[Marxism] (no subject)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Feb 17 10:37:52 MST 2007


I am submitting this material, with a summary and implicit assessment by
Prof. Mark Jensen, whose material I have found (in some respects) even more
invaluable than Juan Cole's, whom I learned about from him and whose
contributions are of course worthwhile. 


The issue I focus on is whether the house vote signals a real division of
the rulers over the war in Iraq, and, by extension, the war that the Bush
administration is planning to launch against Iran. 

I think the historically unprecedented (as far as I know) character of this
vote still needs to be absorbed. 

Is this because I think the rulers will stop the war?  No.  Because I think
it offers an unprecedented opportunity to develop the mass struggle against
the war, and to give, in passing, more compelling arguments to those who see
the war as undermining the stability of the system here at home, while
advancing our own class struggle right here in a decisive way. 

The main slogan that advances this fight is Troops Out Now! In its various
forms.  But that should not blind us to the political openings for building
a popular struggle represented by the divisions among the rulers, which are
more, not less than usual. 

How deep can be signaled by the fact that conservative Robert Paul Smith, a
former assistant secretary of the treasury under Reagan and a former editor
of National Review -- and he really is antiwar even though he is not at all
in principle opposed to imperialist wars -- recently suggested in
Counterpunch that Gen. Paul Pace, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whould
"arrest" Bush and Cheney for their war crimes, that is, carry out a military
coup against the administration. 

I don't support Smith's proposal at all, but I do believe that that it
indicates something other than "solid" ruling class support for the Bush
government.h(Pace earned this vote of confidence from Smith by differing
from Bush and his "unnamed" intelligence sources over the role of Iran in
providing street bombs to Iraqi opponents of the occupation.} Fred Feldman 

Introductory summary by Mark Jensen of the snow-news list based in Pierce
County, Washington state. 

[The United States House of Representative voted 246-182 on Friday and
"passed the non-binding resolution rejecting President Bush's plan to deploy
an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq," All Headline News reported.[1] --
"Seventeen Republicans joined 229 Democrats" in voting against the
escalation, Associated Press reported. 

[2] -- David Espo called the resolution "a symbolic rejection of President
Bush's decision to deploy more troops to Iraq," and said it opened "an epic
confrontation between Congress and commander in chief over an unpopular war
that has taken the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops." -- 

American militarism was in full display as Republicans "turned to GOP Rep.
Sam Johnson of Texas to close their case -- and the former Vietnam prisoner
of war stepped to the microphone as lawmakers in both parties rose to
applaud his heroism. -- 'Now it's time to stand up for my friends who did
not make it home, and for those who fought and died in Iraq already,' he
said. 'We must not cut funding for our troops. We must stick by them,' he
added, snapping off a salute as he completed his remarks to yet another
ovation." 
--

In the debate on the resolution, "[m]ore than 390 of 434 lawmakers spoke
during nearly 45 hours of dignified debate that spilled across four days."
-- The Senate is next: "Moving quickly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,
D-Nev., set a test vote for Saturday on an identical measure, and several
presidential contenders in both parties rearranged their weekend campaign
schedules to be present. -- 

Republican senators said in advance they would deny Democrats the 60 votes
needed to advance the resolution, adding they would insist on equal
treatment for a GOP-drafted alternative that opposes any reduction in funds
for the troops." -- 

President George W. Bush was "too busy to watch the proceedings on
television," the White House said. --Mark] 

http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/5773/ 

1. 

HOUSE PASSES RESOLUTION OPPOSING TROOP SURGE IN IRAQ By Shaveta Bansal 

All Headline News February 16, 2007 

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7006489931 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In a highly anticipated move, the U.S. House of
Representatives on Friday passed the non-binding resolution rejecting
President Bush's plan to deploy an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq.
According to Democrats, the measure, passed by a 246-182 vote, is an
initiative challenging the administration's stance on war and would
eventually help them to end the fighting that has taken the lives of more
than 3,100 U.S. troops. 

"The stakes in Iraq are too high to recycle proposals that have little
prospect for success," AP quoted Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker and the
leader of Democrats as saying. 

"The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq
that will end the fighting and bring our troops home," she said. 

Although, President Bush has clearly indicated that the passage of the
measure will have no effect on his decision to deploy an extra 21,500 troops
to Iraq, but the unusual amount of time, 45 hours, devoted to a single
measure has once again indicated the gravity of the situation and that the
lawmakers are up and about to change the course. 

Supporters of the nonbinding resolution included 229 Democrats and 17
Republicans while two Democrats joined 180 Republicans in opposition,
according to AP reports. 

The passage of resolution comes in line with a recent public opinion poll
which showed that 63 percent of Americans support congressional action to
withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by 2008. 

According to the poll conducted by USA Today in collaboration with Gallup
Poll, while 60 percent of respondents opposed President Bush's plan to send
another 21,500 troops to Iraq, a nearly equal number of people opposed any
effort to cut off funding for those additional forces. 

2. 

Breaking news 

HOUSE OKs MEASURE OPPOSING TROOP SURGE By David Espo 

Associated Press February 16, 2007 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6421118,00.html 

WASHINGTON -- The Democratic-controlled House issued a symbolic rejection of
President Bush's decision to deploy more troops to Iraq on Friday, opening
an epic confrontation between Congress and commander in chief over an
unpopular war that has taken the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops. 

The vote on the nonbinding measure was 246-182, and within minutes,
Democrats said their next move would be to challenge Bush's request for $93
billion in new funds for the Pentagon. 

"The stakes in Iraq are too high to recycle proposals that have little
prospect for success," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of Democrats who
gained power last fall in elections framed by public opposition to the war. 

"The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq
that will end the fighting and bring our troops home," she vowed after the
vote, in which 17 Republicans joined 229 Democrats in a wartime rebuke to
the president. 

Citing recent comments by Democrats, Bush's Republican allies said
repeatedly the measure would lead to attempts to cut off funds for the
troops. Outnumbered, they turned to GOP Rep. Sam Johnson of Texas to close
their case -- and the former Vietnam prisoner of war stepped to the
microphone as lawmakers in both parties rose to applaud his heroism. 

"Now it's time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home, and for
those who fought and died in Iraq already," he said. "We must not cut
funding for our troops. We must stick by them," he added, snapping off a
salute as he completed his remarks to yet another ovation. 

Moving quickly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., set a test vote
for Saturday on an identical measure, and several presidential contenders in
both parties rearranged their weekend campaign schedules to be present. 

Republican senators said in advance they would deny Democrats the 60 votes
needed to advance the resolution, adding they would insist on equal
treatment for a GOP-drafted alternative that opposes any reduction in funds
for the troops. 

Even so there were signs of Republican restlessness on the issue. Only two
members of the GOP rank and file sided with Democrats on an earlier
procedural vote; the total figured to be higher this time. 

The House vote completed a turnabout from the fall of 2002, when the House
bowed, 296-133, to Bush's request to authorize military action against Iraqi
ruler Saddam Hussein. 

U.S.-led troops made quick work of his regime but soon found themselves
targeted in a country where long-suppressed sectarian rivalries flared and
outside forces rushed to intervene. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in
the ensuing war, along with more than 3,100 U.S. troops. 

Bush made no comment on the developments in the House, and his spokesman
said the president was too busy to watch the proceedings on television. 

After a secure videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,
Bush said the Iraqis reported providing troops to fight alongside Americans,
making sure that no ethnic or religious factions are ignored in the security
operations, providing $10 billion toward reconstruction and working on an
oil revenue-sharing law. 

"That's good news for the Iraqi people. And it should give people here in
the United States confidence that his government knows its responsibilities
and is following through on those responsibilities," Bush said. 

More than 390 of 434 lawmakers spoke during nearly 45 hours of dignified
debate that spilled across four days -- an unusual amount of time devoted to
what Republicans and Democrats alike said was the most significant issue
confronting the country. 

House Republican Leader John Boehner appeared to choke back tears at one
point as he read from a letter that a husband of a former congressional aide
wrote home before being killed in Fallujah. 

Pelosi led the House in a moment of silence, out of respect, she said, for
those who fought, and "particularly those who have lost their lives in the
war, and their families." 

Supporters of the nonbinding resolution included 229 Democrats and 17
Republicans -- fewer GOP defections than Democrats had hoped to get and the
White House and its allies had feared. Two Democrats joined 180 Republicans
in opposition. 

The developments unfolded as a new poll showed more than half those surveyed
view the war as a hopeless cause. 

A sizable majority, 63 percent, opposes the decision to dispatch more
troops, although support for Bush's plan has risen in the past few weeks
from 26 percent to 35 percent, according to the AP-Ipsos poll. 

The House measure disapproves of Bush's decision to increase troop strength,
and pledges that Congress will "support and protect" the troops. 

Bush has already said passage of the measure will not deter him from
proceeding with the deployment of another 21,500 troops, designed primarily
to quell sectarian violence in heavily populated Baghdad. 

Already, troops of the Army's 82nd Airborne have arrived in Iraq. Another
brigade is in Kuwait, undergoing final training before proceeding to Iraq.
Three more brigades are ticketed for the Baghdad area, one each in March,
April, and May. 

In addition, the Pentagon is sending two Marine battalions to Anbar Province
in the western part of the country, the heart of the Sunni insurgency. 

Bush and his allies in Congress calculated days ago that the House measure
would pass, and increasingly have focused their energy on the next steps in
the Democrats' attempt to end U.S. participation in the war. 

"The President believes that the Congress should provide the full funding
and flexibility our Armed Forces need to succeed in their mission to protect
our country," said White House press secretary Tony Snow. 

But Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who chairs the committee that will review
Bush's request, said, "the president wants a supplemental (spending bill).
If he wants it, he's going to have to accept certain things." 

Democrats have made clear in recent days they will use Bush's spending
request to impose certain standards of readiness, training and rest for the
troops. 

"That stops the surge (in troops) for all intents and purposes, because . .
. they cannot sustain the deployment," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said
recently. 

Republicans pointed to Murtha's remarks repeatedly during the day as
evidence that despite their claims to the contrary, Democrats intend to cut
off funds for the troops. 

"This is all part of their plan to eliminate funding for our troops that are
in harm's way. And we stand here as Republicans . . . committed to making
sure our troops in harm's way have all the funds and equipment they need to
win this war in Iraq," said Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader.

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from
http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm






More information about the Marxism mailing list