Wednesday, May 16, 2007

When Defeat Means Victory Or: When Up is Down

Today the major newspapers report on the “defeat” of the “anti-war democrats” due to the vote today in the Senate on the Feingold-Reid bill.

My first thought was, gee I wish I knew what the bill said exactly so I went to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Sfgate,and various other major news outlets. And guess what, not one of them had the actual text of the bill rather these news outlets kindly interpreted the verbiage for us. Not only did they neglect to tell us what said bill actually said they could not even be bothered to list the bill number so that I could look it up in THOMAS, a service provided at the Library of Congress which allows you to actually read the text of bills.

So began this afternoon’s odyssey to find the number of the bill and after quite a bit of frustration I was able to identify the number of the bill which is S.1077. And here is the bill:


A Bill

To safely redeploy United States troops from Iraq.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

(a) Transition of Mission- The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment From Iraq- The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds- No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited Purposes- The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.

(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.

Upon reading the bill we need to note the exceptions because the exceptions are more important than the bill itself. And what do we see? Why amazingly enough we see the same exceptions that were in H.R. 1591 which recently was passed by the House and the Senate.

These exceptions have already been discussed by Tom Engelhardt back in April and apply equally well to S.1077. Here is what Engelhardt pointed out and I will go in the same order as the exceptions are listed above in the bill itself.

1) "Engaging in targeted special actions limited in duration and scope to killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach": This is a loophole of loopholes that could add up to almost anything as, in a pinch, all sorts of Sunni oppositional forces could be labeled "al-Qaeda."

2) "Protecting American diplomatic facilities and American citizens, including members of the United States Armed Forces": This doesn't sound like much, but don't be fooled. As a start, of course, there would have to be forces guarding the new American embassy in Baghdad (known to Iraqis as "George W's Palace"). When completed, it will be the largest embassy in the known universe with untold thousands of employees; then there would need to be forces to protect the heavily fortified citadel of the Green Zone (aka "the International Zone") which protects the embassy and other key U.S. facilities. Add to these troops to guard the network of gigantic, multibillion dollar U.S. bases in Iraq like Balad Air Base (with air traffic volume that rivals Chicago's O'Hare) and whatever smaller outposts might be maintained. We're talking about a sizable force here.

3) "Training and equipping members of the Iraqi Security Forces": By later this year, U.S. advisors and trainers for the Iraqi military, part of a program the Pentagon is now ramping up, should reach the 10,000-20,000 range (many of whom -- see above -- would undoubtedly need "guarding").

It is interesting indeed that these two pieces of legislation have the exact same exceptions almost to a word. This is nothing but another hollow gesture by the donkeys who are not about to end the occupation of Iraq. And though the news media touts it as a defeat for the donkeys it is really a victory because though they really did not attempt to stop the occupation with this bill they appear to have done so only to be defeated by the evil Senate.

Just. How. Stupid. Are. We. Supposed. To. Be.

The donkeys have no intention of ending the occupation, A donkey president will not end the occupation, the donkeys are of an imperial mindset and will not hesitate to attack Iran much less end the occupation of Iraq.

If you believe the donkeys are “Anti-war” let me just remind you of these quotes from Clinton, Edwards and Barack from a Norman Solomon column.

The Pentagon’s most likely next target is Iran. Hillary Clinton says “no option can be taken off the table.”

Barack Obama says that the Iranian government is “a threat to all of us” and “we should take no option, including military action, off the table.”

John Edwards says, “Under no circumstances can Iran be allowed to have nuclear weapons.” And: “We need to keep all options on the table.”

And you know what?

I believe that they mean exactly what they say.