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Congress: Bush OK to Attack Unilaterally * Turning the Tide
12 October 2002
1) Turning The Tide
2) Kucinich: Statement in Opposition to the Resolution
"The power to declare war is the most solemn responsibility given to Congress by the Constitution. We must not delegate that responsibility to the president in advance." – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)
This has been a crushing couple of days. First learning about the Congress vote for George W. Bush to go ahead and make war preemptively, based on his judgement.. This too much.. But then, too, learning that my friend Malik Abdullah Akili was denied parole.. They told him not to come back for another 24 months - in the belly of the beast. Malik and his family, friends, are all struggling now, facing a faceless tomorrow. . . except in knowing each other's love, a moment is brightened to a greater resolve and choice to survive, to choose to struggle, and remain whole as living, caring people, though others are going down the tubes in distorting what is true about being human.
It is with the inspiration of those caring, for those who wrote in support of Malik's parole, for those who called Congress to stop a corrupt new phase for preemptive war, that helps each individual choice to be free and on the side of caring, and not to give up. Item 1 is an eloquent statement and commitment to "Turn the Tide" from Eli Pariser, for MoveOn, which is one of the many powerful organizations that had worked effectively to try and stop a policy that increases terror and loss of freedom and democracy. Eli offers a refreshing perspective, and that this battle is not yet over, the bombs have not yet struck those innocent people living their lives. Item 2 is a transcript of a speech made on the floor of the House by Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich.
Flyby News has updated its homepage with current campaigns, actions, and events. Also, please note that Flyby News page on Dennis Kucinich has been updated. Please help network such information. Scott Ritter will be speaking in western Massachusetts this Tuesday. On November 7th, Flyby News is sponsoring a premiere showing of a Dennis Kucinich video presentation of his speech at the Peoples' Peace Summit in Burlington, VT, September 28, 2002. Following the video there will be a discussion on US Democracy and Safeguarding Our Planet. However, note, too, that November 5 is election day 2002. If you had taken the pledge not to vote for those supporting the recent Iraq War Resolution, which makes good sense, please check the following link for the roll call. Yet, for those who took a stand for freedom and democracy, please give your support. The campaign will now travel to the UN, and with the world unity for support, we can hold back US aggression that would tax the economy more to a downward spiral, as their plans for domination and control is but a fantasy for the weak-minded, for those in denial of the real current crises and environmental damage now taking place on Earth.
Take a Stand -- Preemptive War is Unacceptable!!!
A full roll call list for the Senate is available:
A full roll call for the House is available at:
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1) Turning the Tide
From "Eli Pariser, MoveOn.org"
Date: 11 Oct 2002, 05:11:33 PM
Subject: Turning the Tide
Over the last five days, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and our friends in Congress fought a pitched battle against a hasty and dangerous war resolution. Senator Byrd fought with every tool at his disposal, from an array of parliamentary tactics to his pocket copy of the Constitution. Joined by Senators Kennedy (D-MA), Sarbanes (D-MD), Durbin (D-IL), and Boxer (D-CA) in outrage, he launched a furious filibuster, demanding that our elected representatives give this issue the lengthy and deep consideration it deserves.
In the House, Representatives Doggett (D-TX), Lee (D-CA), Kucinich (D-OH), and Pelosi (D-CA) took a stand against House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) and worked unstoppingly to deliver a defeat for the authorization of force. In doing so, they risked political retaliation from both within their party and outside of it, but they spoke out anyway.
Early yesterday afternoon, the House voted 296 to 133 in support of the President's resolution. Surprising nearly everyone, a significant majority of Democrats stood with Pelosi and Doggett in
opposition to the resolution.
And around 1 in the morning last night, the Senate voted to support President Bush's proposal, 77 for to 23 against. Senator Byrd said, "I have fought the good fight. I might as well talk to the ocean."
For those of us who are worried about a war on Iraq -- worried what it will do to our country, our future, or our world -- this is a dark day. Our Congress has been stampeded into supporting a unilateral, pre-emptive war that could set the Middle East on fire and turn the world against us. In the immediate aftermath of this decision, it's easy to feel, like Senator Byrd, that we might as well have talked to the ocean.
But that is just plain wrong. This vote hurts, but without our work it would have been much worse.
Let us not underestimate what we're up against. In the Bush Administration, we have a cadre of men hungry for war. Iraq has been on the agenda since President Bush and Vice President Cheney were on the campaign trail. When September 11th happened, the President immediately tried to link it to Saddam. No dice. When anthrax brought our capitol to a halt, the FBI was dispatched to find connections to Baghdad. Nothing surfaced.
The President has demonstrated that he is willing to use every Machiavellian trick in the book to force our country to war. He hasn't hesitated to use our national tragedy to push his agenda. He hasn't hesitated to play off the fear of Americans. He hasn't hesitated to take advantage of this election year to divide and conquer his opposition. When the President of the United States, a man with the loudest megaphone in the world, chooses to use such tactics, he is an extremely formidable opponent.
Make no mistake: the President did everything he could to make this vote a unanimous one. He failed. And the dissent in Congress will resonate throughout our country.
The New York Times today interviewed Representative Susan Davis (D-CA), from southern California: "Ms. Davis's San Diego district includes thousands of active and retired military personnel in the West Coast's largest Navy base, many of whom, she said, may not be happy with her decision to vote against the president's wishes. But having agonized over her decision until a few hours before the vote, she said she was persuaded by a large number of calls and e-mail messages from voters who were deeply uneasy about the prospect of a new war that could be fought with terrible weapons." That was us.
And when Senator Byrd was speaking out on the Senate floor, he knew we stood behind him. When Representative Pelosi spoke out against the House leadership, she knew that we were with her. Senator Paul Wellstone of Minnesota is in the political fight of his life against a candidate hand-picked by the White House to defeat him. But even though it could damage his re-election campaign, Senator Wellstone voiced his conscience. Our work helped to make that possible.
Our impact can be felt far beyond Washington, D.C. The American people are a lot smarter than politicians think, and support for this warmongering is paper thin. With each dissenter, with each
dissenting vote we will gain the support of more of our fellow citizens. President Bush may now have the legal authority for a war, but thanks to the concern we've voiced in the media and in our
representatives' offices, he does not have the mandate of his constituents.
This vote will not stand. We will keep fighting this thoughtless war in every way we can. We will fight it over the next weeks and the next months, in Washington and at home.
For now, though, we should take a moment to reflect on the hard work we've put in, on our successes and our failures. Remember: we're not talking to the ocean. We're turning the tide.
--Eli, Wes, Carrie, Joan, Peter, and Susan
Friday, October 11, 2002
P.S. The pressure we've put on Congress has been overwhelming. Over the last two months, we've met with Senators' offices in every state. We've mobilized a team of volunteer lobbyists who worked with over 400 Congressional offices. We've written over 3,600 letters to the editor on Iraq. And we've made, at the very least, a staggering 143,000 phone calls to Congress. With countless emails and a petition with over 200,000 signers, we've communicated a deep and broad concern to our elected representatives.
Here's what Senator Byrd had to say about the grassroots feedback he received:
"I have heard from tens of thousands of Americans – people from all across this country of ours – who have urged me to keep up the fight. I am only one Senator from a small state, yet in the past week I have received nearly 20,000 telephone calls and nearly 50,000 e-mails supporting my position. I want all of those people across America who took the time to contact me to know how their words have heartened me and sustained me in my efforts to turn the tide of opinion in the Senate. They are my heroes, and I will never forget the remarkable courage and patriotism that reverberated in the fervor of their messages."
A full roll call list for the Senate is available on our website at:http://www.moveon.org/senatevote.html
A full roll call for the House is available at:http://www.moveon.org/housevote.html
You can help decide the direction of MoveOn.org by participating in the discussion forum at:http://www.actionforum.com/forum/index.html?forum_id=223
The Washington Post reported that among the dozen most vulnerable Democrats in next month's elections, just two -- Reps. James Maloney (Conn.) and Julia Carson (Ind.) -- opposed the measure. In the Senate, Paul D. Wellstone (D-Minn.) was alone among incumbents facing tough reelections who voted against it.
ANNOUNCEMENT FOR WAR=========>> Washington Post:
Congress Passes Iraq Resolution
Overwhelming Approval Gives Bush Authority to Attack Unilaterally
By Jim VandeHei and Juliet Eilperin
Friday, October 11, 2002]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6032-2002Oct10.html
2) Kucinich: Statement in Opposition to the Resolution
Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), leader of the House opposition to the resolution, gave the following statement on the House floor today during general debate on the war resolution:
Yesterday students held a peace rally on the West front of the Capitol. It may have been the first rally on the Capitol grounds in opposition to war with Iraq. I attended and I heard representatives of America's youth asking: Why:
Why war against the people of Iraq?
Why assert military power which threatens innocent civilians?
Why war to settle differences?
Why separate our nation from the world community?
Why not give peaceful resolution a chance?
I looked at the faces of the young people at the peace rally. Fresh faces, hopeful, optimistic, and challenging. Soon the voices of our youth will be heard across the nation. And we should pay them heed. They will be heard on campuses, in town halls, in marches. They will be raised to challenge and to confront senseless violence, mindless war, the death of innocents, the destruction of villages to save villages. Voices will be lifted up in urgency because the future knows when the place it needs to build could be destroyed. The future knows skepticism when promises of peace are wrapped in fire and brimstone.
Our young people opposing war represent a message from the future America, the America that can be, and with the upwardly spiraling aspirations of millions of Americans of all ages, the America that will be:
The future America works to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society.
The future America works to make war archaic.
It is a nation that lives courageously in peace, working to settle differences at home and abroad without killing.
The future America comprehends the world as an interconnected whole. It understands that changes in transportation, communication and trade have made people throughout the world neighbors.
The future America believes that each person is sacred. That each person makes a difference. That each choice we make affects others. That an injury to one person is an injury to all. That justice ought to be international and that vengeance is reserved to the Lord.
It is an America where human rights, and workers rights and environmental quality principles are within the ark of the Human Covenant.
It is a nation where each life is given an opportunity to unfold, where all have access to health care, to higher education, to jobs and to a secure retirement. Where the quality of life matters. Where people build families, build communities, build an American community of our dreams, where our highest aspirations light the way to a better nation and to a better world.
The future America is a nation which works to sustain life on earth. It champions protection of the global environment. It works with all nations to abolish nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and biological weapons.
It is a nation which preserves the heavens for the restless human soul. And it rejects putting weapons in space because it knows the kingdom that will come from the stars should bring eternal peace, not war.
While some voices clamor for war, a future America looks for deeper unity of all people worldwide and seeks not empire but harmony.
So to you, young America, I sing a hymn of praise because while some may want to send you marching off to fight yesterday's wars, you are advancing from the future, reminding us that our nation has a higher calling. Reminding us of the America that can be. Reminding us that there has to be a better way. Challenging us to find that better way. Joining with us to make straight the path of democracy.
This is a time for caution as we would face war, but it is also a cause for joy because the same reveille which sounds a battle cry and clangs the tocsins of war, brings forth legions of others enlisted in a holy cause to relight the lamp of freedom in our own land.
So come forth young and old. Prepare for America's future.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich's Press Releases:http://www.house.gov/kucinich/press/~list.html
For much more on Congressman Kucinich and his work to stop the attack on Iraq, to ban space-based weapons, and for a US Department of Peace, and more...visit this updated page:http://www.flybynews.com/cgi-local/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1021307488,43210,m
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