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Beyond the lies: How Pelosi or Reid can end the war now

by Peacelover Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Nancy Pelosi herself has the power to stop funding the occupation of Iraq; all she has to do is refuse to allow any more Iraq spending bills to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has the same power.

____________________

We've been told that Democrats in Congress "don't have enough votes" to stop funding the illegal occupation of Iraq. We've heard this from Democrats, and we've even heard it from progressive journalists and commentators, who've told us the Democrats were being "timid."

Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (a Democrat) told us it's Congressional Republicans who are to blame, saying "We have to make it very clear to the American people that it was George Bush's war [but] it is now the Republicans in Congress's war" [1]

We've been told lies.

The truth is, Nancy Pelosi herself has the power to stop funding the occupation of Iraq; all she has to do is refuse to allow any more Iraq spending bills to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (also a Democrat) has the same power, but since spending bills originate in the House, Pelosi is first in line.

If Pelosi or Reid want to end the occupation, if they want to bring U.S. troops and contractors home before they become cannon fodder in a wider, even bloodier war, Pelosi or Reid can do it themselves. They can begin right now by announcing their intention to block any additional Iraq spending bills.

Note that refusing to authorize new Iraq spending won't leave U.S. forces high and dry, "stuck" in Iraq; the Pentagon's regular budget (hundreds of billions of dollars per year) can feed, equip, and arm U.S. forces long enough to get them out of Iraq and back home.

It's no suprise that Mrs. Pelosi wants us to believe it's "the Republicans in Congress' war." Mrs. Pelosi also wants us to believe that U.S. citizens want a "New Direction" in Iraq, rather than an END to the illegal occupation of Iraq and an END to the neocons' plans for ever-expanding global war. If you've been paying attention to her recent public statements, Mrs. Pelosi also wants us to believe that moving U.S. forces from Iraq back to Afghanistan would enable a "more full-fledged war on terror"--even though no amount of war will ever end "terror" or "terrorism."

None of this is suprising, because before coming to Congress, Mrs. Pelosi was a public relations consultant [2], and public relations consultants know all about spin, image, and the manipulative use of language.

But even Mrs. Pelosi's usually unruffled image is beginning to crack. A few weeks ago, hunger-striking Code Pink peace activists camped outside the Pelosi home in a posh San Francisco neighborhood to urge the Congresswoman to hold a public meeting to discuss the war and occupation of Iraq. (It's been eighteen months since the Congresswoman last held one of her rare public town hall meetings.) How did Mrs. Pelosi respond? She called them "nuts," told them to get away from her house, and said she would NEVER meet with the protesters. [3]

If a few peace activists were able to hit such a nerve with Mrs. Pelosi (whose recent campaign contributors include both Lockheed and Occidental Petroleum [4]) now may be an especially good time for the rest of us to speak up.

WHAT TO DO...

Want an end to war, spin, and the politics of deceit?

Call or fax Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid right now, and urge them to simply refuse to allow any additional Iraq spending bills to come up for a vote. You might also tell them that if they won't, you'll work hard to support their most viable opponent in the 2008 Congresional race (who, in Nancy Pelosi's case, will be Cindy Sheehan).

Here are the phone and fax numbers (from www.congress.org):
____________________

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Web Site: www.house.gov/pelosi
E-mail: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov

Washington Office:
Phone: (202) 225-4965
Fax: (202) 225-8259

Main District Office:
Phone: (415) 556-4862
Fax: (415) 861-1670
____________________

Leader Harry Reid

Web Site: reid.senate.gov
E-mail: Contact Via 'Web Form.'

Washington Office:
Phone: (202) 224-3542
Fax: (202) 224-7327

Main District Office:
Phone: (702) 388-5020
Fax: (702) 388-5030
____________________

REFERENCES:

[1]"Pelosi faults GOP in Iraq war: Says efforts to chart new course were blocked" http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2007/09/25/pelosi_faults_gop_in_iraq_war/

[2] http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/?id=447

[3] "Pelosi won't see pink: Speaker tells Code Pink to buzz off" http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=4396&catid=4

[4] "Pelosi, Hillary, and Lieberman: funded by Lockheed" http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2007/06/26040.php
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