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Bush Elevates Iraq and Afghanistan Over the Rest of the Nation's Priorities

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Message Ron Fullwood
. . . in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity . . . This week Bush will ask Congress to consider limiting the spending of our tax dollars on almost everything else, except to support his militarism abroad. Bush told Americans in his weekly radio address, that, they should continue to bear the costs of his dual Mideast occupations and the deficit he's used to fund them, because, he's busy "keeping America safe and winning the war against extremists who want to destroy our way of life." Bush told Americans that he intends to continue to reach in and rob the treasury to continue his military adventurism; keeping the massive tax breaks in place that he and his republicans passed for their wealthy benefactors when they had the majority, while the rest of the country scrambles for the rest of the spattered remains of precious meal from Congress' pig's trough. "Congress needs to make this tax relief permanent, so we can keep America's economy growing," Bush said. "Cutting the deficit during a time of war requires us to restrain spending in other areas," he told Americans. Those "other areas" Bush wants to 'restrain' include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. "Together, we can pass a budget that keeps our economy strong, keeps America safe, and makes deficit spending a thing of the past," he said. It's as if Bush is wishing himself away as his own zeal and unquenchable appetite for our money and manpower to fuel his occupations looms as the largest factor in any decline of our nation's safety. Whatever increase in the budget deficit that's occurred in Bush's term has been aggravated by his administration's inability to keep the costs of his warmongering within our nation's means. The NYT reported that Bush wants $100 billion for the dual-occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the rest of the current fiscal year that ends on September 30 and $145 billion for next year. There we have it . . . Bush wants to continue his militarism and have us all pay for it. In his plan, the Defense budget shoots up by 10.5 percent to $481 billion, and the rest of the priorities for the nation will have to wait. That's a prescription for the quickening of the disintegration of a weak and fearful nation, at the desperate, vain hands of the weak and fearful lame-ducks in the White House; all for the sake of continuing Bush's Iraq folly. All of Bush's prattling about what he wants to do with our money will amount to nothing more than our Democrats at the gateway of those funds will allow. Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. John Murtha said this week he thinks that, "through the appropriations process, we will be able to change the direction of this war." "We control the funds, and (Bush) controls the troops," Murtha said Monday after returning from a trip to Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In this week's Democratic radio address, Majority Whip, Rep. Jim Clyburn said that Democrats will conduct oversight of the Administration's conduct of the war in Iraq and seek a de-escalation of combat, and redeployment of our troops. Others in both houses of Congress will go even further with binding rebukes of Bush's escalation and demands for an actual drawdown of forces in Iraq to end the occupation. We can't forget that our Democrats weren't given a large enough majority to just roll over the opposition on these major issues and initiatives. But, Democrats will do something similar to what Bush tried yesterday when he threw out Democratic initiatives which he'd blocked for the entirety of his term as if to say, bend my way on Iraq and I'll give on these things you say you want. Democrats will have more than enough opportunities to pressure republicans, who need to bring home bacon, to bend on Iraq. The republicans in Congress are still attempting to block the door as we pressure the White House, even after the drumming they got in November. We need to keep reminding Americans just who is keeping our troops bogged down in Iraq. That'll come from the binding bills which directly confront Bush and his conduct. The House has the most power to push through that type of a partisan bill, and then the Senate will have to act. If they manage to get a bill together it will go to a certain Bush veto, barring some scenario-altering catastrophe in Iraq. That veto will be the flashpoint for the legislators' activism, and ours too, as they move to overturn it. That's where the political, constitutional battles will come to a head. We'll need all of the undiluted pressure we can manage against the republican enabler/obstructionists if we're to move the administration before the next presidential election cycle starts dominating everything and mucks it all up. Standing firm on reversing the rape of our treasury by fat-cats and militarists for six years will be the Democrats' most worthwhile pursuit as they look for a lever to hold Bush accountable. With all of his budgetary priorities geared toward the expansion of his military occupations and whatever else he might be planning to do abroad with our soldiers, it should be more than obvious to the public who rejected these republican priorities in the last election that Bush and his party have no intention at all of listening to them, and he shouldn't be allowed to spend another dime of our money for anymore of his American soldier-killing adventures abroad at the expense of the other countless, pressing needs here at home.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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