FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Democrats’ Victory Means More Iraqi Deaths

by SUNSARA TAYLOR

“House, 218 to 212, Votes to Set Date for Iraq Pullout” reads the New York Times. “Democrats Tout Plan for Troop Pullout,” headlines the Washington Post. “Pelosi’s Gamble on Iraq Pays Off,” beams the Los Angeles Times. The reader is to believe that the Democrats have “employ[ed] their new Congressional majority to create the most forceful challenge yet to President Bush’s war policy.”

Today’s headlines are parroting the lies of pro-war politicians — AGAIN!

Today, the lying headlines borrow from the script of leading Democrats, but are every bit as dangerous as the headlines that repeated George Bush’s claims four years ago that Iraq had WMDs.

Today’s lying headlines are declaring a “victory” against George Bush’s murderous Iraq war and working to lull into satisfied passivity the people who need to be raising their voices and raising hell right now more than ever!

As Howard Zinn put it, “To me [this vote] is tantamount to the abolitionists accepting a two-year timeline for ending slavery, while giving more money to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act.”

To everyone who was relying on or hoping that the Democrats would act to end the war, the actions of the Democratic leadership are a sharp wake-up call. Only the people in our millions, mobilized in massive and ongoing resistance, can bring this war and this president’s whole program to a halt.

Buried is the real story of:

How Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emmanuel, Jack Murtha and other leading Democrats maneuvered, bribed, threatened, reprimanded and bullied their party into voting to continue the war on Iraq in the face of overwhelming, widespread, deeply-felt, and growing public opposition.

How the new appropriations bill continues to fund Bush’s wars to the tune of $124 billion dollars — more than Bush even asked for!!

How the timetable for withdrawal from Iraq in the bill is so distant (seventeen months away!) it can mean nothing to the people of Iraq whose country is under the ruthless boot of U.S. occupation and is spiraling down a path of sectarian civil war that grows worse by the day.

How this timetable is so conditional — insisting merely that Bush seek the approval of Congress before extending the date by which troops are supposed to be withdrawn — that it is easy to imagine that deadline coming and going with no meaningful change in troop levels.

How the new bill — and the politicians who pushed it — put the onus for Iraq’s misery on the Iraqi people themselves, demanding they meet benchmarks determined by the country that illegally invaded it! Closing the arguments for the Democrats just before the vote, Representative Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania, asked, “When are these Iraqis going to come off the sidelines and fight for their own country?”

And barely mentioned in today’s lying headlines is the fact that liberal Democrats had originally proposed an appropriations amendment that would only have provided enough funds to bring the troops back from Iraq and that this wasn’t even allowed by leading Democrats to make it out of the committee to be considered by Congress.

Finally, who could ignore Bush’s brazen promise to veto this new bill anyhow and the Democrats know they don’t have enough votes to override him?

In the words of White House spokesman, Tony Snow, “You’ve got to ask yourself, why go through this long, drawn out exercise of going and wheeling and cajoling and trying to buy votes within your own party when, in fact, you know its not going to go anywhere?”

Anyway you slice it, yesterday’s vote is no “victory” for the people of this country, of Iraq, or of the world, all of whom overwhelmingly oppose the Iraq war and are aching for it to be stopped. Instead it means that after four years of war crimes, massacres, rapes, torture and what can only be called a colonial occupation that has cost more than half a million deaths and led to the fastest growing refugee crises in the world, the Iraqi people must now brace themselves for more!

This is a moment that cries for clarity and boldness among those who are able to see the stakes of this, actions and voices that can cut through the lies about a “victory” that threaten to quiet and pacify the anti-war movement right when it needs to be louder than ever before.

The war must be stopped! The War-Criminal-In-Chief must be impeached!

Self-deception or self-censorship about this right now will be paid for in blood. But bold truth telling and defiant political actions will find a wide and receptive audience in the anti-war majority. This majority has begun to reemerge in the streets across the country, on the Pentagon, and in recent student strikes. Whether this spreads like wildfire or is dampened at this critical moment is up to all of us.

SUNSARA TAYLOR writes for Revolution Newspaper and sits on the Advisory Board of The World Can’t Wait ­ Drive Out the Bush Regime. She can be reached at: sunsarasworld@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 29, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s Political Rot
Patrick Timmons
Dildos on Campus, Gun in the Library: the New York Times and the Texas Gun War
Jack Rasmus
Bernie Sanders ‘OR’ Revolution: a Statement or a Question?
Richard Moser
Strategic Choreography and Inside/Outside Organizers
Nigel Clarke
President Obama’s “Now Watch This Drive” Moment
Robert Fisk
Iraq’s Willing Executioners
Wahid Azal
The Banality of Evil and the Ivory Tower Masterminds of the 1953 Coup d’Etat in Iran
Farzana Versey
Romancing the Activist
Frances Madeson
Meet the Geronimos: Apache Leader’s Descendants Talk About Living With the Legacy
Nauman Sadiq
The War on Terror and the Carter Doctrine
Lawrence Wittner
Does the Democratic Party Have a Progressive Platform–and Does It Matter?
Marjorie Cohn
Death to the Death Penalty in California
Winslow Myers
Asking the Right Questions
Rivera Sun
The Sane Candidate: Which Representatives Will End the Endless Wars?
Linn Washington Jr.
Philadelphia District Attorney Hammered for Hypocrisy
Binoy Kampmark
Banning Burkinis: the Politics of Beachwear
Weekend Edition
August 26, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Louisa Willcox
The Unbearable Killing of Yellowstone’s Grizzlies: 2015 Shatters Records for Bear Deaths
Paul Buhle
In the Shadow of the CIA: Liberalism’s Big Embarrassing Moment
Rob Urie
Crisis and Opportunity
Charles Pierson
Wedding Crashers Who Kill
Richard Moser
What is the Inside/Outside Strategy?
Dirk Bezemer – Michael Hudson
Finance is Not the Economy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Bernie’s Used Cars
Margaret Kimberley
Hillary and Colin: the War Criminal Charade
Patrick Cockburn
Turkey’s Foray into Syria: a Gamble in a Very Dangerous Game
Ishmael Reed
Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  
Brian Terrell
What Makes a Hate Group?
Andrew Levine
How Donald Trump Can Still be a Hero: Force the Guardians of the Duopoly to Open Up the Debates
Howard Lisnoff
Trouble in Political Paradise
Terry Tempest Williams
Will Our National Parks Survive the Next 100 Years?
Ben Debney
The Swimsuit that Overthrew the State
Ashley Smith
Anti-imperialism and the Syrian Revolution
Andrew Stewart
Did Gore Throw the 2000 Election?
Vincent Navarro
Is the Nation State and Its Welfare State Dead? a Critique of Varoufakis
John Wight
Syria’s Kurds and the Wages of Treachery
Lawrence Davidson
The New Anti-Semitism: the Case of Joy Karega
Mateo Pimentel
The Affordable Care Act: A Litmus Test for American Capitalism?
Roger Annis
In Northern Syria, Turkey Opens New Front in its War Against the Kurds
David Swanson
ABC Shifts Blame from US Wars to Doctors Without Borders
Norman Pollack
American Exceptionalism: A Pernicious Doctrine
Ralph Nader
Readers Think, Thinkers Read
Julia Morris
The Mythologies of the Nauruan Refugee Nation
George Wuerthner
Caving to Ranchers: the Misguided Decision to Kill the Profanity Wolf Pack
Ann Garrison
Unworthy Victims: Houthis and Hutus
Julian Vigo
Britain’s Slavery Legacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail