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Born Without a Spine

 

One of my favorite running episodes on the early Saturday Night Live television show was that of the Lupners, where Jane Curtin played Mrs. Lupner, Gilda Radner was her daughter, and Bill Murray played Todd the boyfriend. Of these episodes, my favorite line of all was Mrs. Lupner explaining what happened to her husband, whom I assumed was dead. “Poor Mr. Lupner,” she once said. “He was born without a spine.”

This seems to be the case with the US Congress, as well. In a shameful retreat from their constitutional and moral responsibilities, the majority of the House and Senate seem ready to give The Great Leader Bush carte blanche in Iraq and wherever else he wishes to send US soldiers to kill and die. (That is, if they haven’t already done so by the time you read this.) Not that I’m convinced too many of these men and women have any morals when it comes to matters of war and money anyhow, but still they could at least ask the right questions concerning the morality of the slaughter about to commence.

But then again, did they do that back in 1964 when LBJ wanted to go to war? Have they opposed the incredibly muderous sanctions against the Iraqi people? Did they ask any questions last year when Dubya wanted to attack anybody anywhere that he could blame the murders of 911 on? I guess that Congress is never really much of an opposition when it comes to killing in the name of the Empire.

But wait, wasn’t there a big to-do between Tom Daschle and GW? Weren’t some members of Congress concerned about the language in The Great Leader’s draft legislation that gave him all powers needed to “restore international peace and security in the region”, and didn’t they get rid of that? In a word, no. The new bill, which was agreed to by Bush, continues to give The Great Leader (and I quote CNN) “the power to use U.S. military force to defend U.S. national security and to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions. ”

The only discernible difference I can derive from reading the new language is that Bush would have to tell Congress he was launching an attack and then tell them every 90 days that he was continuing said attack(s). This is their stronger language. Sure, a few Democrat senators (and a dozen or so House members from both parites) want something more forceful but they have been told that this is as much as they are going to get so the majority figure they might as well go along.

Well, excuse me if The Great Leader isn’t exactly quaking in his fancy cowboy boots. He’s probably enjoying a good chuckle over barbecued ribs with Donald Rumsfeld instead.

You gotta’ wonder what drives the majority of our elected representatives. It sure isn’t moral principles. Hell, it’s not even partisan politics. These folks might as well let the White House vote for them.

They are so cowed by the swaggering at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. that it’s hard for me to believe that there really are three separate branches of government anymore. After all, the Judicial Branch became an Executive subsidiary back in December 2000, remember? Just like in Great Britain, the only way the antiwar forces can be heard is in the streets.

Our legislative outlets are effectively closed, although at least Parliament had a bit of a rebellion, even if it was ignored by The Great Leader’s lapdog, Tony Blair. It is essential that everyone who opposes this war and the rush towards it get up off their ass and into the streets wherever they live.

This isn’t just another US-sponsored killing spree. It’s the future of the planet.

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground.

He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

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Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

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