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insisting merely that Bush seek the approval of Congress before extending the date by which troops are supposed to be withdrawn — that it is easy to imagine that deadline coming and going with no meaningful change in troop levels.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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
Wayne Clark
A Reset Button for Political America
Chris Welzenbach
“The Death Ship:” An Allegory for Today’s World
Uri Avnery
Being There
Peter Lee
The Deep State and the Sex Tape: Martin Luther King, J. Edgar Hoover, and Thurgood Marshall
Patrick Hiller
Guns Against Grizzlies at Schools or Peace Education as Resistance?
Randy Shields
The Devil’s Real Estate Dictionary
Ron Jacobs
Singing the Body Electric Across Time
Ann Garrison
Fifty-five Years After Lumumba’s Assassination, Congolese See No Relief
Christopher Brauchli
Swing Low Alabama
Dr. Juan Gómez-Quiñones
La Realidad: the Realities of Anti-Mexicanism
Jon Hochschartner
The Five Least Animal-Friendly Senate Democrats
Pauline Murphy
Fighting Fascism: the Irish at the Battle of Cordoba
Susan Block
#GoBonobos in 2017: Happy Year of the Cock!
Louis Proyect
Is Our Future That of “Sense8” or “Mr. Robot”?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Robert Coover’s “Huck out West”
David Yearsley
Manchester-by-the-Sea and the Present Catastrophe
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail