i went to barbara lee’s townhall on iraq in oakland this morning. sean penn (no link, he needs a blog) was a guest speaker, and daniel ellsberg got called up out of the audience to give a speech. the antiwar movement seems a little fragmented right now, especially after the contentious supplemental appropriations bill that passed the house this week. as lee put it on the floor of the house:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As someone who opposed this war from the beginning, I have voted against every single penny for this war and found myself today in the difficult position of having to choose between voting against funding for the war or for establishing timelines to end it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“While as a matter of conscience I cast my vote against the funding, I hope that this passage of this bill marks the beginning of the end of the Iraq war, but the real fight still lies ahead. Congress will continue to have to confront the issue of this war and occupation, and I am committed to continuing to push to fully fund the safe withdrawal of our troops from Iraq at the earliest practicable date and for timelines for withdrawal that are backed up by the appropriations power that the Constitution grants to Congress.Ã¢â‚¬Â
there was also a bit of grumbling in the audience that moveon has betrayed the antiwar movement by getting too chummy with pelosi. everyone is unhappy and worried about the democrats abandoning the war authority provision (that would have required bush to get congressional approval before attacking iran).
sean gave an excellent speech, and ellsberg’s impromptu moment was good as well. both called for bush’s impeachment, and barbara lee pointed out that dennis kucinich is talking about it. and more from kucinich:
While agreeing that the administration should ultimately be held accountable under international law, Kucinich opposed immediate impeachment proceedings. “We must keep the focus on our troops, Kucinich said. “The minute impeachment is on the table, this President will accelerate the war even more.”
But he added, “if Bush attacks Iran, all bets are off.” Later he added, “We need to safeguard our Constitution.” If the President takes steps towards another war, Kucinich warned, Congress could make “an active effort” toward impeachment.
“The President is clearly trying to provoke Iran,” he said, adding that the Bush administration is “treading on the thinnest ice it has ever been on”.
we are in a precarious position, and the prospect of a war with iran is profoundly scary. it also seems more possible every day. the google newsfeed for iran is back in top position in my rss browser.
and while i am encouraged by the changing political climate, i am uncertain about the amount of pragmatism, consensus building, and compromising that seems necessary at this point. if hostilities start with iran, this country is going to be in a world of shit, and it will be very difficult or impossible to turn back. and i fear that is *exactly* what the bush administration has in mind. (satire follows)
WASHINGTON, DCÃ¢â‚¬â€Almost a year after the cessation of major combat and a month after the nation’s first free democratic elections, President Bush unveiled the coalition forces’ strategy for exiting Iraq.
“I’m pleased to announce that the Department of Defense and I have formulated a plan for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq,” Bush announced Monday morning. “We’ll just go through Iran.”