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RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE FIGHT AGAINST THE IRAQ WAR

by MARKIN Sunday, Apr. 01, 2007 at 5:19 PM

NOT ONE PENNY, NOT ONE SOLDIER FOR THESE WARS

OUT NOW! GET THE TROOP TRANSPORTS READY, WARM UP THE PLANE ENGINES!

The Congress of late has been acting fast and furiously on their conception of a satisfactory withdrawal policy from Iraq. As of March 31, 2007, however, the action has been all show and no substance as President Bush has vowed to veto any war budget that ‘curtails’ his ability to keep the war going until the end of his presidency (and beyond). Thus, we are in a waiting period until the various parliamentary maneuvers are played out. In any case none of this maneuvering means a withdrawal any time soon. And, to boot, the war WILL be funded through next year one way or another. Franz Kafka would have had a field day writing one of his truculent novels on this mess. For now, here are some thoughts on the latest developments. The first note was originally written just after the House voted on the war budget on March 23, 2007.



ON THE HOUSE WAR BUDGET VOTE-THE DEMOCRATS OFFICIALLY OWN THE IRAQ WAR

NOT ONE PENNY, NOT ONE SOLDIER FOR THESE WARS!

On Friday March 23, 2007 the United States House of Representatives by a narrow vote of 218 to 212 voted FOR a 124 billion dollar war budget for funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, among other things. That is more than the Bush Administration requested. However, attached to this budget was a binding (finally, something other than smoke and mirrors)resolution for withdrawal of troops from Iraq no later than August 31, 2008, President Bush in response stated unequivocally that he would veto this budget due to the withdrawal resolution and the fact the war budget was more than he wanted, Who would have thought?

Militants call for a straight no vote to any capitalist war budget. That is a given. However, some comment is required here. Clearly a war budget that was patched together with little goodies for its members by the Democratic House leadership in order to get a majority vote is not supportable. Nor is a budget that is passed on the basis that the President is going to veto it anyway, but everyone gets to look good for the folks back home. That is cynical but hardly unusual in bourgeois politics. What I find important -out of this jumble- is the amount of pressure that the House leadership felt was on it to carry out its mandate from the mid-term elections about doing something to get the hell out of Iraq, Unfortunately this is not the road out of Iraq, Increasing the war budget and then leaving it up to President Bush to veto the damn thing smacks of parliamentary cretinism. Forget the Democrats (on this one the Republicans are not even on the radar),

A semi-kudo to Democratic presidential candidate Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich for voting against this charade. At least he had the forthrightness to state that if you wanted to end the war now you needed to vote against the measure. That he is a voice in the wilderness and is in the wrong party is a fact of life. That his candidacy is thus not politically supportable by militants does not negate the fact

that he is right on this one, NOT ONE PENNY, NOT ONE SOLDIER FOR THE WAR! UNITED STATES OUT OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN! BUILD A WORKERS PARTY THAT FIGHTS FOR SOCIALISM!



AND FOR THE SENATE-NOW THE DEMOCRATS REALLY OWN THIS WAR

On March 27, 2007 the United States Senate by a margin of 50-48 voted FOR its own version of the war budget only this time adding a non-binding resolution to withdraw troops by March 31, 2008. Apparently not be outdone in parliamentary cretinism by the House this ‘non-binding’ resolution has so many contingent exceptions that, given the political and military realities in Iraq, the exceptions in this case really will swallow up the rule. Now the ‘battle’ between the House and Senate versions and the upcoming fight between the legislative and executive branches will begin in earnest. However, as stated above in discussing the House vote the cold, hard reality on the ground is that this war continues, despite all reason, through 2008 at the least. Nice work, guys and gals. More on this latter. For now, however, one comment will suffice about the Senate vote-where were all those ‘hard-line’ anti-war Senators like the Honorable Barack Obama on this vote. Apparently Senator John Forbes Kerry is not the only ‘flip-flop’ artist in the Democratic ranks. As least Congressman Kucinich got it right on this one. Already this 2008 election cycle is looking very, very dreary.



A RAY OF HOPE?

The real news this week was in Washington but not on the Hill. It seems that the Building and Construction Trades Union had its annual convention in D.C. this year. Naturally, in the never-ending presidential political cycle all the bourgeois politicians, particularly Democratic presidential contenders, showed up looking for support and or money, or both. The upshot of all this is that this war is so unpopular down at the base of society that even fringe candidate Ohio Congressman Kucinich got a rousing cheer when he called for immediate withdrawal. The only ‘loser’ was the hapless Republican House minority leader who was booed roundly for even pretending to defend the Bush Administration policy on Iraq.

For those who may not know this union represents members whose sons and daughters and other relatives are the rank and file soldiers and sailors who are fighting this war. These unionists are the people who a few years ago were falling all over themselves to slap those yellow SUPPORT THE TROOPS stickers on their SUV’s and pickup trucks. And for those who forgot, or are too young to remember, an earlier generation of these unionists (in some cases, their fathers) were the die-hard ‘hard hats’ who supported Richard Nixon’s Vietnam War policy long after it was fashionable to do so. The point for militants today is to take this hatred of the war at the base and do something about it. As I have repeatedly mentioned, get those anti-war soldier and sailor solidarity committees going. You want a place to start-talk to those building trades unionists. Believe me you will get a hearing when you talk about revving up the troop transports and warming up the planes to get the hell out of Iraq now. Enough said.



FOR MORE POLITICAL COMMENTARY AND BOOKS REVIEWS CHECK MY BLOG AT- Http://markinbookreview.blogspot.com/

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