Thursday, May 24, 2007

What Could Have Been

Dennis Kucinich:

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, you know, there’s a fundamental misperception about the path the Democrats should be taking. We shouldn’t be offering any legislation at all. We should just simply tell the President we’re not going to fund the war. And this idea about funding the war to help the troops is absurd. You want to help the troops, bring them home.

I offered a plan, HR 1234, that would provide for a plan that would bring the troops home, close the bases, end the occupation and reach out to the international community for an international peacekeeping and security force that would move in as our troops leave. But we can’t do that until we end the occupation. We can’t end the occupation until we stop funding the war. We simply do not have to have a bill, Amy. It’s just as simple as that.

JUAN GONZALEZ: What about those Democrats who argue that they could not get a majority vote or at least one that would survive a presidential veto to stop the funding, so that they’ve got to then have a concession of some sort?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: I want to make sure I’m being clear about this. I’m saying that it’s not necessary to have a bill, that the process depends on legislation to keep the war going. But there’s money in the pipeline right now to bring the troops home. We simply should tell the President we’re not going to fund the war, period. We don’t need legislation to do that. And the idea that somehow we need to fund the war to help the troops, again, it’s an absurd thought, and we need to start to reorient ourselves to getting out of Iraq. This administration isn’t going to do that, and frankly, the Democratic Congress is failing the American people at this moment.
Nancy Pelosi:

This is not the end of the debate. … We will have legislation to repeal the President’s authority for the war in Iraq. We will have that vote. We will have votes on Mr. Murtha’s defense appropriations bill, one of them the regular order defense appropriations bill, another one the supplemental that has been requested by the Bush Administration.

We could have taken a giant step in a new direction, instead we’re taking a baby step. But as I said, this is not the end of the debate.

As we think about all of this, I’d like to recall the words of a philosopher, Hannah Arendt, who once observed that nations are driven to an endless flywheel of violence because they believe that one last, one final gesture of violence will bring peace. But each time they sow the seeds for more violence.

In the poll, 57% say Congress should pass a resolution that outlines a plan for withdrawing U.S. troops; 39% say that decision should be left to the president and his advisers.

Precisely half support withdrawing all U.S. forces immediately or within 12 months, while 41% say the United States should keep troops there for as many years as needed. Eight percent call for sending more troops.
The latest New York Times/CBS News Poll (link courtesy Holden):

A majority of Americans continue to support a timetable for withdrawal. Sixty-three percent say the United States should set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq sometime in 2008.

While the troops remain in Iraq, the overwhelming majority of Americans support continuing to finance the war, though most want to do so with conditions. Thirteen percent want Congress to block all spending on the war. The majority, 69 percent, including 62 percent of Republicans, say Congress should appropriate money for the war, but on the condition that the United States sets benchmarks for progress and that the Iraqi government meets those goals. Fifteen percent of all respondents want Congress to approve war spending without conditions.

Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after
And the poetry he invented was easy to understand;
He knew human folly like the back of his hand,
And was greatly interested in armies and fleets;
When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter,
And when he cried the little children died in the streets.

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

--W.H. Auden

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