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News :: DNC : International : War and Militarism
Beyond the lies: How Pelosi or Reid can end the war now
03 Oct 2007
Modified: 06:40:48 PM
Nancy Pelosi herself has the power to stop funding the occupation and destruction of Iraq; all she has to do is refuse to allow any more Iraq spending bills to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid has the same power. If they won't use that power, don't consider them "timid"; consider them boldly complicit.
We've been told that Democrats in Congress "don't have enough votes" to stop funding the illegal occupation and destruction of Iraq or even to call for a phased withdrawal from Iraq. We've heard this from Democrats, and we've even heard it from progressive journalists and commentators who've tried to convince us the Democrats were being "timid."
Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (a Democrat) told us to blame Congressional Republicans, saying "We have to make it very clear to the American people that it was George Bush's war [but] it is now the Republicans in Congress's war." 
We've been told lies.
The truth is, Nancy Pelosi herself has the power to stop funding the occupation of Iraq; all she has to do is REFUSE to allow any more Iraq spending bills to come up for a vote in the House of Representatives. Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is one courageous Democrat who is proclaiming this truth.
In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (also a Democrat) has the same power, but since spending bills originate in the House , Pelosi is first in line to wage peace.
If Pelosi or Reid wants and intends to end the occupation, bringing U.S. troops and contractors home before they become cannon fodder in an even more monstrous war, Pelosi or Reid can do it themselves, with no need for help from even one other Member of Congress.
They can begin right now by publicly stating their intention to block any additional Iraq spending bills.
Don't be deceived; refusing to authorize new Iraq spending will NOT leave U.S. forces high and dry, stuck and "unsupported" in Iraq; the Pentagon's regular budget (hundreds of billions of dollars per year) plus the billions already authorized for the occupation can feed, equip, and arm U.S. forces long enough to get them out of Iraq and back home.
If Pelosi or Reid won't use their power to defund the war, don't consider them "timid"; consider them boldly complicit.
It's no suprise that Pelosi (whose recent campaign contributors include both Lockheed and Occidental Petroleum ) wants us to believe it's "the Republicans in Congress's war." Pelosi also wants us to believe that U.S. citizens want a "New Direction" in Iraq, rather than an END to the illegal occupation of Iraq and an END to the neocons' plans for ever-expanding war. If you've been following her recent public statements, you know that Pelosi also wants us to believe that moving ("redeploying") U.S. forces from Iraq into Afghanistan would enable a "more full-fledged war on terror"--even though no amount of war will ever end "terror" or "terrorism," and the premeditated conquest of Afghanistan was about pipeline routes, not terrorism.
None of this is suprising, because before coming to Congress, Pelosi was a public relations consultant , and public relations consultants know all about image, spin, manipulation and deceit.
But even Pelosi's usually unruffled image is beginning to crack. Although the Congresswoman often appears on a "pay-per-view" basis at political fundraisers, it's been eighteen months since she held one of her rare public town hall meetings. So a few weeks ago, hunger-striking Code Pink peace activists camped outside the Pelosi home in an elite San Francisco neighborhood to urge the Congresswoman to hold a public meeting to discuss the war. How did Pelosi respond? Not with timidity. She called the activists "nuts," told them to get away from her house, and said she would NEVER meet with the protesters. 
If a few peace activists were able to strike such a nerve with Pelosi, now may be an especially good time for the rest of us to speak up.
WANT AN END TO WAR, SPIN, AND THE POLITICS OF DECEIT?
Call or fax Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid right now, and urge them to REFUSE to allow any additional Iraq spending bills to come up for a vote. You might also tell them that if they won't, you'll work hard to support their most viable opponent in their next Congresional race (who, in Pelosi's case, will be Cindy Sheehan). You might even call your own Congresspersons and urge them to replace Pelosi and Reid, now, with new leaders who will actually lead for peace.
Here are the phone and fax numbers (from www.congress.org):
Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Web Site: www.house.gov/pelosi
E-mail: sf.nancy (at) mail.house.gov
Phone: (202) 225-4965
Fax: (202) 225-8259
Main District Office:
Phone: (415) 556-4862
Fax: (415) 861-1670
Leader Harry Reid
Web Site: reid.senate.gov
E-mail: Contact Via 'Web Form.'
Phone: (202) 224-3542
Fax: (202) 224-7327
Main District Office:
Phone: (702) 388-5020
Fax: (702) 388-5030
"Pelosi faults GOP in Iraq war: Says efforts to chart new course were blocked"
 The government publication "The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction" explains on its page 12: "Traditionally, the House of Representatives has initiated consideration of appropriations measures. In recent years, the Senate Committee on Appropriations has reported regular appropriations bills and, sometimes, the full Senate has passed such measures before the House Committee on Appropriations has acted. However, the traditional practice was resumed for FY2006 and FY2007 regular appropriations bills."
 "Pelosi, Hillary, and Lieberman: funded by Lockheed" http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2007/06/26040.php
 "Pelosi won't see pink: Speaker tells Code Pink to buzz off" http://www.sfbg.com/entry.php?entry_id=4396&catid=4
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