[act-ma] 9/29 - Reserve Your Sept. 29 Bus Seat Today!
Boston Troops Out Now Coalition
iacboston at iacboston.org
Tue Sep 25 13:06:20 PDT 2007
*In this email:
1) Encampment to End the War Funding has Started
2) Get on the Buses to Washington DC for the Sept. 29 National March to
Stop the War at Home and Abroad
3) How Congress Could Stop the War - But Won't*
*1) The Encampment to End the War Funding *
On Saturday, Sept. 22 anti-war activists from around the U.S. started to
converge on Washington DC for the week-long Encampment to Stop the War
Funding in front of Congress. Activists have also setup camp in front
of the federal building in Los Angeles.
For the latest information please visit
2)* On Oct. 1 Congress will begin the process of refunding the illegal
and criminal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Sept. 29 we need to send
the Republicans/Democrats and the White House a loud and clear message
that the people of this country want them to immediately stop funding
these wars, ALL U.S. military forces must leave Iraq and Afghanistan
NOW, and that we need money for Jobs, Housing, AIDS, Education and
*MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! - **RESERVE/PURCHASE YOUR SEPT. 29 BUS SEAT
TODAY*! - http://www.iacboston.org/092907/S29.html
Tickets are $55 + $5 suggested donation for the Transportation Subsidy
Fund. Buses will depart from the Roxbury Community College parking lot
at 10:30pm on Friday, Sept. 28 and will return to Boston very early on
Sunday, Sept. 30 (the T will most likely not be running).
*3)* * How Congress could stop the war - but won't*
By Sara Flounders
What if Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi refused to present Congress
with a bill to fund the criminal U.S. occupation of Iraq? The
possibility of a Bush veto would not be an issue.
Although billions of dollars are still in the pipeline, President George
W. Bush and the Pentagon, faced with a new political reality, would be
forced to begin making plans for withdrawal.
As speaker of the House, Pelosi has full control over which pieces of
legislation make it onto the floor for a vote. The Democratic Party
majority in Congress could just sit on any war-spending bill and there
would be no funds for the war.
Last November, when millions of people voted for Democratic Party
politicians who claimed to be anti-war, this is exactly the kind of
legislative action they expected them to take.
It is important to confront the direct fraud that the Democratic
leaders, who control a majority in both houses of Congress, are putting
forth as they prepare to fund the war. Ever since the election they have
given endless excuses about how they lack the votes to do what they
promised to do.
The Democrats claim that, because they do not have a two-thirds
majority, they are powerless to overrule an expected Bush veto on a
war-funding bill that would set a deadline for withdrawal. So they must
pass a bill that Bush would approve.
But they could simply refuse to present a bill for ANY war funding.
They clearly have the constitutional authority, the legislative power
and the political mandate.
One of Pelosi's first acts as speaker of the House was to declare that
impeachment proceedings against Bush were "off the table." She would
refuse to allow this burning issue to come to the floor of the House.
Why not declare instead that war funding is "off the table"?
But it will take a massive, determined, angry and independent movement
to force the Democratic majority in Congress to put impeachment on the
table and take war funding off.
*Media complicity in the war*
The Democrats, with endless help from the corporate media, have
presented a hand-wringing theatrical fraud about lacking sufficient
votes to take any action against the war.
Every major media outlet has spent considerable time and space
describing how Democrats need to compromise with Bush and the
Republicans. We are told that in order to pass any legislation the
Democrats must remove binding dates for withdrawal and give Bush all the
money he is demanding to continue the war---all in order to win
bipartisan support. All these pundits say the Constitution makes it
impossible for Congress to stop the war.
But the opposite is true.
The corporate media are totally interlinked with the oil and military
corporations. Five years ago these media provided endless coverage of
nonexistent Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction." They continue to give
nonstop coverage about the Pentagon's concern for peace and stability in
Iraq. Now they argue that there is no choice except to continue to spend
hundreds of billions more on the war.
In May the Democrat-controlled Congress gave Bush even more money for
the war than he had asked for. That funding cycle ends on Oct. 1.
Congress is set to repeat its collaboration in the war by again voting
the funds, while claiming it is helpless to do otherwise.
The Sept. 13 newsletter of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting gives
examples of this constant deception practiced by the New York Times, the
Washington Post, Associated Press, MSNBC and NBC's Chris Matthews Show.
*Sitting on a bill to kill it*
Left out of all this coverage are facts that are well-known to all
Washington politicians, lobbyists, commentators and journalists on how
funding for the war in Iraq could be stopped at any number of points in
either the House or Senate.
According to the U.S. Constitution, spending bills have to originate in
the House of Representatives. Congress has decisive control over funds
Not only does the speaker of the House, now a Democrat, control what
legislation goes to the floor for a vote, but Democrats, as the majority
party, currently chair all committees in both houses of Congress.
Spending bills originate in the House Appropriations Committee. Dave
Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin who chairs that committee, could simply
refuse to move funding for the war out of committee. This is the fate of
many hundreds of bills introduced into Congress each year. Most bills
"die in committee."
The Appropriations Committee has a subcommittee on defense chaired by
John Murtha, a Democrat from Pennsylvania. Murtha says he wants to bring
the troops home. He could do this by refusing to bring forward a bill
funding the war.
After a funding bill is approved in the House, it moves to the Senate.
Sen. Robert Byrd of Virginia, head of the Senate Appropriations
Committee, has eloquently opposed the war. He could refuse to move the
bill through his committee. Harry Reid, Senate Majority leader, could
refuse to bring the bill to the Senate floor. Any of these measures
would kill the multi-billion-dollar war-funding bill.
There would be no need for a 60 percent majority to stop a Republican
filibuster nor a two-thirds majority to overcome a presidential veto.
To further justify their collaboration with Bush on the war, members of
Congress use their supposed concern for U.S. troops as a human shield.
They are hiding behind soldiers and the threat that U.S. soldiers could
wake up tomorrow with no food, water or even funds to pull out.
This is also a fraud. The Pentagon does not live paycheck to paycheck as
workers do. The budget and supply process is decided months and years in
The Pentagon is using funds allocated for the Iraq war to plan and
prepare a new war against Iran. Half the U.S. Navy has moved to within
striking range of Iran. Pentagon planners have targeted more than 10,000
So why won't the congressional Democrats do what they promised to do?
Why are they totally complicit in the war?
Every capitalist politician, Republican or Democrat, needs tens of
millions of dollars to run for national office. They either have the
deep pockets of a multi-million-dollar family fortune behind them or
they need large corporate donations. They need hours of favorable
coverage in the corporate media.
The entire U.S. ruling class has an enormous stake in the desperate
effort to secure continued domination and control of the largest oil
reserves on the planet. The super profits that drive the U.S. capitalist
economy are drawn from a world empire.
Politicians may wring their hands over the deaths of U.S. soldiers and
the spiraling costs that are gutting every desperately needed social
program. But political parties are loyal to the capitalist system.
Congress and media know the determination of corporate America is to
stay in Iraq for a generation or more.
As the Oct. 1 deadline for funding the war nears, a political challenge
is being prepared by the Troops Out Now Coalition. The greatest
contribution of the Encampment scheduled to take place directly in front
of Congress from Sept. 22 to 29 is to show that independent mass action
is needed to really end the war. Learning through bitter experience
about the role of both capitalist parties is an essential part of the
struggle to end the war.
Troops Out Now Coalition
iacboston at iacboston.org
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