Anti-war activists plan to capitalize on Congress shift

Stephanie

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y Dogen Hannah
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
When Republicans lost control of Congress in this month's midterm elections, there was plenty of cheering within the ranks of anti-war activists.

Yet that glee at the GOP defeat should not be mistaken for support for Democrats.

Although optimistic that the new majority in Congress will help their cause, activists emboldened by a vote largely seen as a referendum on the Iraq war intend to keep up, if not step up, pressure on Democrats and Republicans alike.

"Some people felt like celebrating and dancing" over the election's result, said East Bay activist Bob Hanson of Rossmoor Grandparents for Peace. "But most of us don't see that as the end of our problems."

While activists and Democrats said the two groups occupy some common ground, they remain on opposing sides of some key areas. Democrat leaders, for example, have not agreed to activists' demands for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

"We don't want to see timetables; we want the troops home," said Bay Area activist Anne Roesler of Military Families Speak Out. "We're not going to back off; there's no way."

With that in mind, national anti-war organizations plan to tap into what they perceive as the electorate's increased anti-war sentiment. Activists have started new fundraising appeals and campaigns to inspire the grass roots and to compel Congress.

"The idea is really to capitalize on the momentum of this election and to try to move it forward as quickly as possible," said Nell Greenberg, spokeswoman for San Francisco-based Global Exchange, a human rights watchdog. "The Congress needs to listen to the will of the people."

Plans to push Congress to end the Iraq war include:

• Delivering gift baskets, each containing a clock, to as many as 400 members of Congress to send the message that the time for them to follow the electorate's anti-war lead is passing by.

• Organizing Capitol Hill lobbying on Jan. 3 and 4 for "an immediate exit strategy," for hearings on the Bush administration's conduct prior to and during the war and for the impeachment of the president.

• Organizing a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the Iraq war, and demonstrations around the nation in March to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's onset.

• Urging congressional action to spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, such as cutting funding for the war.

By no means will Democrats be out of the line of political fire, said University of San Francisco politics professor Stephen Zunes. Democrats are bigger targets now that the party is in a position to deliver on its midterm campaign anti-war rhetoric, he said.

"I think there's going to be even more emphasis in the lobbying and electoral politics realm," Zunes said. "There could even be threats of primary challenges in 2008 if the Democrats don't take more leadership on this."

Exit polls showing that midterm voters were frustrated at the war have boosted anti-war activists' political clout, Zunes said.

But Democratic leaders' relatively modest objectives mean that activists are "still going to have to fight for every inch," Zunes said. "Very few people in the anti-war movement trust the Democrats to take the lead."

Democrats such as Reps. Ellen Tauscher of Alamo and George Miller of Martinez, for example, prefer a phased withdrawal from Iraq. An immediate pullout would be impractical and hazardous, because it would put U.S. and Iraqi forces at risk, they have said.

"You have to withdraw in a manner which provides for, hopefully, the standing up of the Iraqis, if they choose to do so, and for the protection of our troops," said Miller, chairman of the House of Representatives' Democratic Policy Committee.

But to Roesler of Military Families Speak Out there is no room for compromise and little, if any, reason to believe that Democrats will move in the right direction without prodding.

"Talk is cheap," said Roesler, who is on the anti-war group's national advisory board. "The only way to stop this war at this point is to cut off funding. I honestly don't know if the Democrats have the backbone to do that."

Roesler and other members of Military Families Speak Out plan to travel to Washington, D.C., in early January to lobby Congress. They will repeat their demand for immediate action to end the war and continue to reject proposals for a phased withdrawal.

"This doesn't mean that we can sit back because Democrats now have control of Congress," said Roesler, who has a son in the Army preparing for his third tour in Iraq.

To an extent, the anti-war drumbeat for an immediate withdrawal is a tactical move, said Zunes. Activists' insistent demand is unlikely to succeed in bringing troops home now but probably improves the odds for a phased withdrawal, he said.

"The more pressure there is from the left, the more realistic the more moderate, nuanced anti-war voices on Capitol Hill then become," Zunes said.

Northern California activist Cindy Sheehan said that essentially was the message Democratic leaders delivered when she met with them last year.

"They said: 'You guys have to keep doing what you're doing on the outside; you have to keep saying out now; even though we're not saying it, you have to keep saying it, because that's the only way that things are going to change,'" Sheehan said.

At the same time, activists said they will continue to work closely with sympathetic Democrats, such as Miller and Michigan Rep. John Conyers, to reach common objectives.

For example, many activists want congressional hearings into the Bush administration's case for war and into the conduct of the war.

San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the incoming speaker of the House, has indicated that the party will launch hearings on the war. But she has ruled out initiating impeachment proceedings against the president.

Although activists have not dropped their impeachment demand, they are pleased at the prospect of Democrat-led congressional investigations, said Leslie Cagan, national coordinator of United for Peace and Justice.

"There's a whole lot of information that still needs to come out," Cagan said.

Yet anti-war activists remain leery of Democrats.

"Somebody asked me the other day: 'What is Congress going to do?'" Cagan said. "I said: 'The real issue is what are we going to do?'"
http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/16088328.htm
 

Annie

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Some on the right, want to do the right thing. They won't get the chance. Bottom line, the minority of the right, those that disclaim Islam as salvation and the dhimmis as saviorss are in the minority. Odds are, we all will be killed. """But better killed for our beliefts than sucking up to the pedophile.
 

Bullypulpit

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<blockquote>Plans to push Congress to end the Iraq war include:

• Delivering gift baskets, each containing a clock, to as many as 400 members of Congress to send the message that the time for them to follow the electorate's anti-war lead is passing by.

• Organizing Capitol Hill lobbying on Jan. 3 and 4 for "an immediate exit strategy," for hearings on the Bush administration's conduct prior to and during the war and for the impeachment of the president.

• Organizing a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the Iraq war, and demonstrations around the nation in March to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's onset.

• Urging congressional action to spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, such as cutting funding for the war.</blockquote>

And you say this like its a bad thing because...?
 

Gunny

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<blockquote>Plans to push Congress to end the Iraq war include:

• Delivering gift baskets, each containing a clock, to as many as 400 members of Congress to send the message that the time for them to follow the electorate's anti-war lead is passing by.

• Organizing Capitol Hill lobbying on Jan. 3 and 4 for "an immediate exit strategy," for hearings on the Bush administration's conduct prior to and during the war and for the impeachment of the president.

• Organizing a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the Iraq war, and demonstrations around the nation in March to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's onset.

• Urging congressional action to spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, such as cutting funding for the war.</blockquote>

And you say this like its a bad thing because...?
It's a STUPID thing on so many levels it isn't even funny.
 

Avatar4321

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<blockquote>Plans to push Congress to end the Iraq war include:

• Delivering gift baskets, each containing a clock, to as many as 400 members of Congress to send the message that the time for them to follow the electorate's anti-war lead is passing by.

• Organizing Capitol Hill lobbying on Jan. 3 and 4 for "an immediate exit strategy," for hearings on the Bush administration's conduct prior to and during the war and for the impeachment of the president.

• Organizing a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the Iraq war, and demonstrations around the nation in March to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's onset.

• Urging congressional action to spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, such as cutting funding for the war.</blockquote>

And you say this like its a bad thing because...?
It is a bad thing. Its obvious its a bad thing. In fact, the very fact that you dont think its a bad thing is exactly why it is.
 

Gunny

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It is a bad thing. Its obvious its a bad thing. In fact, the very fact that you dont think its a bad thing is exactly why it is.
I don't think the losers have the power to pull it off. However, I am buying up rounds just in case. If the war ends there, it WILL come here, and anything wearing a bathtowel on its head will be a target.
 

Jimmyeatworld

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<blockquote>Plans to push Congress to end the Iraq war include:

• Delivering gift baskets, each containing a clock, to as many as 400 members of Congress to send the message that the time for them to follow the electorate's anti-war lead is passing by.

• Organizing Capitol Hill lobbying on Jan. 3 and 4 for "an immediate exit strategy," for hearings on the Bush administration's conduct prior to and during the war and for the impeachment of the president.

• Organizing a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the Iraq war, and demonstrations around the nation in March to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's onset.

• Urging congressional action to spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, such as cutting funding for the war.</blockquote>

And you say this like its a bad thing because...?
She didn't say it, it was part of the article. If you want to know why some think it's a bad idea, look at the umpteen other threads pertaining to the war and the idea of pulling out.
 

Hobbit

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What's a dhimmi?
A dhimmi is a non-Muslim living in a Muslim country. They're allowed to actually live out their lives, but they have limited rights, pay extra taxes, and will be put to death if they convert anyone else from Islam to their religion.
 

Avatar4321

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I don't think the losers have the power to pull it off. However, I am buying up rounds just in case. If the war ends there, it WILL come here, and anything wearing a bathtowel on its head will be a target.
I fear we will see war here before too long regardless.
 

OCA

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<blockquote>Plans to push Congress to end the Iraq war include:

• Delivering gift baskets, each containing a clock, to as many as 400 members of Congress to send the message that the time for them to follow the electorate's anti-war lead is passing by.

• Organizing Capitol Hill lobbying on Jan. 3 and 4 for "an immediate exit strategy," for hearings on the Bush administration's conduct prior to and during the war and for the impeachment of the president.

• Organizing a mass protest in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 27 to call on Congress to take immediate action to end the Iraq war, and demonstrations around the nation in March to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the Iraq war's onset.

• Urging congressional action to spur the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, such as cutting funding for the war.</blockquote>

And you say this like its a bad thing because...?
You actually think cutting funding for the troops while they are still on the ground is a good thing?

People they can do all this feel good bullshit, ultimately its the pres's call not jackoff congress, and although I think they should come home if the current strategy continues I still hold a sliver of hope that Bush will open up a massive frontal assault type effort like WWII. 24 hr shelling and aerial assaults of towns under insurgent control, then house to house or rubble to rubble searches of the towns with orders of shoot to kill anything that does not immediately surrender on the first command.
 

William Joyce

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A dhimmi is a non-Muslim living in a Muslim country. They're allowed to actually live out their lives, but they have limited rights, pay extra taxes, and will be put to death if they convert anyone else from Islam to their religion.
Thanks. I take it that to radical Islam, we're all dhimmis.
 

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