Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

David Swanson: A Veto Is a Vote for Eternal War

A Veto Is a Vote for Eternal War


By David Swanson
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/20625

For George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, 2008 is too soon to end a war that they intend to last forever. 2008 is too soon to stop constructing enormous military bases in Iraq and abandon them. 2008 is too soon to bring our men and women home to their families and the criminally inadequate health care and nonexistent job assistance that we travel around the world to murder whole nations in defense of.

If Bush vetoes or signing-statements the supplemental war bill, he is saying he wants the war to last much longer than the American people or the troops say they want it to last. And that is what Democrats would point out if they had the nerve.

I'm afraid that instead some of them will claim that Bush is defunding the troops. But how can he be? The Pentagon is rolling around in hundreds of billions of dollars, huge chunks of which it has a disturbingly frequent habit of wasting or misplacing. And Congress, meanwhile, while this big loud debate is going on over the "emergency" supplemental, is busy providing standard budget funding for the war, not just for 2008, but even for 2009 – that is beyond the date by which it is requiring Bush to end the war.

The extent to which the rhetorical contest centers around who is funding and who is defunding "the troops" (meaning the profits of the oil and weapons companies that grow fat on the blood of young Americans and the Iraqis they kill) is exactly the extent to which we'll see Congress continue to fund more war and more war and more war.

Any Democrat who accuses Bush of defunding the troops is advocating for more war, which is exactly what the public does not want. Bush should be accused of ignoring the will of the public and its elected representatives. Bush should be accused of wanting eternal war and making plans to add a war on Iran into the mix.

Many Congress Members say they oppose an illegal and aggressive attack on Iran. But from the moment the attack begins, will they bend over backwards to make sure they are ahead of Bush in funding "the troops" to continue it, even while making noises of opposition? Or will they drop the whole pretense that wars are fought on behalf of soldiers and assert the Constitutional power to hold accountable an outlaw president through the process of impeachment?

This few-months' cakewalk in Iraq has become a permanent illegal occupation and oil theft. Congress never authorized this and wouldn't authorize it if it were put to a vote. But Congress funds it year after year and off into the future. If Congress will not put its money where its mouth is, we will have more wars, and those wars will never end, because they are not wars but occupations.

When Bush accuses Congress of defunding the troops, the correct response is not to point out that Congress is dumping trillions of dollars into Bush's wars. The correct response is not to claim that Bush is the one defunding the troops. The correct response is to change the debate by accusing Bush of wanting to continue the war forever. When do Bush and Cheney want to end the war? That should be the question on the lips of reporters at every press conference. When will you end the war? In 2007? In 2008? In 2009? If Congress required that the war end by 2025 and barred the use of funds for it beyond that point, would that be too soon for you, Mr. Unitary Executive?

The Democrats have the upper hand. The media is pretending that Congress has really insisted on ending the war in 2008. The public passionately wants Congress to do just that. Now is the time to make clear that a veto is a vote against that, a vote to continue the war into 2009. Let Bush advocate in public for an Iraq war that extends into 2009, and he'll leave Nixon and Truman's unpopularity records in the dust.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Globetrotter: The Geopolitics Behind Spiraling Gas And Electricity Prices In Europe
The current crisis of spiraling gas prices in Europe, coupled with a cold snap in the region, highlights the fact that the transition to green energy in any part of the world is not going to be easy. The high gas prices in Europe also bring to the forefront the complexity involved in transitioning to clean energy sources... More>>

Julian Assange: A Thousand Days In Belmarsh
Julian Assange has now been in the maximum-security facilities of Belmarsh prison for over 1,000 days. On the occasion of his 1,000th day of imprisonment, campaigners, supporters and kindred spirits gathered to show their support, indignation and solidarity at this political detention most foul... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Mauling Of Novak Djokovic
Rarely can the treatment of a grand sporting figure by officialdom have caused such consternation. Novak Djokovic, the tennis World Number One, has always had a tendency to get under skin and constitution, creating a large following of admirers and detractors. But his current treatment by Australian authorities, and his subsequent detention as an unlawful arrival despite being granted a visa to participate in the Australian Open, had the hallmarks of oppression and incompetent vulgarity... More>>


Off To The Supreme Court: Assange’s Appeal Continues

With December’s High Court decision to overturn the lower court ruling against the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, lawyers of the WikiLeaks founder immediately got busy... More>>


Forbidden Parties: Boris Johnson’s Law On Illegal Covid Gatherings

It was meant to be time to reflect. The eager arms of a new pandemic were enfolding a society with asphyxiating, lethal effect. Public health authorities advocated various measures: social distancing, limited contact between family and friends, limited mobility. No grand booze-ups. No large parties. No bonking, except within dispensations of intimacy and various “bubble” arrangements. Certainly, no orgies... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Question Time Is Anything But
The focus placed on the first couple of Question Time exchanges between the new leader of the National Party and the Prime Minister will have seemed excessive to many but the most seasoned Parliamentary observers. Most people, especially those outside the Wellington beltway, imagine Question Time is exactly what it sounds... More>>