“Officials said Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the leadership had decided to strip from a major military spending bill a requirement for Bush to gain approval from Congress before moving against Iran.”
- Associated Press
Once again members of Congress, this time led by the Dems, have betrayed the safety of the United States to protect their political hides.
Said Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.): "It would take away perhaps the most important negotiating tool that the U.S. has when it comes to Iran." What negotiating tool was that? Why, the power of a president who time and again has proven his reckless disregard for the truth, for democracy, and for accountability to launch yet another illegal and unprovoked war whose consequences are to be borne on the broken backs and brains and missing limbs of our soldiers and innocents who happen to live in the target nation.
Is there anyone, anywhere, who actually believes that Congress would refuse to authorize action against Iran if it took the slightest action against Israel? Surely there is no one in Congress who believes that. But that was the excuse given by the “rank and file” who must fear primarily political retaliation, not any genuine issue of safety for Israel. Because of that fear, they were willing to further endanger every citizen of the United States by exposing them to more insane behavior from the current occupant of the White House and his completely loony-tunes president of vice. Dear God. Over half of the ordinary Americans walking the streets of this country fear Bush’s unwarranted power and know we need to be protected from his irrational and illegal acts. But apparently most members of Congress are so blinded by their greedy ambition and insularity, they don’t recognize the threat we face. We face the re-creation of the results of what has been done in Iraq.
What would not have happened, had Bush been stopped in 2003?
A fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl would not have been raped by three or more men, her father, mother and little sister would not have heard her screams from the next room; she would not have heard them being murdered and then been raped again, and killed, and set on fire.
Cindy Sheehan’s life could be about long telephone calls, laughter, arguments, joy and the normal sorrows of loving her child, instead of about spending her life struggling with that empty space in her soul filled with questions that can’t be answered—all the things that will never, ever be right.
Tens of thousands of American young and middle aged men and women would spend the rest of their lives walking and seeing and thinking instead of living without legs or arms or memories or brains.
Hundreds of thousands -- hundreds of thousands – of Iraqis, half of them children, would still be alive. Living restricted lives, but alive.
Why does this war seem to be about automatons? Love is nowhere in the discussion (though the money being spent sometimes gets blood boiling). It is somehow implied that love is for wimps and wusses, Dems and liberals. Real men and women kill and don’t think of love.
Over and over, some very intelligent people have told me that we have to do this – rejoice over killing, harden ourselves to normal empathy and the desire for a loving life – because “if we’re dead, there won’t be anyone left to love.”
Most of these intelligent people have acknowledged by now that Bush’s policies are making the deaths of our own more, rather than less likely. But there don’t seem to be many of those intelligent people in Congress.
Notice that there are no individuals in Bush’s war or his domestic policies (except the occasional poster child), just hundreds of thousands without names or faces. The biggest battle we face, the real battle we must confront under Bush and Cheney, is about life vs. meaninglessness and the destruction of everything good. It is about government by soullessness for the sake of the soulless—corporations, money and power -- run by people who have never had to sacrifice or confront the loss of everything they love. Do we want that ruling our world? What about our children’s world?
We know from our ordinary, everyday little lives that fighting for love is hard work; it requires risk and passion. We have to fight to put the forces of life and love back at the center of our policies as if our lives themselves depended on it – because, contrary to every word that comes out of this White House and most of Congress, they do.
We need a leader who can still feel. Someone who will seek balance, listen instead of shout, proceed with humility instead of blindly using power, in all decisions about national policy—whether it is the environment, international relations, terrorism, global warming, or economic inequality. Because it’s all connected: the damaged environment, the raped Iraqi girl, the sad faces of soldiers at Walter Reed abandoned, lost, wandering. It all ultimately stems from policies that know only death and not life. It can only be reversed by leaders and citizens who believe more in the power of life than death.
Linda O’Brien lives in Takoma Park. ( www.the-river-blue.blogspot.com).