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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-15-07 08:08 PM
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Set a deadline the fight isn't over
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Tom Hayden

There Is Still Work To Do

All of us in the peace movement have work to do before the war can end. There are those who believe that last November's election was a "mandate for peace", and that the new Democratic majority can and should end the war in keeping with that mandate. But this attitude inflates the meaning of the mandate, and expects a political party to substitute itself for a social movement. Indeed, the mandate was historic and unprecedented, the first time that American voters clearly cast a vote for peace against a war in progress. The mandate was achieved in spite of considerable efforts by both parties to avoid making Iraq a pivotal issue in 2006 until the latter stages of the campaign.

But what were the peace voters telling us? Post-election polling offers some clues. According to the Washington Post/ABC late February survey:

* 67% opposed "the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq";
* 64% said the war was "not worth fighting";
* 67% opposed Bush's escalation proposal, including 56% who were strongly opposed.
* 66% would support cutting US aid to Baghdad if the regime there fails to reach national unity and civil order;
* 70% blamed the Iraqi government, more than the US, for "failing to control the violence".

So that's what the voters, two-thirds of them, were against. What they were for is stickier.

* 56% thought the US should withdraw troops to avoid American casualties even if order is not restored in Iraq;
* 53% believed the US should set a deadline for withdrawal, as against 46%;
* 51% opposed the idea of Congress "restricting funding for the war" to block Bush's plan, versus 46% in favor.


This means that advocates of immediate withdrawal from Iraq somehow have to convince another 20 percent of Americans before they can claim a majority. More work is needed in the "red" states, with unions, military families, conservative isolationists and others. Maybe more civil disobedience is needed to raise the costs of the war.

Or they can adjust their demands to focus on a timetable for withdrawal, consistent with what the American public is beginning to want. Not only the American public, but the Iraqis, 80 percent of whom have been calling for a withdrawal timeline, and 131 members of their parliament. Their own parliamentary committee on sovereignty has even issued a unanimous report- Shi'a, Sunni and Kurds- endorsing a date for the end of the occupation.


From Juan Cole (emphasis added):

The senate has brought to the floor a proposal that would gradually bring US troops out of Iraq. Republicans are confident that they can still defeat it.

Republicans did and now own a war. With that, the movement to end the war should also focus on ending a few Senators' careers. Call it the Lincoln Chaffee movement. Republicans up for reelection in 2008 -- 21:

Alexander, Lamar (R-TN)
Allard, Wayne (R-CO) (not running)
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA)
Cochran, Thad (R-MS)
Coleman, Norm (R-MN)
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME)
Cornyn, John (R-TX)
Craig, Larry E. (R-ID)
Dole, Elizabeth (R-NC)
Domenici, Pete V. (R-NM)
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY)
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)
Hagel, Chuck (R-NE) (may retire)
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
Roberts, Pat (R-KS)
Sessions, Jeff (R-AL)
Smith, Gordon H. (R-OR)
Stevens, Ted (R-AK)
Sununu, John E. (R-NH)
Warner, John (R-VA)

Call the above Senators and the following four, who voted no or missed the vote (McCain) on the current bill calling for a deadline for withdrawal:

Lieberman (ID-CT)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
McCain (R-AZ)

WASHINGTON D.C. - Senator John Kerry issued the following statement today after a vote in the Senate on the plan for Iraq that sets a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops. Kerry is an original co-sponsor of the bill. The plan today narrowly lost by a vote of 48-50:

"We must set a deadline to force Iraqis to compromise and bring our troops home from Iraq; and today's vote represents a strong step forward toward achieving that goal," Senator Kerry said. "Iraqis have only responded to deadlines, and a deadline for troop redeployment will force Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country and bring our brave men and women home. This plan would have finally forced President Bush to realize that more of the same is not a plan, and that the American people are ready for this war to end.

"This is an important step forward. Last summer, Senator Feingold and I offered a plan to set a one year deadline to bring our troops home from Iraq, and 13 senators voted for it. Today, 48 senators supported this approach. This debate isn't over and none of us will rest until the war is over and our troops are home. I applaud those who had the courage to cast their vote for this plan."


The legislation needs 12 more votes and another seven for security. Eight months ago, only 13 Senators supported the bill. This is great progress.

Fight on Senator Kerry!

Set A Deadline.
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