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Be Strong, Congress - Tell Bush To "Take It Or Leave It!"

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Here we go again.

Bush, Cheney, and their neo-con shills are out on the campaign trails trashing the evil Democratic Congress for following the will of the American people. How dare they "put strings" on the $100b+ 'Emergency' appropriations bill to force the Bushies to come up with an exit strategy to the worst debacle in American history! How dare they "undercut the troops" by putting the wheels in motion to get them out of harm's way! How dare they even think about bringing this occupation of Iraq to closure and threatening the profits of Halliburton, Blackwater, and all of those other neo-con revenue centers!

Don't buy it, America. I know that Darth & Dubya have the loudest microphones, but don't buy their snake oil. Don't ever forget about how they lied us into this conflict, with fabricated intelligence, manipulated to fit the policy. Don't ever forget how they outed an undercover CIA operative, whose mission was non-proliferation in the Middle East, in order to punish a dissenter. Don't ever forget how they trampled our constitution, tortured prisoners, lied about EVERYTHING, and continue to do so!

The Bushies have NO INTENTION of ending this conflict in Iraq. Even though the people in both countries overwhelmingly want to end it, they have every intention on continuing the U.S. presence. By virtue of the 'enduring bases', they have every intention of staying in Iraq long after the occupation has ended, if it ever does end. Make no mistake - the Bushies have no exit strategy and want an open-ended blank check to keep feeding the military-industrial-complex.

The Standoff

So now we're at a stand off. The Congress and the Executive branches of government pointing their fingers at each other. The Bushies are claiming that the Democrats are undercutting the troops by putting strings (i.e. demands for a withdrawl plan) on the 'emergency' funding. The Democrats are reluctant, but willing to fund the conflict for another year or so, as long as there's SOME light at the end of the tunnel to end this debacle. Who to believe? Who to support?

Here's my take

Although I'm personally in the camp of pulling the troops out immediately and setting in motion parallel processes to ensure order (i.e. United Nations peacekeepers), I do respect the Democratically-controlled congress for the bills they've passed. They've funded the conflict for one more year, but with obligations on the President to end the occupation. It was the only thing they could do. The move essentially sends the message that they support the troops, but not the open-ended, no-exit-strategy occupation.

Why did Bush ask for so much money in an 'Emergency Appropriations' bill? Why didn't he just account for fighting his wars in his regular budget? Did he not know that he was going to need this money when he submitted his annual budget? Of course he did. But then he wouldn't have been able to submit his 'regular' budget with phony rhetoric to prop up a phony perception that he was addressing the deficit. Suuuuuure... aren't the Bushies just the epitome of fiscal responsibility?

What would happen if the stalemate continued? This is what I'm trying to conceptualize. If neither the Congress nor the Bushies capitulate and give in on the withdrawl timetable issue, then the bill doesn't get signed into law, and the funding doesn't go to the war effort in Iraq. Seems to me the only option at that point is for the Pentagon to find funding in their existing budget and bring the troops home. They certainly wouldn't be able to prolong this senseless debacle.

Does that mean defeat? Not in my book. We already declared victory when we toppled Sadaam Hussein and brought democracy to Iraq. Since then we've just been foreign occupiers of this nation. If we left now, in my opinion the worst that could happen is the Shiia and Sunnis would continue to battle each other for territory and power. The only difference would be they'd have one less thing to complain about - being occupied by a foreign government.

So stand strong Harry & Nancy! Don't back down. Don't let the lying, scheming, conniving, back-stabbing, deceitful, evil, war-mongering, money-grubbing, neo-con Bushies get the best of you. The American people are behind you. YOU MAKE THE LAWS, HE EXECUTES THEM! If he chooses to veto your handout to him, so be it. He'll have no choice but to bring the troops home. And if he still chooses not to, if he continues to defy the Congress and the Constitution of The United States of America that he swore to uphold and protect, then it's time to put impeachment back on the table!
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Scott Shuster is a progressive columnist, publishing since May of 2005. His liberal ideology is a refreshing diversion from 'politics as usual' in Washington.
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