FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Loopholes in the Supplemental

by KEVIN ZEESE

While the headlines will read that the Senate voted to withdraw U.S. troops in Iraq, the peace movement recognizes that the Senate bill will extend the war not end it. The exit date in the bill is merely a goal for the removal of combat troops, and there are large loopholes that would allow a commander in chief to keep as many troops as s/he wants in Iraq. The bill provides $123 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ­ nearly $20 billion more requested by Bush.

The real issue now is whether the Democrats will cave into President Bush’s threatened veto by providing a funding bill with no exit requirements or whether they will challenge the president further. If they cave they will have given Bush new life ­ he will no longer be a lame duck, but rather will remain “the decider.” The Congress will be seen as a “lame Congress.” How they respond will be determined after their April recess.

Many peace advocates held a demonstration shortly after the vote to protest the extension, rather than end of the war. The demonstration emphasized that the Democrats have the power to end the war and highlighted the deaths of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis with a series of gravestones and photos. The Hill described the protest as an “occupation” of the Hart Senate office building. See citation below for full article.

The vote was mostly a party-line 51-47 vote. Forty-eight Democrats and independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont were joined by two Republicans, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon Smith of Oregon, in voting for the measure. Opposed were 46 Republicans and Connecticut independent-Democrat Joseph Lieberman. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), did not vote.

Regarding getting out of Iraq the bill requires beginning redeployment 120 days after the bill’s passage and sets a goal ­ not a firm exit date ­ of withdrawal of combat troops by March 31, 2008. Combat troops make up roughly half the troops in Iraq which are projected to peak at 171,000 when the president’s troop “surge” is completed. Thus, this could leave 80,000 non-combat troops in Iraq. However, the bill allows combat troops to remain to protect Iraq’s borders, fight terrorists, and protect the Embassy among other purposes. So, it is not clear how many troops will actually be withdrawn if the bill’s “goal” is met.

The bill now goes to a conference committee with the House version and then to the White Hose for a promised veto. The Congress will not respond to the veto until it returns from its April recess.

For More Information:

Chris Good, Protesters stage ‘occupation’ of Hart office building, March 29, 2007.

KEVIN ZEESE is director of DemocracyRising.US and co-founder of VotersForPeace.US.

 

 

Kevin Zeese is an organizer at Popular Resistance.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
Binoy Kampmark
Cyclone Watch in Australia
Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail