Informed speculation is that the Democrats are going to agree to a shell game gambit by Bush. Remember that recently he "surged" the troops in Iraq by sending in about 20,000 extra troops. Bush is now likely going to agree to a "cut" in troops, to come home just before the 2008 elections. (Republicans are putting pressure on him to make it look like he is doing something positive.)
Both parties will declare victory and say they have brought the troops home. Occupation over. But what is likely to happen is the following:
- Most members of Congress may support a troop reduction but settle for a modified version of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. They may vote to bring "combat" troops home, but allow Bush to keep tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers in Iraq to "fight terrorism," protect U.S. installations and train Iraqi troops. And they are doing nothing to address the growing numbers of U.S. mercenaries involved in the occupation -- mercenaries now outnumber troops in Iraq.
According to the Washington Post "Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) are seeking bipartisan support for an effort to force U.S. troops out of combat roles, restricting them to fighting terrorism, securing Iraq's borders and training Iraqi forces. The amendment would not require troop withdrawals, but because fewer troops would be needed for the new missions, tens of thousands could probably come home, Collins said."
- United for Peace & Justice is concerned that many members of Congress will be willing to open the door to a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq in exchange for the near-term withdrawal of some troops. According to the Wall Street Journal, "Defense Secretary Robert Gates and some allies in the Bush administration are seeking to build bipartisan political support for a long-term U.S. presence in Iraq by moving toward withdrawing significant numbers of troops from Iraq by the end of President Bush's term".
So people need to start raising sand about this now before it is too late.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to the offices of your senators and representative. Find out who your members of Congress are here: http://capwiz.com/fconl/dbq/officials/
But don't stop there. Congress will be voting in September on another $145 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations. They will only act to stop this madness if people are in the streets and creating enormous pressure on them not to play along with this evil game.
How much longer will be American citizens allow this wound to fester? At a cost of $10 billion a month, how much longer can we afford to fork out that kind of money?
Don't stand by and let the Democrats play us like a fiddle. Call on both parties to end the occupation now.