Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How One Senator Could End the War

The peace movement is now in a tizzy about the various
"antiwar" resolutions proffered by the Democrats.
Earnest and heated discussion of the minutest details
of these various bills is clogging up the UFPJ (United
For Peace and Justice) discussion groups and other
channels of the official peace movement. But
unfortunately all this frenzy is destined to come to
naught. None of these bills will survive a Republican
filibuster in the Senate or a Presidential veto. And
the bills are all subject to challenge in the courts
on the basis of which powers the Congress and
Executive have over the conduct of war. These measures
are designed to do no more than save face for the Dems
and allow them to continue to bash Bush. But the bills
will not and cannot end the war.

There is but one way for the Democratically controlled
Congress to end the war and that is to stop the
funding. So far the "antiwar" Democrats refuse to do
that. So they now own the war every bit as much as
Bush does. They cannot reasonably say that they refuse
to defund the war now, but they will end the war later
if one of their number becomes President in 2008. The
simple fact is that they have the power now but they
refuse to exercise it. They allow the death and
destruction in Iraq to continue in order to satisfy
their donors, AIPAC and their own ambitions to descend
to the presidency.

The Democrats will claim that they only have a "razor
thin majority," so that their hands are tied. But this
is not so. It takes only one Senator to filibuster
against funding the war. Then it takes only 41
abstentions to sustain the filibuster. 60 votes are
needed to stop a filibuster; so 41 abstentions mean
that a filibuster is sustained and Bush's supplemental
funding bill for the Iraq war is dead (1). Such a
filibuster is of course veto-proof since the
filibustered bill simply dies and there is nothing for
Bush to veto. There are 51 Senate Democrats, most of
whom claim to be against the war, and at least one
antiwar Republican Senator so the votes are there ­
unless our solons of the Senate are deceiving us. If
such a filibuster takes hold, the administration must
then come back to the Congress with a bill acceptable
to the 41, presumably a bill with funding to bring the
U.S. soldiers home safely and quickly. (Sign the
petition calling on Senators to take this action at and circulate the petition



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