Words of Peace, Deeds of War

(The following is reprinted from "The Worker," newspaper of the Workers Party, USA)

On March 23, the House of Representatives voted for legislation which the Democratic Party is widely advertising as a major "anti-war" measure.

But the facts tell a different story. The Democrats' new legislation:

1) provides $124 billion in emergency funding to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next six months;

2) authorizes the current deployment of U.S. troops in Iraq through October 2008 (18 more months);

3) authorizes the permanent deployment of an unspecified number of U.S. troops in Iraq for such purposes as "engaging in targeted special actions limited in duration and scope to killing or capturing members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations with global reach" and "training members of the Iraqi Security Forces." (sounds just like what the U.S. government claims to be doing now).

The passage of this legislation also thoroughly exposed the real character of the so-called "left-wing" of the Democratic Party.

The Democrats use this "left-wing" as a safety valve. In recent months, as more people have been denouncing the Democrats for continuing to fund the war, the "Out of Iraq Caucus" had pledged that it would never authorize more money. Thus, activists were told: "Even if you don't like the Democratic leadership, at least the 'left-wing' is sticking with principles."

But last week, House leader Nancy Pelosi held a backroom meeting with the "Out of Iraq Caucus" and asked the group to deliver at least four votes for the new war funding bill. The Caucus responded by promising 10 votes (see Wash. Post 3/23). Caucus leader Maxine Waters said we "decided to break the pact that members had made to stick together against the bill." Pelosi and Democratic leaders, in turn, gave Waters and other "anti-war" Democrats a standing ovation. (San Francisco Chronicle 3/23).

In the end, 8 members of the "Out of Iraq Caucus" voted "no" but only after they had made sure Pelosi and the war had enough "yes" votes