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08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

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08.25 EpiPen Uproar Highlights Company’s Family Ties to Congress [punish price-gougers by canceling patent rights, allow generic production]

08.25 Global warming is melting the Greenland Ice Sheet, fast

08.25 High birth rates and poverty undermine a generation of African children – report

08.25 Nigeria cannot overcome its gathering humanitarian crisis alone

08.25 Delhi schools offer safe space for children to speak up about sexual abuse

08.25 Liberian nurses learn to spot danger signs in babies as healthcare gets shot in arm

08.25 Climate change is thawing deadly diseases. Maybe now we'll address it?

08.24 HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED AFTER PORTUGAL DECRIMINALIZED ALL DRUGS, FROM POT TO COCAINE

08.24 Air pollution threat hidden as research 'presumes people are at home': study

08.24 Politics is killing mothers in Texas

08.24 Zika damage to brain goes well beyond microcephaly, research shows

08.23 Can New York City Waterproof Its Subway?

08.23 Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation

08.22 Historical documents reveal Arctic sea ice is disappearing at record speed

08.22 Iraqi children pay high health cost of war-induced air pollution, study finds

08.21 The Link Between Health Spending and Life Expectancy: The US is an Outlier [the U.S. is the only 'advanced country' with for-profit healthcare without price controls...]

08.21 'Paradise Lost': How To Help Our Oceans Before It's Too Late

08.21 Dieselgate in Europe: How Officials Ignored Years of Emissions Evidence

08.21 Louisiana floods: state faces soaring recovery costs and disease concerns [related: Louisiana Loses Its Boot]

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

08.25 Could urban farming provide a much-needed oasis in the Tulsa food desert?

08.25 A sense that white identity is under attack’: making sense of the alt-right

08.24 Ties to Clinton Foundation are a knotty problem for Hillary’s campaign [more bad judgement]

08.24 BREAKING: ARMED WHITE SUPREMACISTS STORM NAACP OFFICE IN HOUSTON

08.23 As She Rakes in the Cash, Clinton Fundraisers Still Shrouded in Secrecy

08.23 The Clintons’ ethics test: Government watchdogs weigh in on the Clinton Foundation’s latest maneuvers

08.23 One Answer to School Attendance: Washing Machines

08.23 Twenty Years Since Welfare 'Reform'

08.23 Clinton’s Transition Team: A Corporate Presidency Foretold [the 'assumed' proviso should be said and promised: "...if it helps the public...]

Justice Matters

08.22 Mapping 'Pre-Crime' in Rio

High Crimes?

08.23 UK in denial over Saudi arms sales being used in Yemen, claims Oxfam [US too...]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

08.24 PHARMA CEO GAVE HERSELF AN $18 MILLION RAISE AFTER HIKING EPIPEN PRICES

08.22 As Resistance Mounts, TPP Becoming 2016 Election's Third Rail

08.21 The death of neoliberalism and the crisis in western politics

08.21 Trump and Clinton's free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world's economic future

International

08.25 Italy in shock after Amatrice earthquake: 'This used to be my home'

08.25 US warns Europe over plan to demand billions in unpaid taxes from Apple

08.24 Acceptable Losses

08.24 Turkish troops enter Syria in major operation against Isis

08.23 Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia

08.22 Israel planning new Squatter settlement near Bethlehem to ‘cut Palestine’s West Bank in two’

08.22 In Response to Indiscriminate Saudi Bombing, MSF Evacuates Northern Yemen

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  Friends Reunited: Back to Bipartisan Business on the Slaughter in Iraq
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COMMENTARY:

Friends Reunited: Back to Bipartisan Business on the Slaughter in Iraq

by Chris Floyd
And so it will go on, and on, and on. The Democrats -- especially these Democrats -- are not going to stop it.
Whew! Thank God that's over!

The mighty wind you hear coming from Washington today is the huge sigh of relief from Democratic leaders, glad that they can now drop all the political posturing about ending the war in Iraq and get back on board with the imperial program. With the crushing defeat yesterday of what was purported to be a bill to "end" the war, Senate Majority Leader Harry "Give 'Em Mild Heck" Reid moved quickly to give the Dear Leader all the money he needs to keep feeding the Babylonian inferno with the dead bodies of Iraqi citizens and American soldiers.

In fact, the bill in question, the Feingold Plan, would not have actually ended the illegal occupation of Iraq -- God forbid! However, it would have curtailed the extent of the war crime to some degree -- withdrawing "combat forces" but keeping troops in Iraq for "counterterrorism" (and aren't we constantly told that all the Iraqi insurgents are "terrorists"?) and "training Iraqi forces" and protecting the fortress embassy being constructed in the heart of Baghdad. But even this slight slackening of the garrotte would not have taken effect until April 2008 -- or after 10 more months of savage "surging" by Bush and his sectarian death-squadding allies. (Such as this kind of thing.)

In any case, it was well-known that the bill was dead on arrival and had no chance of passing; that's precisely why the Democratic leaders put it up for consideration. It was a PR exercise to give political cover to those Democrats whose ambitions have forced them to at least nod toward the "consent of the governed," as clearly expressed in the anti-war vote last year. But now that the stunt is over, it's back to bipartisan business. As the New York Times reports:

After the vote, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader and a co-sponsor of the Feingold plan, said he was committed to delivering legislation acceptable to Mr. Bush by the end of next week. He conceded that the compromise was likely to disappoint war opponents who had pushed Congress to set a pull-out date...

In the end, the only proposal to pass the Senate [with overwhelming Democratic support] was a resolution by Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, senior Republican on the Appropriations Committee, which urged Congress to provide about $95 billion sought by the president for the war before Memorial Day.

Of course, those "war opponents" who will be "disappointed" that the Democrats failed to pass the Feingold "mild curtailment of the slaughter" bill include the majority of citizens in the United States who now oppose the war and want to see it brought to an end, according to all polls. This why they voted the Democrats into power in last year's election -- to do something about stopping the war.

It was a vain hope, of course. The Democrats (with a handful of honorable exceptions) had already displayed their preternatural spinelessness throughout the Bush imperium, culminating in their failure last fall to mount a proper, furious, public, frenzied -- if doomed -- resistance to the "Military Commissions Act," the anti-Magna Carta measure that transformed the United States into a banana republic run by a tyrannical "Unitary Executive" and his military junta. (The essence of the bill allows the unchallengeable Commander-in-Chief to declare anyone on earth an "enemy combatant" and keep them chained up indefinitely, with only one legal recourse allowed: a military tribunal, set up by the Commander, for those captives he decides to put to the question. As for the rest, they can rot forever at his pleasure.)

The Democrats, afraid of looking "soft" on terrorism, put up only the most token, tepid defense of the Constitutional Republic and let the MCA sail through, all the while telling their supporters with a wink: "This is just tactical. Wait till we win back Congress in November, then we'll get rid of this law." Yet the mephitic measure remains on the books, in full force -- five months after the Democrats were sworn in.

It was therefore the height of folly -- or the depths of desperation -- to believe that these Democrats would do anything substantial to upset the imperial apple-cart that Bush has set rolling through the Middle East and Central Asia. They are too cowardly, too co-opted, too corrupt and too comfortable to challenge the long-standing, bipartisan policies of loot and domination that have burdened us with a vast empire of more than 730 military bases on every continent, and endless, churning wars -- overt and covert, direct and proxy -- all over the world.

After all, the Democratic leaders are among the elite who have profited most handsomely from the imperial arrogance that has bankrupted the national treasury, distorted the economy, perverted our society and left Americans more at threat than ever before. (Arthur Silber has much more on the bipartisan imperium in his "Dominion" series.) The Democratic Establishmentarians, like their Republican counterparts, are wealthy, well-fed, well-wadded and secure behind their phalanxes of state and private security. The actual effects of their policies -- the death, grief, ruin, hardship, suffering and fear they inflict on ordinary people, at home and abroad -- never touch the elite. They hear the cries as from a great distance, they see the destruction as through a glass, darkly. And so it will go on, and on, and on. The Democrats -- especially these Democrats -- are not going to stop it.


Chris Floyd is an American journalist. His work has appeared in print and online in venues all over the world, including the Nation, CounterPunch, Columbia Journalism Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Il Manifesto, the Moscow Times and many others. He is the author of Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, and is co-founder and editor of the "Empire Burlesque" political blog. He can be reached at cfloyd72@gmail.com.

This column originally appeared on Chris Floyd's site, and is republished here with the permission of the author.



Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on May 17, 2007.
 

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