Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Not enough troops in Iraq? Don't worry the Pentagon says. We've got the latest invention deployed there now. Don't have to feed it or worry about forking over disability funds when it returns wounded or with PTSD. The robot killer does what it is told and saves the taxpayer money in the long run.

So sure we'll bring some troops home from Iraq. But we'll replace them with our fancy new robot killer toys. Just put a soldier in a safe place with a computer screen in front of them and by remote control we can make Iraq safe for democracy and free markets. Killer capitalism we call it. Get used to it.

The House of Representatives yesterday passed, by a vote of 218-203, an Iraq war funding bill giving Bush more money for the occupation.

The Washington Post reports that, "The House measure, called the Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, grants $50 billion for the war on the condition that Bush redeploys most U.S. troops from Iraq beginning 30 days after the measure's passage, and ending by Dec. 15, 2008."

"It would ban the White House from using federal funds to establish permanent bases in Iraq [Congress long ago funded the construction of these bases and they are now largely built] or assert U.S. control over Iraq's oil supply. It would prohibit the president from deploying any military unit to Iraq until he has certified it in writing to be fully mission capable."

Bush has vowed to veto the bill.

David Swanson, an impeachment campaign leader, wrote today "Organizations and individuals who fail to criticize this new funding vote will relinquish the right to criticize the occupation of Iraq..... What peace pledge? What Out of Iraq Caucus? What Progressive Caucus? What opposition party? The silence of millions of Americans who have demanded an end to funding for the past year or for the past five years is absolutely deafening. It's the sound of our tombs. Speak now, people, or forever forget about peace."

Swanson continues, "UPDATE: 15 Democrats voted No: Allen, Baird, Barrow, Boren, Cooper, Kucinich, Lampson, Marshall, Matheson, McNulty, Michaud, Snyder, Stark, Tanner, Taylor. Only Kucinich and Stark were among the 90 who had signed the peace pledge. The other 88 lied to us."

"UPDATE 2: Over in the Senate, not a single Democrat is willing to filibuster this war money, although dozens of them whine and moan about the war non-stop. Their latest plan is to give the Republican pro-war senators a giant microphone by 'forcing them' to actually talk all night if they filibuster the bill. So many senators, so little intelligence. And the party-before-sanity crowd is cheering for this."

Two of those 15 Dems that voted NO are from Maine. Rep. Tom Allen, who is now running for the U.S. Senate seat in Maine, has routinely voted for every Iraq funding bill up to now. He is trailing in the polls and is worried about losing the "left" vote. So his vote yesterday opposing this war funding, while commendable, is clearly an election year ploy on his part. Nothing new there. The other Maine congressman, Mike Michaud, has been regularly voting against more Iraq funding. Neither of them are willing to support impeachment of Bush-Cheney.

Like Swanson I am stunned that all those "good liberals" like Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, and the rest of the lot just didn't show up on this vote. Once more we learn - don't trust a Democrat who says we need to stop funding the occupation. They always have a good reason to cave in.

All the more reason for me to throw in with Cynthia McKinney who is running for the Green Party nomination for president. I know that when she says something she means it.


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