I think my idea shrewd and workable, and good politics and practical.

    I would like to see the idea actually engaged, not distorted, not falsified.

    The column you endorse does not justice to the proposal of Feingold or anyone else.


    I see your point (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by David Sirota on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:33:02 PM EST
    I see your point that you shouldn't be attacked - but I don't see what I wrote as an attack on YOU. Maybe that's the confusion - though I don't think I wrote anything to imply that what you are proposing is not legitimate. I may not agree on the feasibility of your proposal, but you are not the one spending your energy attacking antiwar progressives like Obey.

    So, in other words, let me just make it clear: I think you have every right to push your idea of trying to take the supplemental down because its not strong enough. I disagree with you tactically on this one, because I fundamentally agree with Obey on the legislative STRATEGY. Furthermore, I think if the supplemental goes down, Democrats will move further to the right, with them (sadly, not inaccurately) seeing the Republican House lawmakers as a more eager pool of potential yes votes for a watered down bill than the much samller progressive no-voting Democrats who might be changed by a stronger bill (this is especially true with the f-ing Blue Dogs who are already threatening to bail).

    However, because I disagree with you tactically, doesn't mean I think you are selling out or being extreme. I think if, say, you tried to make a giant media extravaganza attacking decidedly antiwar liberals for not agreeing with your specific tactics - then I would have a real problem. But that's what others - but not you - have done.


    Re: I don't see what I wrote as an attack on YOU (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:47:12 PM EST
    I don't think BTD does either David. It's the :idea: he's concerned with.

    Also, one other thing (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by David Sirota on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:39:09 PM EST
    I want to add one other thing: The best way to cut off funding for the war right now is to focus our pressure on those who conceptually oppose that. I think there are a number of Democrats like Obey who conceptually support that position, but feel like they can't pass that right now - and I don't think they are wrong. What we as a movement have to do is focus on changing those conceptually opposed to ending the war, rather than pressuring those who conceptually support it, but feel the congressional political reality isn't there yet. This is why I spend so much time on the Iraq campaign with the Progressive States Network in the states who have lawmakers opposed to the concept of ending the war: to try to put as much pressure on the OBSTACLES.

    I think it's been almost a done deal... (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by cal11 voter on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:57:50 PM EST
    for some time now.  Now who to blame?  The Blue Dogs?  No, David, that's too easy.

    There IS nothing to pass (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 03:54:43 PM EST
    That's the entire point and I don't think you or they really GET it.  Are you simply afraid to be the ONLY people who want to END this war NOW?  You talk of legislative strategy right now for the Dems.  I don't understand how you can claim they HAVE one.  More of the same fearful-of-Republican-political-thuggery empty shiite.  Sorry, but I have family in this war, and I am fed up, up UP with folks who talk about wanting to end this war but really, when it gets right down to it, don't want to take the risk POLITICALLY!!  There are thousands of innocent people dying every month and we're afraid domestic political battles.

    That is just cowardice, plain and simple.  

    You are NOT, I repeat NOT, going to change the minds of a critical mass of those on the right who currently oppose ending the war.  I just don't see it happening in a timely enough fashion to make it morally credible.  We are merely prolonging misery and suffering to get to the messy end which will occur now matter how much suffering we prolong or choose not to.

    Choosing not to seems, rationally and humanely, the only choice of action here that does just that...TAKE ACTION!!

    I respect your position as a journalist I respect, but I don't understand it nor can I accept it as even remotely realistic, when you consider it just that.

    The Dems are not just getting played, they are playing themselves.  That's pretty pathetic considering the actual power they have -- power they can only use if they actually have imaginations and think OUTSIDE of the box.

    Again, sorry, thinking of my little brother in this mess, and all the other millions of people, I have no time for the kind of dilly-dallying your position, and that of the dim Dems, consists of.

    Sorry, your whole argument depresses me.  


    How would you end the war (none / 0) (#35)
    by PaintyKat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 12:36:51 AM EST
    What strategies would you employ?  Does expecting nothing from the Democrats and repeating that mantra get us any closer to ending the war or make it more likely that the Democrats will act in a manner we wish.

    God speed for your brother's return and you have my empathy and prayers for his safe return.  Having said that I think I am so frustrated with folks who began hammering on the Democrats before they could even be sworn in and haven't taken a break of any kind to this day.  Rarely are the complaints specific to particular actions, there is a lot of non-specific accusations of cowardice and being no different than the Republicans which is bogus.  Many times it has more to do with a lack of understanding of legislative process.

    Your case is certainly different because your stake along with the stake of many American families in this whole nightmare is so much higher than mine.  And I hear your fear and frustration in your words.

    What I find so difficult to understand is the  collective expectations of legislators to act in our own best interests if we constantly hammer them with our belief in their capabilities and intent to develop strategies to end this war.  A constant barage of that kind of thinking removes all hope for future solutions for me and I find more solace in trying to understand the details.

    Partly I think I am exhausted from an experience of around the clock, Democratic bashing and think I will go and take a peek at David's link.

    You, your brother, and your family will be in my thoughts and I am interested in what strategies you believe should be followed to end this ugly war.  How long has your brother been in Iraq?  When is he due to come home?

    BTD, sounds like you and David may be more on the same page than you think, the differences are in the legislative strategies (the process for me).  

    So just keep shouting from the rooftops.



    You tell me (none / 0) (#39)
    by Dadler on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 11:23:06 AM EST
    If you can't understand how defunding a war doesn't end it, you are beyond help.  My brother has served two tours in Iraq and Afhganistan, will be going again.  He's ruined psycologically, okay?

    And if you could get out of your paradigms for one second, think outside of the box, use your godd*amn free American imagincation, you'd realize defunding is the ONLY way to end this war before Bush is gone.  Period.

    That is an idea.  An actual idea.  It requires following the will of the American people, who voted to end this war yesterday not tomorrow; it requires no being afraid of Republican political thuggery, which is the biggest fear holding Dems back from this -- besides raw stupidity.

    The inability to think beyond your comfort zone IS the way to end this war.  You haven't offered a thing except the inability to comprehend something so simple it is like the nose on the end of your face.

    We will not fund the war past this date, and the issue is over.  The Repubs can fight and slander, but they cannot leave troops there when the American people, through their elected House of Reps, have spoken.  

    I am amazed how you cannot understand that NOT passing legislation has NOTHING to do with any worry about how the legislative process works.  It is imaginatively, legally, and effectively thinking OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.

    Thanks for your thoughts, now get an actual thought in your head about ending this war or your thoughts for my brother mean sh*t.

    Good day.


    You must be kidding (none / 0) (#40)
    by bx58 on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 12:42:46 PM EST
    "it requires no being afraid of Republican political thuggery, which is the biggest fear holding Dems back from this -- besides raw stupidity."

    Republican thuggery? What the hell is that?

    They just regained power(if anyone knows how hard it is to make large gains like the Dems just did due to gerrymandering)with a clear mandate to do what the country wants them to do.

    You think "Republican thuggery" is keeping them from doing it?

    Very sorry to hear about your bro's plight.


    You're really back in the game, BTD (5.00 / 7) (#9)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:23:35 PM EST
    I love it.

    On this (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:26:04 PM EST
    I will fight General Clark himself.

    David Sirota is a godd friend of mine. He has all my respect. I wish he could show my idea a little respect and address it substantively, on the merits.

    I defended Obey. But criticized him too. On the merits.


    I tend never to agree with Sirota (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:28:37 PM EST
    Anyway, your idea seems to be gaining traction. Most people who disagree fundamentally misunderstand who needs what from whom.

    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:42:06 PM EST
    That's all it is. If so then all it will take is a lot of repetition, slowly, calmly and clearly without shrillness. Not easy when people seem so dumb.

    I hope you are right.


    Muddled thinking (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by vcmvo2 on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 02:26:01 PM EST
    Such an action would actually even deprive the President of the funds needed to bring the troops home if he suddenly came to his senses and decided to do so.

    So, Sirota suggests we keep doing the same old, same old because President Bush might
    come to his senses and decide to withdraw the troops?

    David needs to rethink this and come back with something better. Bush intends to stay in Iraq, come hell or high water, until the end of his term. He's the decider and that is what he has decided!

    A Compliment (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 03:30:55 PM EST
    Not a slur. We all can only hope that your warmongering position changes.

    My prediction: (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by mentaldebris on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 03:50:58 PM EST
    View this in terms on polling putting roughly two thirds of the country against continuing on with the war today.

    In some form or another the public will hang the lack of movement on Iraq on the Dem's head with the help of a rethug bought and paid for press; a press that stays firmly ensconced in the right's pocket.

    The rethugs, sensing their impending demise will come up with a half-measure to get most troops out of Iraq and will use the pocket press to trumpet this just before the '08 elections.

    The Dems, lacking in press/public relations savvy whatsoever (impeded by the pocket press, of course along with the clueless Dems who say some of the darndest things like "Fox is a legitimate news source") will appear weak (whether they truly are or not will not matter) while the rethugs use the pocket press to drive that characterization home.  

    Of course, a backlash exists for the rethugs, but given that numerous potential backlashes have never come to fruition in the past (see pocket press) I can't imagine they have much to worry about in '08 when they can jettison Bush. I expect the blatant jettisoning to start about six months out from the election while Bush is taking a six month vacation in Crawford after realizing he has no clue what "legacy" means and doesn't care anyway.

    All because the Dem leaders somehow felt it advantageous to stifle and diminish the Murthas of the party and compromise (hell, give the whole store away) to the appeasing consultant/focus group-driven mealy-mouthed members of the party who are apparently afraid they might break a nail by doing any heavy political lifting. These members obviously can't be bothered to educate their constituents in why getting out of Iraq is a good idea. That's assuming they have many constituents who aren't already leaning in that direction anyway.

    Never mind the numbers, the electorate looks at who's in charge and the results of their majority. "We don't have the votes." just doesn't cut it with Joe then-bash-some-heads-and-get-the-votes voter. Impatient low/med-info bottom-line investors describes the bulk of the electorate. They toss out those not delivering the goods, no excuses.

    Of course, I'm not sure the rethugs are smart enough to totally turn things around for themselves. Not a lot of live and learn Schwarzeneggers in DC.


    Curiously, I've seen the quote from Clinton saying she'll keep a presence in Iraq and expected to see a wave of outrage cresting across the blogs I visit -- hardly a peep. I guess the fact that we are staying in Iraq has trickled down to the netroots level and has become, dare I say it, an acceptable situation. Maybe they're still working on writing their outrage and I'm just being impatient.

    BTD, thanks for keeping up the good fight. Sad to see the acceptance of the continuing war in Iraq rippling through the activist level.  While I agree there is no great solution to the situation, doing nothing (anything less than bold = nothing in my book) is unacceptable.

    IOW staying sucks, leaving sucks. For America staying sucks more. Perhaps the problem is that leaving sucks only in terms of political fallout and how freaking sad is that? My political pragmatism stops at unnecessary bloodshed.

    Talkleft supported the Democratic Party in 2006 (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Andreas on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 05:35:00 PM EST
    Boy, aren't you glad you voted for Dems in 2006 in order to end the war in Iraq?

    Talkleft was one of those websites supporting the Democratic Party in 2006 claiming that this would help end the war. As it looks like Talkleft still supports the Democratic Party.

    Is Mearsheimer and Walts premise (none / 0) (#32)
    by bx58 on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 06:16:52 PM EST
    that the Israeli Lobby is so powerful, even perceived as such, that nothing can be done in Congress if there's even a whiff of it being bad for Israel?

    Someone please tell me what the hell is going on?

    All of these lists that BTD puts up here speak volumes;not because of who is on them but who isn't.


    I smell a rat or two. (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by walt on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 07:08:11 PM EST
    When 70% of US citizens support an idea, such as "get our Armed Forces out of Iraq," and the House of Representatives controlled by Democrats will not get the troops out, then some counter-vailing force is preventing the will of the people.  In my 57 years of observing politics, only one thing can prevent 70% of the public from getting their way with congress and it's money.

    I see two sources of money in this failure to act by the majority Democrats: the Military Industrial Complex & BigOil.  Obviously, defense contractors are going to contribute generously to representatives, and senators, in districts and states where the Iraq war largesse is large.  Which industries & suppliers stand to lose hugely profitable contracts when this Iraq occupation terminates? and in which congressional districts are they located?  Do the search.  You'll find a big percentage of the "do nothing Dems."

    Far less obvious, however, is the reach of BigOil in this mess.  The whole cause for the war & the occupation of Iraq is the oil fields--and by George, we shall have them, on a platter.

    See here.  The gist of this is BigOil needs "production-service agreements" in order to pump the crude cheaply, pay cheap royalties & fees to Iraq, and have contracts enforceable through international arbitration NO MATTER which group is the government in Iraq.

    Presently, al-Maliki appears to be dragging his feet & Bu$hInc is leaning vigorously on all of the Iraqi government to get these deals done for Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, British Petroleum & Royal Dutch Shell--who stand to benefit first & most.  BigOil probably needs to keep the US occupation, as is, for about a year in order to get all their business in force & binding.  Then the gasoline supply line will need to be "secured & defended" for about 20 or 30 years, thus the permanent bases & an occupation that will be about half the length of our military histories with Germany & South Korea.  

    So, find the congressional districts & states where BigOil is generous to the representatives & senators & you'll find the nay-sayers & go-slowers on getting us out of Iraq.

    So, it's same ol', same ol', and the game is to find the lobbyists from defense contractors & oil companies who are successfully stopping any action on legislation that may result in getting the Armed Forces out of Iraq.

    Meet the new bosses.  Same as the old bosses.  Same paymasters for either set of bosses, henh?

    Not Just $$$ (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 09:26:34 PM EST

    You are absolutely correct. (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by walt on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 01:04:10 AM EST
    There is a connection with AIPAC, however, I chose not to mention it & tried to avoid the start of an Israel - Palestine argument in this thread.  The defense contractors & BigOil can explain almost all of the back-pedaling by key congress members on this issue.

    Justin Raimondo makes your point quickly & very efficiently, here.


    Big Oil v AIPAC (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 03:10:51 PM EST
    It is bad enough that we have to fight a radical right wing extremism as it exists in this Administration, but to also have to fight right wing radicals who control Israel is a bit much.

    The Delay smear machine has been crippled in America, largely due to criminal indictments and Americans sick of the scam war in Iraq. The AIPAC smear machine is as strong as it ever was.

    Let's be clear. When congress acquiesces to AIPAC's bullying it has nothing to do with their support of Israel, it has to do with fear of vile retribution by AIPAC for moving out of lockstep with their agenda.

    This is so pervasive, scary with real life consequences that very few are willing to even discuss it.

    Big oil is linked, Exxon Mobil is one of the biggest financial supporter of AEI, but AIPAC is dictating the terms. Debating whether or not big oil's agenda is commensurate with the US national interest in Iraq/Iraq is fine but any discussion of AIPAC's agenda not being commensurate with US national interests in Iraq/Iran is off the table, stifled by mobster like repercussions.

    I can envision many solutions where the mid east oil fields are exploited by big oil and everyone makes out. Corporations do best under stable conditions, not war zones. Although it is true that keeping oil off the market is also a very profitable tactic, as in the Iraq sanctions in place after the first Iraq war.



    :Nice: post, Squeaky! (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 03:23:33 PM EST
    Thanks Edger! (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 03:27:11 PM EST
    My thoughts exactly. (none / 0) (#38)
    by dkmich on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 08:58:56 AM EST
    When you have Rahm telling Freshman Democrats what shows they can and cannot appear on and telling them what they can and cannot say to the press about Karl Rove, it is no wonder the new boss is always the same as the old boss.   I for one am sick of the Dems, and I plan to adopt my own BTD strategy this election. Since I can't beat em, I intend to dig in and just say no. No to Rahm, HRC and the rest of DLC. No to fund raising and no to voting.  (Sorry BTD, a good idea has a life of its own.)

    Ain't that the truth.... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 10:37:31 AM EST
    The best democracy money can buy....

    The war is on because the interests that butter the bread want it on....what party controls congress is irrelevant in this regard.  The will of people doesn't spring our reps into action...money does.


    Perhaps, one thing Democrats could do (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by shpilk on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 02:11:48 AM EST
    is to propose a balanced budget amendment. Force the issue, by killing the cap gains tax reduction, and the huge buyout of the upper class with the massive tax breaks.

    This war is killing out troops, to be sure. It may be crass to bring this up, but it's also killing our economy.  

    Tie the continued budget for the war, the funding for these 'adventures' into a "pay as you go" - pay-go as Democrats talked about, but have seemingly forgotten about. Find some binding mechanism to link it up, make it work so it cannot be amended out. We know it can be done, because we  have all seen the back room deals are made all the time with these legislators scratching each other's backs.

    It is all about money, in the final analysis. Our democracy is really gone, already. The only control left over what happens here is who gets the bad news: who pays. That's all that seems to matter now.

    Charlie Rangel's dream of putting in a draft, a fair draft that would force the upper crust to serve, to put their own flesh and blood on the battle lines has failed. We all know that the rich will never pay in that way, it will never come to pass.

    So it boils down to the almighty dollar, as usual. IF the rich are forced to pay out of their pockets for this war, the war will end.

    It's the only way any of this madness will end.

    I had the same response... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by LarryE on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 05:40:23 PM EST
    ...to that column as BTD did: That what it's really saying is that we ultimately can do nothing.

    I was referred to it from another blog which said it contained "important thoughts." This was part of my response there:

    As for the politics recommended, Lilly is internally contradictory. He goes to considerable lengths to argue that there is no point in pursuing proposals that won't pass. Not only does that mean by definition that you only push plans that GOPpers and conservative Dems will agree to but he also raises the specter of a veto - and I know of no one who suggests that anything worth passing would survive one. So by his own argument Lilly is saying that there is no point in pushing any legislation to stop the war because there is no chance of it becoming law.

    Then consider that he claims not passing appropriations "means a cut-off of supplies to troops in harm's way. It means no fuel, no ammunition, and no medical supplies." That is utter, utter nonsense. First, it would not affect existing stocks. Second, there is more than enough of an ability to move existing funds around to cover costs for at least a few months, more than enough time to safely cover a withdrawal. Third, the White House could easily ask for an emergency appropriation, which could be approved for a limited time or with restrictions.

    Taken together, it's actually a good thing that Lilly is in so many ways wrong. Because ultimately, what he comes down to saying is there's no point in trying to pass legislation to stop the war, you can't not pass legislation to fund the war, and no DFH allowed.

    "Important" is not the word that springs to mind.

    Possible find of the problem (none / 0) (#22)
    by chemoelectric on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 03:33:50 PM EST
    Regardless of who is 'right' or 'wrong', there is a problem here that acts like high-decibel earplugs (emphasis mine):

    Understand this, if you want to end the Iraq Debacle, this is the only way until Bush is not President. If you are not for this for ending the war, tell me what you do support. I think this is the only way. And if you shy away from the only way to end the Debacle, then you really are not for ending the war are you?

    In short: 'You say you are for Y. I think X is necessary for Y. You shy away from X. Thus you aren't really for Y.'

    Maybe it bears repetition:  'You say you are for Y. I think X is necessary for Y. You shy away from X. Thus you aren't really for Y.'

    Do we see the problem yet? It is as bright as a supernova.

    BTD's (none / 0) (#25)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 04:43:30 PM EST
    totalitarian slip is showing...

    With the likes of Republican Congressman Paul Ryan (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 04:49:50 PM EST
    Six Months (none / 0) (#27)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 04:53:56 PM EST
    Otherwise known as a Thomas L. Friedman.  

    Give 'em 4. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Ben Masel on Thu Mar 15, 2007 at 05:06:15 PM EST
    But its a telling opening line there, or? (none / 0) (#41)
    by a gilas girl on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 02:11:16 PM EST
    There's only one decisive action...

    I'm reminded, unfortunately, of my fourth grade english teacher and her advise on writing no-nos like "never", "only", "always", etc.  Ill-shaped tools they are for the craft of writing, but quite handy for the polemicists' toolbox.  Too many years equipped with something of a sociological imagination has also taught me that those are the points to begin my thinking.  So I ask myself, even if there's only one decisive action (a claim I'm by no means willing to grant), what other kinds of actions are available.  Must every action to end the war be "decisive"?  What if, since he seems to think there is ONLY one of the decisive kind, we engaged in a whole series of not necessarily "decisive", but nonetheless partial actions that also seek to bring about the goal of ending the debacle in Iraq.  

    Is there some other decisive action (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Mar 16, 2007 at 06:53:02 PM EST
    you can suggest?

    I got one..... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 10:43:37 AM EST
    but it involves pitchforks and torches.

    That's the only real decisive action available to the people.....