A Little Clarity, an Odd Source of Inspiration

I just thought out of all the nonsense, I’d pull some sense. These two things come from Congressional stuff happening on the 24th. On the 25th we learned something funny though. The Emergency War Appropriations Bill almost got threatened with a veto by the President because it contained a statement allowing the Senate Day Care facility to sell Christmas ornaments to help fund itself.

The following is from the House of Representatives, not the Senate. Anyway, here is the more, sadly, inspirational stuff (to me):

May 24, 2006

Mr. KUCINICH. With the passing of the war supplemental, our creation, the Iraqi Government, must meet certain benchmarks of performance, including turning over most of their oil assets worth as much as $21 trillion to international oil companies.

The administration blows up Iraq, is responsible for the deaths of perhaps as many as a million Iraqi citizens; the administration triggers a civil war, takes $10 billion in Iraq oil proceeds, which disappear, and now tells the Iraqis they better start behaving or the U.S. won’t give them more support.

This isn’t politics; this is pathology. Instead of passing legislation to continue the war, we should instead deny funds for the war and begin documenting war crimes.

It is time this Congress took responsibility to bring the troops home, to end this war, to restore our Constitution and reconnect our country to the highest values of truth and justice.

Representative McDermott’s (Washington State) remarks:

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. McDermott) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, the American people want U.S. soldiers out of Iraq. A majority of Iraq’s elected Parliament want U.S. soldiers out of Iraq. And I want soldiers out of Iraq, out of harm’s way and out of the middle of a civil war.

This is what the American people elected us to do in November, knowing the best way to support our troops is to protect our soldiers and get them out of Iraq.

Since January, 431 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq; 83 American soldiers died in January, 80 died in February, 81 died in March, 104 died in April, and 83 Americans have died in Iraq so far in May.

Since January, 2,496 U.S. soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. In fewer than 5 months, the U.S. casualties in Iraq is already exceeding the number of soldiers who died or were wounded in Iraq in 2003. But the President insists we’re winning. The reality is his stubbornness and intransigence has lost the war and the peace.

Outside my office, we honor the fallen heroes of the State of Washington by showing the photographs of 78 men and women killed in Iraq. Adding more pictures will not sustain their memory. We honor these fallen heroes only by protecting the living.

The way forward is not more casualties, as the President freely admits will occur.

The way forward in Iraq is not claiming phony ties to 9/11, fake intelligence, or outright fabrication, although these are the trademarks of this administration.

Demanding a timetable to get our soldiers out of Iraq, as I have done repeatedly, is the strongest support anyone in this Congress or country can do to support our soldiers.

I voted today to support U.S. soldiers by voting against a bill that approves an endless war and provides the President with a box of preapproved blank checks. A Nation does not support its soldiers by accepting more Americans killed and wounded in Iraq while carrying out the flawed mission of a failed presidency. The Congress does not support our soldiers by passing flawed legislation that supports a President who is totally out of touch with reality.

Spending more money in Iraq without a timetable to get out of Iraq only buys more casualties in a needless military disaster ordered by a President who can mislead, but not lead, America in war or peace.

The invasion of Iraq was and is all about oil. The one and only benchmark that matters to the President is for Iraq to pass an American-engineered oil law that delivers the oil wealth of Iraq into the hands of Western oil companies.

The President would not listen when a majority of Iraq’s parliament signed a petition last week demanding a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. That’s because it doesn’t matter what they think; only what the President and his neocon friends want. And they want oil. They want it so much that the President will keep the U.S. soldiers in Iraq until he can strong arm the passage of a law that provides cover for Western oil companies to control Iraq’s vast oil wealth. That is the President’s definition of mission accomplished.

The American people elected us to stand up to a President who is out of touch and out of control. Over 3,000 U.S. casualties ago, we were handed the gavel to lead against the President who had taken his Republican majority in Congress to suspend the coequal branch of government.

The President issued orders, and the Republicans bowed their heads and complied. We must lead, not capitulate.

American soldiers will never be safe as long as the President can order a military escalation in one breath and, in the next, predict growing casualties. The Iraq people will never be free so long as the President has the freedom to occupy their Nation. The American people will never be served as long as the President can go it alone in Iraq and in the halls of Congress.

The American people gave us a mission, but on this day, we have failed in that mission.