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Reject Insanity "Surge", Embrace Constitutional Power

By       Message Lydia Howell     Permalink
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One definition of insanity is doing the SAME thing over and over, but, expecting DIFFERENT results.

Bush's call for 21,000 more troops to be sent to Iraq is a perfect example of that insanity. One question is, will the newly empowered Democrats collude in this craziness--or do the rational (and small-d democratic) thing? That is, represent the people who voted them into a Congressional majority and pull the plug on the occupation of Iraq. To do that, there's one Constitutional power Democrats must use: the power of the purse. Congress must deny further funding for the occupation.

But, like impeachment, (another Constitutional power Congress has), so far Democratic leaders say they will NOT cut funding. For years, we were told we had to lower our expectations of the Democratic Party because "as the minority in Congress, they have no power". Now, that they do have power, we're expected to just accept that Democrats won't use it.

This is collusion in a hideous policy paid for in blood. The biggest price, paid by 650,000 dead Iraqis (and who knows how many maimed men, women and children) is even greater. Allegedly, Demcorats are afraid of "being blamed for failure in Iraq" if they actually DO anything to end the madness. Can any miminally rational person believe this?

Perhaps, many Democrats supported the true aims of the invasion and occupation of Iraq--aims about to be realized. Any time now, a new "hydrocarbon law" will be put into place, granting American and British oil companies total access to Iraq's oil. For an indefinite period, those companies will take 75% of profits "until infrastructure is paid off". After that, they'll get at least 20% of the profits and certainly will control who eles gets access to that oil.

For details, see Chris Floyd's "New Oil Law Means Victory in Iraq for Bush" http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/010807A.shtml

The 21st century resource wars are in full swing.

Those who opposed "blood for oil" were right all along. Even Jack Cafferty, the conservative curmudgeon on CNN's The Situation Room briefly spoke of the new "oil laws" in Iraq. This is simply the latest U.S. action in the service of, to quote Daddy Bush, "the American way of life is not negotiable". Or to put it more crudely as a bumper sticker says "Kick Their Ass & Take Their Gas".

Stopping Bush's "surge" is only step one. (And isn't this 'spin' insulting? It's an escalation, not a 'surge'!) Even bringing the troops home isn't enough. It's time for the American people to leave adolescence, grow up and act responsibly. Not only do we need to rethink U.S. foreign policy in a big way--that is, (finally) recognize the rest of the world is NOT our resource-bank to be plundered at will and at the point of our guns. We must not only make it a national priority to invest in developing and implementing renewable energy, as well as, expand public transportation systems. We have to make conservation an integral part of "creating American energy independence".
That means the "American way of life" will have to significantly change.

Painful as it is (even for many peace activists), we have to let go of our myths of 'American goodness" and see with utter clarity. The theft-by-war and occupation of Iraqi oil is simply the most recent act of U.S. imperialism. That's what created the nation we live in, expanded it across the continent--notably in seizing 1/3 to 1/2 of northern Mexico, now knwon as the American Southwest-- and has fueled American foreign policy since the 19th century to today. Iraq was not a "mistake". It was business as usual--backed by the U.S. military.

It's up to us to demand that Congress use it's Constitutionally-mandated power of the purse. A far greater President than Bush can ever dream of being--Abraham Lincoln was unequivical that the power to wage war is NOT an Executive power. Lincoln was clear that one man should NOT have the power to make most sober decision a nation can make--to go to war. Lincoln was adament that only Congress determines war. So far, Democrats and Republicans alike have betrayed the Constitution and deferred that power to Bush.

We The People must remind them of what their oath of office means and demand the change in policy we voted for in Novemember. Sanity and our Constitution demands nothing less.
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Lydia Howell is a Minneapolis journalist, poet, activist and producer/host of "Catalyst:politics & culture" on KFAI Radio, all shows archived for 2 weeks after braodcast at www.kfai.org

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