FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Loopholes in the Supplemental

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 So, it is not clear how many troops will actually be withdrawn if the bill’s “goal” is met.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.

 

 

More articles by:

Kevin Zeese is an organizer at Popular Resistance.

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail