Iraq 360

Update [2007-7-12 18:31:2 by Big Tent Democrat]: The House just passed its Iraq withdrawal bill, 223-201. 4 Republicans voted for the bill. 10 9 Blue Dogs and Kucinich voted against it.

C-Span 1 and 2 are covering all Iraq all the time in the Congress today. And this is as it should be. Indeed, it saddens me that the Left blogs are not as comprehensive in their coverage of the most important issue of the day. And the Democrats are doing important political work on this issue. And who knows? Maybe this will help "ratchet up the pressure" and get us a veto proof majority soon.

I do not believe so. I believe nothing going on in these two weeks of scheduled debate is going to end the Debacle. but perhaps it will convince Democrats that there is only one way to end the Iraq Debacle -- setting a date certain when a Democratic Congress will no longer fund it.

< McCain Campaign Official Busted on Solicting Charge | The Negative Argument For Staying In Iraq >
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    What I suggested in mcjoan's diary (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:37:05 PM EST
    is the possibility that the positive reinforcement from the public for holding these kinds of votes will make the Democrats bold enough to try your solution.

    that's (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by taylormattd on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 11:22:38 AM EST
    the taylormattd method! Although it's probably wishful thinking.

    I've changed my mind in the last 24 hrs (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 12:20:18 PM EST
    I think it's their way of putting pressure on US to shut up about the issue.

    OK but answer this (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ctrenta on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:55:22 PM EST
    After the last Iraq Supplemental Funding bill vote, how confident are you that the Dems are going to support such an initiative, especially after the Senate turned it down, 80-14 and the House, 280-142?

    Even if they pass it, Bush will veto and right now there are not enough votes to overide him. Unless you know something I don't.

    And lastly, George Bush has made no qualms about using executive privilege and will get around an overide if need be. I think ivery likely Bush and Cheney would even misappropriate funds from the Pentagon to keep the occupation going. They did so in order to secretly begin the war, and they have never been held accountable for it.

    So given all those realistic hurdles, from timid Democrats, to veto power, and executive privilege, how can Congress deal with those issues and bring the troops home ASAP?

    Sounds like we already have three strikes against us. But prove me wrong.

    This was you the other day (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:00:01 PM EST
    If the Democrats stand up NOW and announce that they will no longer fund the occupation and that there will be no more emergency supplementals introduced when the current one runs out [or after an agreed upon date certain - e.g March 2008], the situation will become one of NO votes needed to NOT pass a bill.
    OK, I like that...

    It just goes to show the Dems are too afraid of how they're going to be perceived or how they're going to be atacked for standing up for what's right, that nothing substantial will get done re: ending the war.
    Elections or hoding their jobs is the least they should be concerned about, ESPECIALLY when peoples' lives are at stake. No one should have to fight a war, and in rare times like these, our Congress men nd women should throw out the idea of how people will perceive them (or attack them) and do the right thing, end the war.

    But will they? Not after the latest bill they supported.

    Now that doesn't answer the question of why or whether the Dems will ever drum up the guts to actually do it, of course.

    WHY wouldn't they do it?

    The never will if they are not pushed hard to do it. By people who are themselves truly supportive of ending the occupation, not just making nice noises to bamboozle people for political gain.

    And if the Dems are not pushed to do it... if people shrug off the mounting death tolls and don't push them... if the Dems are confident that they will have your vote next year regardless... they have no reason to end the occupation.

    Anyone who says they want the occupation ended but will not push the dems to do it, anyone who stands with their finger in the wind waiting for the politically guaranteed opportunity to come along, in my opinion doesn't really give a damn whether it ends or not. They just want to win elections, regardless of the cost in lives.

    That's a harsh judgement, but it is my opinion.


    You have a short memory? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:02:09 PM EST
    Joke (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 10:03:22 AM EST
    A soldier came running to a fork in the road and saw a nunstanding there. Out of breath he asked, "Please Sister, may I hide underyour skirt for a few minutes. Don't ask - I'll explain WHY later."

    The nun agreed and a few moments later two military policemen  
    camerunning up to her and asked, "Sister, have you seen a soldier running by here??"

    The nun replied, "Yes - he went that way."

    After the MP's disappeared, the soldier crawled out from under herskirt  and said, "I can't thank you enough, Sister, but you see Idon't want to go to Iraq."

    The nun said, "I can fully understand your fear."

    The soldier added, "I hope you don't think me rude or impertinent, but you have a great pair of legs!"

    The nun replied, "If you had looked a little higher, you would have seen a great pair of balls....I don't wanttogo to Iraq either."

    LMAO! (none / 0) (#64)
    by Sailor on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 11:26:41 AM EST
    Is CSpan MSM? (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:36:15 PM EST

    No (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:40:22 PM EST
    My point is that the Congress has gone wall to wall on Iraq. That is as it should be.

    Too bad the blogs won't.


    Agree. (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:41:42 PM EST
    Well This Is A Blog (none / 0) (#11)
    by talex on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:20:21 PM EST
    and it isn't going wall to wall coverage either. But then you didn't exclude yourself from your comment so I guess all blogs are guilty here.

    As for the amendments being considered this short session I never thought any would be passed because we don't yet have the votes. But I agree that it is important that the Dems are bringing them up. Even though they didn't pass we did pickup some new Repub votes which is a good sign. More to come for sure.

    What it will take in the future to get a bill passed is two things: One, it will have to be a bill crafted by both parties so they both have ownership and a reason to vote for it. And two it will have to be a timeline withdraw bill - not a defunding bill which would never get the votes even with a veto proof majority.


    True (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:26:19 PM EST
    I have not gone wall to wall.

    In our defense, Jeralyn has posted on the issue and I have certainly posted on Iraq as much or anybody has in the past 6 months.

    My strategy has been described and the details of the proposals and votes is, by lights, irrelevant to what I support.

    But you know this.  


    I think you have gone about (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:39:15 PM EST
    as much wall-to-wall on the Iraq war and how Congress can extricate us as humanly possible.  And across two blogs.

    Regarding Valerie Plame (none / 0) (#3)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:37:56 PM EST
    "I am aware of the fact that perhaps somebody in the administration did disclose the name of that person, and, you know, I've often thought about what would have happened had that person come forth and said, 'I did it.'"

    GWB 7/12/07
    Via Raw Story

    OT Iraq Defunding (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 03:46:35 PM EST
    Iraqi guards steal $282 million.
    In an astonishing heist, guards at a Baghdad bank "made off with more than a quarter-billion dollars on Wednesday."

    The robbery, of $282 million from the Dar Es Salaam bank, a private financial institution, raised more questions than it answered, and officials were tight-lipped about the crime. The local police said two guards engineered the robbery, but an official at the Interior Ministry said three guards were involved. Both confirmed that the stolen money was in American dollars, not Iraqi dinars.

    think progress

    Makes you wonder... (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:06:04 PM EST
    what an Iraqi bank is doing holding that much in American cashola.

    to which left blogs (none / 0) (#10)
    by Miss Devore on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:10:40 PM EST
    do you refer?

    "Important political work"..... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:51:25 PM EST
    talk about an hysterical oxymoron.  To be sure, there is important work to be done....but I sure as hell wouldn't call it political work. Revolutionary work of the blood/sweat/tears variety is what's required to end this occupation and nothing less will suffice.

    I have trouble calling what congress does "important" or "work".

    Hey (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 04:58:31 PM EST
    2.5 days/week is still considered work, that is if you are a republican congresscritter.



    Still less than that French 35-hour (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:00:42 PM EST
    work week, although newly introducted legislation may provide incentive to work overtime--no income tax on overtime.  

    ummm (none / 0) (#22)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:27:47 PM EST
    And what was your point anyway?

    Just disregard. (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:33:27 PM EST
    Then (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:00:25 PM EST
    I think you are being quite foolish.

    Possible... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:10:39 PM EST
    I've been known to be quite foolish...though in this case I think the fool is the one who puts his faith in the US government to end the practice of foreign occupations.  That's what our government, and the interests they govern for, want...occupation.

    They are also (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:13:43 PM EST
    the only people who have the power to end it.

    Unless pushed to end it. I think that is what you are getting at, no?


    If by pushing.... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:34:54 PM EST
    you mean an angry mob outside the dome with torches and pitchforks....that might work.

    Phone calls, letters, begging and pleading....no freakin chance my friend.


    We agree on the pushing. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:39:44 PM EST
    I think phone calls, letters, begging and pleading can be very effective pushing, if they are phone calls and letters threatening them with no votes next year, and begging and pleading for them NOT to misunderstand.

    Torches and pitchforks can be very effective pushing.

    We agree on the pushing. We differ on what is NOT pushing, that's all.

    Please push - even if you don't have a torch or a pitchfork. ;-)


    Who ya gonna vote for edger? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:49:42 PM EST
    If your rep lets you down, who ya gonna vote for, a republican?  The Dems know you won't do that.  They know they've got us by the short and curlies, with no where to turn.  They just gotta go through the motions of being an opposition.  

    Cindy Sheehan has it right, look to another party.  But so few of us seem willing to do that. When I say I'm voting for Kubby or Nader or Third Party Brand X I get laughed at by most of those those who agree that this occupation is sinful.


    The Dems know you won't do that. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:03:05 PM EST
    You're right.

    They are counting on getting your vote by default, beacause they know that people are afraid that if they DON'T vote Democratic EVEN if the Democrats will not end the occupation the will end up with the rethugs back in power.

    Remember all the fearmongering that Bushco did? The Democrats are now using it against you.

    BUT, if they are elected next year in spite of that fact that they continue the occupation... WHAT DIFFERENCE is there between them and the rethugs?

    What difference? NONE. It won't be any different from electing rethugs.

    In other words by electing the Democrats next year out of fear of the rethugs, even if the Democrats won't end the occupation, EFFECTIVELY the country will have re-elected rethugs (called democrats).

    Cheerful prospect, hmmm?

    Think it through. Don't vote out of fear. You have the power and the dems know you have the power. So they fearmonger.

    The only hope you have, the only hope any of us have, is to threaten the Democrats with loss of support. It's the only way to change the paradigm.


    Voting out of fear will not change the paradigm. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:13:31 PM EST
    It will still be The Kingdom Of Fear, no matter what the party in power is called, if people LET themselves be ruled by fear.

    Well, sh*t on that dumbness. George W. Bush does not speak for me or my son or my mother or my friends or the people I respect in this world. We didn't vote for these cheap, greedy little killers who speak for America today- and we will not vote for them again in 2002. Or 2004. Or ever.

    Who does vote for these dishonest sh*theads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush?

    Who does vote for these dishonest sh*theads? No matter what they call themselves?

    Get (none / 0) (#31)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:21:41 PM EST
    MAD. Really mad.

    It's an empty threat.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:20:20 PM EST
    with no else to vote for edger. I'm sure congressmen have been getting get angry letters and phone calls threatening a loss of support due to their stance on any number of issues since the formation of the postal service and the invention of the telephone, yet every 2,4,6 years we seem to get the same sh*t repackaged.  

    The only hope we have to end this occupation and aggressive foreign policy is to threaten Democrats and Republicans with something a little stronger than a lack of support.  Make them think it might not be safe to walk the streets.  

    And there is the rub....the only hope involves a serious risk of life and liberty.

    You nailed it...cheerful prospects eh?


    Threaten their seats in congress. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:23:38 PM EST
    Make them think it might not be safe to walk the streets Metaphorically speaking. They want power. Threaten it.

    Threaten their seats in congress.


    It's not an empty threat... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:25:42 PM EST
    It's simple. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:31:07 PM EST
    If they know they have your vote because you'e afraid, then they have no incentive to do anything.

    They will have you by the short and curlies.



    Somehow, I don't think this will work (none / 0) (#35)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:45:45 PM EST
    with Brian Bilbray, who was elected to Randy "Duke" Cunningham's seat.

    Oh. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:47:01 PM EST

    Let's all surrender then.


    Let's see. Hmmmmm. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:50:00 PM EST
    The republicans want to continue the occupation. The democrats (controlled by rethugs who hijacked them) want to continue the occupation.

    Who to vote for?

    Flip a coin......


    My example was extremely specific. (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 07:24:59 PM EST
    Heh! (none / 0) (#40)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 07:28:34 PM EST
    So are all my comments here. ;-)

    Not. (none / 0) (#53)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:11:32 PM EST
    Well,,, (none / 0) (#55)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:44:05 PM EST
    Maybe you misunderstand some of them.

    I referred specifically to Bilbray, who is (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:52:22 PM EST
    in a Congressional district purposefully drawn as safe for Republicans by the state Senate.  You come back with "flip a coin."  Yes, I understood perfectly well.  

    I was (none / 0) (#57)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 10:06:30 PM EST
    being slightly humorously facetious when I said "Ok. Let's all surrender then. "  in reply to your: "Somehow, I don't think this will work".

    My "flip a coin" was in the same vein.

    We just missed each others meanings in passing. I wasn't arguing with you, and I'm not now.

    Sorry, Oculus. ;-)


    Thanks. (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 10:18:40 PM EST
    that is hardly the same thing (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:14:46 PM EST
    It is important work and saying that it is is not the same as saying one has confidence in them.

    Gawd knows I do not think anyone has expressed more skepticism about these efforts that I have.

    But just because they are not doing what I want does not mean it is not important.

    By that measure, Bush is not important. He is.


    Important people.... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 05:44:54 PM EST
    yeah sure, I'll buy that. But important work?  I think we've got different definitions.  

    Whatever it is they are doing today in Congress...I can't call that work, more like a wank.  Or a con.  I guess all I'm saying is the work required to end this occupation is not of a political nature.  Blood sweat and tears my friend...thats the work required if you want results.

    As always, I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.  The American people are the ones with work to do, and I ain't talkin letters and phone calls to congress.


    Wonder why Kucinich voted w/the (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 07:25:58 PM EST
    Blue Dogs against today's bill.  No explanation yet on his campaign website.

    Why? (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by dead dancer on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:23:55 PM EST

    "This bill will not end the war. This bill will not end the occupation. It doesn't take a vote to end this war. We must inform the Administration that the $97 billion appropriated last month is the end of the financing for the war.


    Forgot the link (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by dead dancer on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:26:16 PM EST
    Thanks. Still isn't on his campaign (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:52:37 PM EST
    website.  Powerful words--they belong there also.

    this is what kucinich says (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by ksh on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:29:27 PM EST
    This bill will not end the war. This bill will not end the occupation. It doesn't take a vote to end this war. We must inform the Administration that the $97 billion appropriated last month is the end of the financing for the war.

    "Use the money that's in the pipeline through October 1 to bring the troops home. Compel the President to put together an international peacekeeping and security force which would move in as our troops leave.

    "We could have our troops home by October 1. The question is whether we are ready to take a stand to do that, or whether we are going to vote on resolutions that give the American people the appearance that we want to end the war, without actually addressing the central issue that will end the war. Stop the funding."

    I can't argue with this position, except to say any legislation is symbolic, including stopping the funding, as long as the republicans own this war.

    So the battle becomes, to some extent, a battle for perception.

    I don't think the Senate will pass a version of what the House passed today and I don't think they'll approve cutting funding or approve impeachment, for that matter.  I want them to do all those things, but I'm not holding my breath.


    He's absolutely right. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:30:43 PM EST
    Yes. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:39:04 PM EST
    He's been right all along.

    And he was right back in February when it could have been over and all troops home before July 4 with HR 1234:

    Not later than the end of the 3-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, all United States Armed Forces serving in Iraq shall be completely withdrawn from Iraq and returned to the United States or redeployed outside of the Middle East.".

    His plan also would establish a "Prohibition on Use of Funds To Continue Deployment of Armed Forces in Iraq", except where needed to ensure the security of Iraq and to provide for the safe and orderly withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Iraq.

    And now (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:48:46 PM EST
    Nice work. n/t (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:55:48 PM EST
    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by andgarden on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:56:40 PM EST
    It's a warmed-over version of my usual stump on the subject. But, you know, it's important.

    So? (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:05:23 PM EST
    Light a fire under it. Get it roaring hot and repeat it till they are so friggin' sick of hearing it they give up and defund the goddamn occupation. ;-)

    Until there is a concerted effort to examine (none / 0) (#50)
    by bronte17 on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 08:58:48 PM EST
    the 14 bases and the largest embassy in the world sitting on those 104 acres of Iraqi real estate...and the oil law...there will be little progress made in removing our soldiers from this war.

    Few at the left blogs ever really discuss this in great depth.

    I always say and most soldiers who (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 02:37:30 PM EST
    have been to Iraq agree.....the bigger they are the easier to mortar.  This administration and it's neocons can dream all the dreams they want but we aren't staying in Iraq and we don't even have the forces to do it with anymore.

    I heard recently that we are occupying (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 03:07:35 PM EST
    one of Saddam's palaces in Baghdad.  Couldn't save the contents of the museum, but this--yes.  Bad image.

    That is another reason why this monstrosity (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by bronte17 on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 11:36:42 PM EST
    of an embassy is illogical... it is a huge sitting duck with an ugly facade and persona.  

    Iraqi (none / 0) (#52)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:07:12 PM EST
    I don't know about 'left blogs' ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 09:14:37 PM EST
    ... but on the 2 I write for (here and here) we've posted about it several times. And every other blog I read has posted about those exact issues over and over.

    Why don't you start your own blog and post about it and keep us informed?


    Your focus was on the oil aspect yet you didn't (none / 0) (#59)
    by bronte17 on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 11:11:25 PM EST
    examine the design and functionality of security or accessibility of the embassy and how it is harming our reputation.  Or who decided, and when did they do so, to build the world's largest embassy (complete with luxuries) on 104 acres in a very small third-world nation like Iraq.  

    14 permanent bases in Iraq and we think Congress will be able to stop the funding for this administration's war?  

    A is always ahead of the game.  And he has made an heroic effort to bring this to the forefront. But, it can't play out in the logical method he envisions.

    Per starting a blog... I don't "blog."  I just comment.


    a bit persickety (none / 0) (#60)
    by Sailor on Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 11:30:42 PM EST
    It is ALL ABOUT THE OIL! (That's why I linked to those.)

    If you read more archives you could have found multiple posts about the US Embassy, the decreasing lack of security in the Green Zone ... etc, etc etc.

    I'm sorry if we didn't examine the exact problems you see. But you are welcome to comment there ... and who knows!?

    I apologize to TL for going off topic, bronte, we can take this up in comments at my blogs.


    "Crusader castles" are the face (none / 0) (#61)
    by bronte17 on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 09:39:24 AM EST
    of the US abroad.

    "Architecture is inescapably a political art, and it reports faithfully for ages to come what the political values of a particular age were," he declared at a symposium sponsored by the State Department and the General Services Administration in 1999. "Surely ours must be openness and fearlessness in the face of those who hide in the darkness," Moynihan said. "Precaution, yes. Sequester, no."

    The Brits have long argued that American diplomats (and our military) hide behind barricaded high-walled facades and suburban locations, instead of mingling with the population and displaying our embrace of open society through democracy and freedom.  We no longer build libraries and outreach information buildings to reflect our "open society."  We have become a fearful people and it is reflected around the world.

    We all know this administration planned long before 911 to confront Saddam and utilize our military to occupy the country and press through the interests of the US and dominate oil industry.  Without addressing the issues of our "footprint" there via the permanent bases and that embassy, as well as the stench of "fear" we seem to have enveloped ourselves in, it will difficult to extract our soldiers.  


    no disagreement (none / 0) (#66)
    by Sailor on Fri Jul 13, 2007 at 01:28:34 PM EST