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OK. You are among the 50% of the population who realized that invading Iraq was a stupid thing to do before we did it. You watched in amazement as your views were marginalized in the media and in Washington as the phony case for war was made 24/7 in the most shameless manner imaginable. You've watched as the completely predictable nightmare unfolded. You saw Karl Rove and his reptiles use the bloody shirt to win back the Senate in 02 and after the shooting started he managed to heave his boy across the finnish line in the bloodiest Republican re-election campaign since 1972.

You've spoken out, you've tried to convince everyone who would listen that this crazy scheme would end in grief. You've tried to see past the Pentagon propaganda, and the happy talk from the delusional bastards in the White House. And finally, as Iraq has descended into a living hell, as even the corporate media has been forced to begin to refer to its current state as civil war and three quarters of the public now realizes the folly of the enterprise we await salvation in the form of James Baker and the Iraq Study Group. The last exit ramp for George Bush on the road to hell. A life-line once again thrown to the 'ner do well son. Only this time, it isn't some dirt bag oil drilling company in Texas. Its the United States of America. And it looks like this time, the son has decided that he's not going to take that leg up.

He's gonna lock himself in his room and turn up the stereo.

Here's the deal, constitutionally, there is only one way that he can be stopped if he digs in his heals and insists on taking us all down with him. Responsible people in the Congress have only one tool to stop the madness. That is to cut off funding for the war. Of course the partisan Republicans in Congress, those who are more interested in gaining an advantage in the 08 elections than serving their country, will immediately characterize this as "abandoning the troops in the field". Which is untrue, because such a cut-off could be crafted in such a way to avoid such a thing unless Bush intentionally causes it. But no matter, they will certainly characterize it as such. And therefore the fear of this political weapon, this assault will probably be enough to prevent the Democrats in Congress from using the only tool they have to stop the madness.

That is where we, the people come in. It is up to us to make the political cost of not doing this, the cost of inaction, greater than the potential cost of having the Republicans make this charge against them. This will take a level of effort that we so far have not managed to demonstrate. But, morally, we must. The alternative is to do what Bush obviously wants to do. That is to limp along with the status quo, killing about 100 of our people a month for the next two years and leaving the problem for the next President to deal with simply because he is too cowardly and too arrogant to admit to himself and to the world the magnitude of the mistake he has made. And that is the best case scenario. That assumes that things aren't going to get radically worse. A very bad assumption in my view.

So, all of you who think that with the election of a Democratic Congress and the work of the Iraq Study Group that things are coming to a close and the hard work is done, guess again. We are going to have to get organized and focussed. There are lots of lives at stake. And nothing, absolutely nothing is going to change without a massive amount of political pressure.

Originally posted to SW on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:29 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  well, damn it (6+ / 0-)

    I really just was tired and wanted to limp along myself. I was planning on reading up every day on the exciting things we Democrats accomplishd in each 24 hours. I was going to do some non-politics for a change. are right. Now how are we all going to flog, I mean flog, the rest into line??? I just was looking for easy, but I guess we have to do what is right, not what is easy. Well, forward ho etc.

    I am wearing something orange EVERY day. How will I recognize you?

    by oakroyd on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:32:56 PM PST

  •  I'm in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, Ky DEM, greenearth

    Suggestions? It needs to not only be organized but choreographed.

    •  The obvious suggestion, my friends, (6+ / 0-)

      is to get a good night's sleep, get up, eat a good breakfast, and pick up right where we left off on November 6.  Keep up the pressure, keep up the grass-roots and net-roots efforts to compel our representatives in government by sheer force of will to do what's right, truly right, for our country and for the world.

      .....'Nuff said......

      George!!  Go to your room!!

      Liberal = We're all in this together
      Conservative = Every man for himself
      Who you gonna call?

  •  we impeach his fucking ass (6+ / 0-)
    and then we impeach Cheney's fucking ass.

    And then we stop the goddamn war.

    How long can that take?  A whole lot quicker than cutting off funding.

    Just get rid of the goddamn fucker already!!!

    I like your analogy, yes, he's like the teenage boy who's locked himself in the room, cranking up the AC/DC and screaming "I can't hear you!!"

    Fuck that.  He needs a goddamn spanking.   Break down the door, take a sledgehammer to the fucking stereo, drag his ass out and spank the shit out of him until he cries.

    Then do what needs to be done.  In this case, call the fire department and have them come out and put out the fucking fire that this goddamn BRAT started!

  •  the only way (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hyperstation, mango, greenearth

    This is the only way this war can be stopped.  It had to be done in Vietnam, when finally, finally the Congress finally said no to Gerald Ford's request for "emergency funds" in Vietnam.

    The country cannot afford to keep on spending billions upon billions of dollars in this bloody war.  We elected Democrats to put an end to this madness, and by God, they had better do so or they will have hell to pay.

    "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

    by Michigan Paul on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:38:53 PM PST

    •  The climate's different now though. Cutting funds (0+ / 0-)

      will be perceived by a majority of Americans most likely as anti-military and they won't approve.

      Impeachment's the better remedy-- it's close to majority approval and will remove the lawless band of crooks and idiots who want to 'stay the course'.

  •  This is exactly what Bush has done: (3+ / 0-)

    He's gonna lock himself in his room and turn up the stereo.

    I just can't get over that this preternatural, sophomoric catastrophe monkey is still in command. Someone cage it and send it to China where it belongs.

    -4.38, -7.64 Voyager 1: proof that what goes up never comes down.

    by pat bunny on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:41:51 PM PST

  •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  The only real leverage Congress has is the power of the purse.  It will get really ugly if it comes to that.  Lord help us.

    Most Profound Man in Iraq: farmer in a remote area who, when asked by Marines if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area, replied "Yes, you."

    by johnny rotten on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:43:05 PM PST

  •  This is exactly why Election 2008 is about Iraq. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, pHunbalanced, greenearth

    Chimpy's ineptitude is fucking the entire country over, and absolutely NONE of it is going to be resolved by this time next year.

    The 2008 presidential race is going to be about Iraq, which in a year will be an absolute mad house.

    Any talk about a Democratic nominee who isn't sterling on public confidence in his/her military knowledge and grasp of what has to be done in Iraq is a non-starter. Which, to me, means that nobody on Kos' earlier list today is up to it, besides Al Gore.

    I'm not a rabid fan (yet), but I'll say it again: W-E-S  C-L-A-R-K. There's just no one else on our side that's got it together on Iraq in a manner that could garner a plurality of the country.

    •  right now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theyrereal, greenearth, PaulGaskin

      I'm more interested in the possibility of concerted public action saving lives between now and 2008.

      •  The argument for de-funding is very good. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pHunbalanced, greenearth

        The political reality of it has to be admittedly bad.

        I guess Congress could pass a resolution declaring "not a War" and cut funding, but the ugly [really, really ugly] fact is Bush was elected President, which includes being CiC.  That he's absolutely inept isn't resolved by cutting funding, it needs to be resolved by impeachment or the 2008 election.

        Frankly, I'd rather it be impeachment, understanding that the argument would have to be made successfully and publicly that he's a complete failure---and the country NEEDS that public judgment about his administration. But even then, we're still stuck with Iraq on fire, and the next President is going to have to deal with picking up the pieces.  And I say that not suggesting we're there militarily, but that there are going to be violent consequences to the upheaval---probably for a generation---and the worries are going to be big ones in the run up to the 2008 election.

    •  2006 was about Iraq (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenearth, PaulGaskin
      which is why we need to quit talking about bullshit like the minimum wage (what good is it if you're DEAD?) and realize that we have a war to end.

      That's our job, since nobody else is doing it:  end the war.

      Bush has had his chance.  It's time for him to go.

      Get him the fuck out of there and let the adults get behind the wheel.

    •  I support Al Gore for 2008. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But I'm not thinking about 2008 while Bush is still in the driver's seat in 2006.

      We must impeach.

  •  sw, excellent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalNM, greenearth


    for some strange reason i was not allowed to post a diary just now when i tried. so i will post it here because it speaks to yours--very much serendipitous. i hope you like it.

    Untitled Diary:

    I will get to Seymour Hersh and Bob Woodward, but first something about C-Span and the clip from yesterday of Lee Hamilton and Tom Dashchle. Where they discuss national security to an audience of students and podcast listeners around the country. A student from Indiana e-mails a question about civil liberties and Hamilton replies that other presidents had rolled back civil liberties in time of war, but with the war on terror we don’t have an answer of when to return to normal. He says foreign policy of the last few years has been unilateral and contributed to the radicalization of Islam, and implied there have been attempts to purchase materials for nuclear weapons.

    Then later in the same interview Hamilton says Congress does not do a good job on intelligence oversight, and all the members of the authorizing and congressional oversight committees that he interviewed personally said Congress is dysfunctional. Everyone he talked to said the Congress is dysfunctional.

    Later, in the very same interview, Hamilton and Daschle lamented the "money chase." Both thought it too bad having to get on airplanes to get places to raise money, and how it’s really accelerated the lives of members of congress. They need to leave the Capitol no later than Thursday night’s last flight out.

    This is not the world we have to accept. The war on terror is bogus. There is no market for fissile nuclear material and it's a falsity to present in any way shape or form that we are in danger of terrorism. Repeat: the war on terror is bogus. Seymour Hersh and Bob Woodward are absolutely secret Neocons. You need proof other than that anything either writes suddenbly becomes common wisdom of the status quo, then I can't help your malfunctioning brain. Remember Kerry trotting out the pottery barn analogy during last presidential election's debates? The farce is orchestrated.

    If we are going to do anything, we need to secure the vote. It needs to be done in a manner that is simple and efficient (some say the Scandinavian countries have good systems, some say Canada has best yet--point is, there’s no reason not to have an inexpensive, reliable system for electoral governance and politics--it’s a crime not too).

    Think tanks do their job, corporate media does its job, and politicians theirs.

    I know this based on my work: eighty to ninety percent of Americans asked favor holding a national convention. Currently there is a chance to do something non-violent/pro-peace based on Article V. Look at it as a collective art installment, as national street theater, or as a bare symbol of the American spirit. Everyone I talk to say they’d love to see a national convention, and they know the only reason we’re not having it is because special interests control the legislative branch.

    Because of a recent action by the Supreme Court, it is now law of the land that Congress decides whether "it shall" call a convention or not.

    The Constitution mandated Congress call once enough states applied--the action was ministerial, not discretional. Since the ruling it’s now up to Congress alone. Which means state applications are no longer necessary for a convention call, as soon as we pressure Congress, we’ll get it and the mechanism will do exactly what the framers knew it would. It would restore the rule of law.

    I would like to live in a world which adheres to the rule of law. It’s possible.

    This is what I’m thinking.....

    I’m thinking a documentary about one hundred Americans united for one thing: Congress to propose a constitutional amendment on electoral reform.

    A date is set and on that date the one hundred meet on the lawn next to the Lincoln Memorial. Each participant will be interviewed as they arrive. They get in a red coverall or a blue coverall and they commence a strike. Each is allowed things for dental hygiene, a travel pillow, bottled water and their choice of clothing underneath.

    On ten steps of the Lincoln Memorial they sit ten in a row, and they strike until a volunteer M.D. determines the striker needs to bow out or risk bodily injury. Over a month the strike will winnow down to a handful and by then the MSM will be drawn in and we’ll get a convention or an amendment.

    Anyone who has ever filmed a documentary knows things can take on a life of their own. And an event like this if orchestrated shrewdly would likely bring down the status quo and human civilization could begin a new golden age.

  •  Wish I could agree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stephdray, CalNM, doinaheckuvanutjob

    But I went to a play here in San Diego last Sunday called The Patriot Act:The impeachment of George W. Bush.  this was an audience participation play in which members of the audience served as jurors and witnesses.  I was a juror.  The stage was set up just like a courtroom, and the play was conducted just like a trial.  

    The prosecution and the defense lawyers were actually very, very good.  After all witnesses had spoken, we the jurors were sequestered (for 12 minutes) until we could come up with a verdict.

    Last Sunday was the last night of the play, and before the verdicts were read, there was a surprise "witness".  A woman who had recently fled Iraq with her husband, both of them professors at the University of Baghdad, spoke to us.  She was very eloquent.  She told us that we are not getting the whole story from our media, that things in Iraq are much, much worse than we have been told [no surprise there], and that Americans need to open their eyes to what is going on so they can begin to understand what needs to be done.

    She took questions from the audience, and the first one was "Should the US leave Iraq immediately"?  Her answer:  No.  She said what's going on in Iraq is a power struggle between several different factions, none of whom speak for the people of Iraq, including Maliki's administration. Forget the Sunni/Shia fighting we've all been hearing about.  According to her, at least 50% of Iraqis are mixed Sunni/Shia. She said what's needed is a strong police force to stop the lawlessness and violence.

    She would like to see a strong international police force take control in Iraq.  She also said the people of Iraq don't want our democracy, since it has led to so much bloodshed.

    So, after listening to her, I understand that what America needs to do now is to work with other countries to bring that international police force to Iraq, even if it means giving up our own power and control in Iraq.  do I think that's going to happen?  Hell, no.  Not with the manchild in the white house.

    I do want our soldiers to come home as soon as possible, but its now our responsibility to get Iraq back at least to where it was before we invaded.  Even if we were against the war from the beginning (I certainly was), even if we knew all of this was going to happen, its still our responsibility to fix what was broken.

    -6.63, -6.87 Just to the left of the Dalai Lama

    by ronik on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 07:58:31 PM PST

    •  annecdotal evidence is compelling (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mango, greenearth, old wobbly

      but ultimately useless.  I can match that by telling you that I work with four Iraqi scientists, each of which still have immediate family in Iraq, both in Bagdad and Basra.  Until 2004 they had similar views to your surprise witness.  Today, to a person, they all want us gone.

      •  Well, I don't know about useless (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stephdray, CalNM, doinaheckuvanutjob

        Listening to someone who had just recently left Iraq was eye-opening for me, and helped me understand another point of view.  

        I'm sure that, just as with any issue, there are those who think differently.  Before listening to our surprise witness, I was not sure whether we should leave immediately or stay for some length of time. I could see positives and negatives of both sides, and didn't know which was best for Iraq.  Now, I think we need to work to get others to help us fix what we broke since we can't seem to do it ourselves.  

        -6.63, -6.87 Just to the left of the Dalai Lama

        by ronik on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:13:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Iraqis that I know (0+ / 0-)

          tell me that our presence prevent Iraqi nationalists from gaining the upper hand in the struggle.  There is a strong strain of Iraqi nationalism that has the potential to bridge the gap between Shia and Sunni, at least among some of the less fanatical around a nationalist vision of Iraq.  But these people are fractured internally because they resent our presence.  Nationalism is incompatible with an occupation.  It is possible that some sort of international stabilization force might be useful, but US forces are now counter-productive.  They antagonize the nationalistic impulse, which is the only thing that can bridge the sectarian divide.  We are really exacerbating the problem.  We can't fix it.  We make it worse just by being there.

          •  Yes, that's what I thought. (0+ / 0-)

            The woman from Iraq (damn it, I can't remember her name - Habib, I think) said that people have withdrawn to their tribes for security, which is having the effect of pitting one tribe against another.  According to her, for Iraqis the tribe comes first, before nationalism or religion.

            Her fear is that, if we just leave now, it will leave a huge power vacuum.  The fighting to fill that vacuum and seize power will be worse than the fighting that's going on now.

            God, it just feels so bad to know that my own country has caused all of this horror for them.  Really, what I want to have happen is that the manchild and his minions all must live in Iraq until the whole thing is settled.  And not in the green zone, either.


            -6.63, -6.87 Just to the left of the Dalai Lama

            by ronik on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 09:27:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Why can't Congress specifically authorize (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john de herrera

    a defense supplemental to provide funds for the withdrawal of troops and materiel from "OIF?"

    Don't "cut off" the funds.  Bring 'em on!--to Bring 'em home.

    Nanotechnology can take atmospheric CO2 and make diamonds and fresh air.

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:13:06 PM PST

  •  Not going to happen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not Funding the War = Not Funding the Troops

    I know that the Michael Moore crowd wants a complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq immedaitely. It isn't going to happen and that is unrealistic. It would also lead to more problems.

    My expectation is/was for the Democrats to force Bush to clearly define what "victory" is, establish realistic benchmarks, and develop a framework for withdarawal from Iraq. That is what my expectation is.

    Cutting off war funding immediately is not going to solve the problem and create more difficulities. The Democrats will be blamed for not "funding the troops" and causing them to be "killed". For DC related travel advice, please visit that link.

    by jiacinto on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:32:30 PM PST

    •  No one is suggesting (0+ / 0-)

      that the funds would be cut immediately, stranding the troops in Iraq. The idea would be to set a deadline, by passing a law that says all funding ceases as of, say, June 1, 2007. If the troops aren't out by then, that's clearly Bush's fault.

    •  Who is "the Michael Moore Crowd?" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, Warren Terrer
    •  Force? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      How can you force Bush to clearly define what "victory" is, or etc.  HE DOESN'T KNOW.  Why is this so hard to grasp, to understand, to accept.  He simply does not know.  

      Now, does he know that he doesn't know?  I can't answer that, but it seems to me that if the catastrophe that is Iraq is threatening the whole region, and our national security, to say nothing of our troops, Democrats ought to have the moral courage to say: Mr. President, you are endangering our country.  You are not thinking of what's best for America (or even for Iraq for that matter) but what's best for your legacy.  

      Therefore, we will provide funding for a total withdrawal of American troops, and for this purpose only.  No more money for contractors, for Haliburton, for useless trips by Rice, Cheney or presidential aspirants, or congressional committees.  We will rescind the Iraq War Resolution.  We will declare that it is illegal for you to send one single more soldier into harm's way in Iraq.

      Congress is not helpless or completely subservient to the executive.  There are actions that can be taken to end this occupation.  But I'm by no means sure the Democrats have spines sufficient to act.      

  •  The defunding opportunity... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925 coming up. Since the outgoing Congress can't do its job and complete work on the FY07 budget/appropriations bills, they apparently will be handing the next Congress a Continuing Resolution to fund the government into, but not through, the current fiscal year.

    My solution? Don't fund DoD. Radical, yes. Fraught with political and real dangers, yes. But something has to serve as a 2x4 upside this obstinate MF's head.

    The point raised up-comments about the havoc that would exist is a good one. Two responses:

    1. U.S. withdrawal wouldn't happen overnight -- 150K servicepeople and their equipment don't pivot on a dime. The withdrawal/redeployment will take time, time required for a new paradigm to take hold in Iraq. None of that will happen, of course, if someone doesn't find the 2x4.
    1. There must be an international solution to Iraq. Whether it's Iran, Jordan, Syria, Saudia Arabia, the UN, whomever, there can be no progress on Iraq nor any real withdrawal of US forces until other nations become actively involved. Unfortunately, HeWhoNeedsThe2x4 refuses to engage other nations and/or the UN to assist. He can't bear the thought of admitting failure, even though he could frame this as progress.

    We are so fucked.


    "Someday this war's gonna end..." -- Robert Duvall as Lt. Col. Kilgore in "Apocalypse Now."

    by DCrefugee on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 08:44:42 PM PST

  •  I've been lurking for a while, decided to sign in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to ask a question:

    With Bush's "Presidential Signing Statements" what is to stop him from doing whatever the hell he wants, whether Congress approves or not?

    Couldn't he in fact take a law that Congress signs for only funding certain aspects of the war, and completely change it around all on his own?

    So far, it seems that is exactly what he has done whenever he didn't like the bill he received. How can having Democratic Congressional bills change that?

    Just asking. Thanks for any responses.

    •  My goof, sorry (0+ / 0-)
      I know Congress doesn't actually sign bills, they send them up to be signed, that's what I meant.  Apologies.
    •  Interesting point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It would force a "constitutional crisis" to invoke an overused phrase. The signing statements are one thing.  The power of the purse is fundamental to the legislative branch.  If he tried to fuck with that Congress would have to act.

      •  Actually, I have to disagree... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        to say it "will" force a Constitutional Crisis is pushing it, I think. It COULD force a Constitutional Crisis, but then Dems would really have to stick their neck out to get anything done about it, and I'm not sure every single newly elected Congresscritter will be ready to do that.

        Quite a few of the old Dems who've been around have been wishy-washy of late, allowing Bush to get away with reprehensible power. Remember Joe Biden and the Bankruptcy bill anyone? Good ole' Joe, my Congressman when I was 16 years old - a man I've lost almost complete and utter faith in... and he's not the only one who allowed the stench to pass.

        To say it WILL force a Constitutional Crises I think is wishing and hoping, not the true reality... or maybe after the five years, I've just become a cynic.

        Republicsns have held the discourse for the last five years, and I don't think that aspect will change overnight. Democrats have been afraid to stick their neck out for so long, that I'm not so sure they're ready to take the reins in that respect. Just my thoughts.

  •  Nothing will Change? (0+ / 0-)

    Change? Well, now that you mention it - consider this:  
    Dick Cheney retires forthwith due to worsening health. W. appoints G. H. W. Bush vice-president; the political pressure on W. becomes such he resigns rather than risking impeachment.
    So, G. H. W. Bush becomes president, decides to run
    for a second elected term in '08 and we have Clinton
    vs. Bush.
    Charming thought, eh?
    Seriously, I cannot agree with SW that literally
    nothing will change W.  I think the old fathers of
    the Republican party can and will change him, and
    that he will accept the Baker-Hamilton proposals.  After all, have we not all agreed W. is a hollow man? He had no core beliefs about foreign policy, or much else, six years and, and what we have from him now is hubris and stubborn will; those qualities can be overcome. It will be fun to watch.

  •  Off topic but I want REPLIES! (0+ / 0-)

    Are we going to tolerate THIS?

    FULLY FUND THE V.A.! "The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten." ~Calvin Coolidge~

    by glbTVET on Thu Nov 30, 2006 at 10:41:53 PM PST

    •  Post a diary on that topic, glvTVET (0+ / 0-)

      It's a good article and important issue.

      Plus the protocol here is that you're not supposed to post off topic comments like that. I know you're not trying to disrupt anything, just trying to help, so you can post your info. in a spot where more people can appreciate it.

      You can post anything off topic in the front page open  threads anytime, or write a diary on it.

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