Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kucinich Blasts Democrats on Iraq War Spending Bill

Posted on Mar 23, 2007 at Truthdig

article includes audio
Not everyone was celebrating the passage of the Iraq spending bill on Friday. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, told Truthdig it’s “a disaster for the American people.” The presidential candidate went on to explain his dissatisfaction with his party: “It’s the same kind of thinking that led us into Iraq— that we didn’t have any alternatives.

We should be listening to what the American people had to say last October, and that is taking steps to immediately end the war. And that means to set in motion a plan to end the occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home using money that’s already in the pipeline to do so. At the same time there’s a parallel process of bringing in international security and peacekeeping forces to stabilize Iraq. And we can get that help once we end the occupation. Then you have to have a number of other steps that are taken. Most people aren’t aware that this bill that Congress passed sets the stage for the privatization of Iraq’s oil, oil industry. To have the Democratic Party involved in something like that is outrageous. Furthermore, we should be pushing for the stabilization of Iraq’s food and energy crisis. There’s no talk about that. Basically we’re blaming Iraq for the disaster that the United States and this administration visited upon them. We’re telling them, either they’re going to get their house in order or we’re going to leave. Well, you know what, this approach is wrongheaded and the Democrats should have known better and they should have done better.

If the Democrats had told the American people in October 2006, “Vote Democrat, we’ll keep the war going till the end of Bush’s term; vote Democrat, we’ll privatize Iraq’s oil; vote Democrat, we’ll give the president enough money to attack Iran if he so chooses,” the American people would have never voted Democrat.

You know, there was a lot of talk about voting with the team today. About Democratic unity. For what? For war? Are you kidding? I mean, how about unity for peace? How about unity to challenge unilateralism? How about unity for healthcare, for education, for jobs? You know, because all those aspirations are directly affected to the degree that we continue to spend more money for war. Don’t forget, we’re talking about at least a hundred billion dollars. All this money going for war. It just has to stop. We are at a turning point in this country’s history. Either we’re going to make a real commitment to peace and to diplomacy and international cooperation, or we’re going to descend into some lower circle of Dante’s Inferno where we have nothing but destruction and where we have all hope lost.

This is such a disgrace. The only "saving grace" may be the complete arrogance of the President in that he promised to veto this bill because it has time limit restrictions and we know how he hates restrictions of any kind. Mr Bush can not be wrong, ( in his mind) and he cannot be told what to do. He doesn't care what anyone else thinks except the corporate executives that support his supporting them.

Anyone making money on war should be considered aiding and abetting a crime. This is shameful and the people need to speak out if our legislators can't represent those they swore to represent: all Americans, not just the war-mongers and fear-mongers. Over three thousand of our soldiers dead for their oil.

The plan never included leaving Iraq completely. Billions of dollars have been spent building fortresses for continued occupation and protection of the oil reserves. That's what Bush means when he says things are going well. It's what he doesn't say that is of greater import.

As some of my elders would say, let us call forth divine intervention. We know that spiritual laws never fail. There will be a correction. Let's hope that all will come to a greater understanding of truth and goodwill. Sometimes we travel the wrong way down that one-way street for too long. Let's go the other way. The way of peace and understanding and kindness for all.

Bush may be a Christian of some sort, he may talk with God, BUT no one can follow Christ or Buddha by killing his enemies. Just doesn't work that way. If you are a Christian you see him in everyone, for "what you do to the least of these, your brethren, you do to me".

Jesus- was killed over 3,000 times and counting- US
Jesus- was killed over 600,000 times and also counting- Iraqis
Jesus- was displaced from his home and to other countries- over 1,000,000 times
Jesus' homes and businesses were destroyed - costs in the hundreds of millions
Jesus' oil reserves stolen- priceless

Real men love Jesus (and hate everyone else?)
Jesus: turn the other cheek
Jesus: forgive 7 times 70 times

Jesus: forgive them, for they know not what they do.

...and all the while I remain here in the EE, where there is only peace and joy for all, if you would have it.

UPDATE: here's H.R.1591

From the summaries:
Declares the sense of Congress that the U.S. Constitution grants: (1) the President the sole role of Commander in Chief; and (2) Congress the sole power to declare war.

Makes appropriations to the Secretary of Agriculture for emergency crop and livestock disaster assistance

Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 - Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the federal minimum wage to: (1) $5.85 an hour, beginning on the 60th day after enactment of this Act; (2) $6.55 an hour, beginning 12 months after that 60th day; and (3) $7.25 an hour, beginning 24 months after that 60th day. Applies federal minimum wage requirements to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and to American Samoa.

Check out the Amendments. There are 150 of them and most say this:
Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.

Here's a statement by Elizabeth Kucinich:

Today as the Democratic leadership celebrates the passage of HR 1591, Dennis and I are in mourning. We mourn the deaths of those who have passed and those whose lives are now on the line, both in the military and civilian Iraqis. We mourn the destruction, the ecocide. We mourn with families in Iraq and the US who will see more death and devastation. We mourn the callous and calculated political spin cloaking the Congress's hawkish support of war with the rhetoric of peace.

Congressman Kucinich voted NO. Standing firm with him on this NO vote were 13 Democrats: John Barrow [GA], Dan Boren [OK], Lincoln Davis [TN], Barbara Lee [CA], John Lewis [GA], Jim Marshall [GA], Jim Matheson [UT], Michael McNulty [NY], Michael Michaud [ME], Gene Taylor [MS], Maxine Waters [CA], Diane Watson [CA], and Lynn Woolsey [CA].

Read all here.

And from Russ Feingold:
“Today marks an important step toward ending the war in Iraq. For the first time, the U.S. Senate will pass binding legislation requiring the President to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. While this is long overdue, it is a big step in the right direction and it brings us closer to ending our involvement in this disastrous war.”

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