A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
As the late Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, "Well ... there you go again."
War Bills From Both Parties Fail in Senate (AP/NY Times)
Earlier in the week, the news was that the Democrats had grown backbones, and were actually going to call the Republican bluff on filibuster:
I guess they have now decided to get around for their turkey break, rather than face up to the challenge of an open and extended debate on the Senate floor.
Clearly, neither house of Congress has shown the vote margins to overcome a veto by Mr. Bush. However, after an extended filibuster revealing the extent of rubber-stamp complicity of the Right with their president AND a Bush veto, the responsibility for the horrific Iraq Occupation will be "abundantly clear," as another Republican president used to say.
Congress may then refuse to return the Bill to the floor in either house, although the return of Jesus seems more likely to happen first.
I must commend Senator Dodd for voting against this Bill on the grounds that it does not go far enough. The free license to hunt and kill whoever we wish, which remains in the Bill, is unacceptable, and the timeline and conditions of closure of the Occupation are too vague. The result is authority for business as usual into our fifth year of Occupation, at least until January, 2009.
For a variety of reasons, it would indeed be best if this supplemental funding Bill, so far as it applies to Iraq, were simply withdrawn. However, the essential actions needed by the Congress to end the false war posturing of Mr. Bush is to end both Authorities to Use Military Force, the first used in Afghanistan and the second in Iraq. At least with respect to the Iraq resolution, passed in October, 2002, Senators on both sides of the isle have called for closure or modification:
The governing legislation for both Authority to Use Military Force resolutions is the War Powers Act of 1973. This legislation specifies terms for closure, and requires a prompt up or down vote. Closure is NOT subject to presidential veto, and is not subject to filibuster or a 60% requirement to bring it to the floor.
Once the War illusion is taken away, Congress can begin to assert its Constitutional power to demand closure of the Occupation, and can require a plan for the orderly and safe withdrawal of forces.
Congress not only has the POWER to do this, it has the RESPONSIBILITY.
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