Thursday, July 19, 2007
July 16-17 in DC
Highlights of Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16-17, with CodePink in Washington DC:
By Mele Stokesberry, Maui Peace Action, spending a week at CodePink House, epicenter of CodePink Alert Women for Peace.
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2007
Well, we tried our best. CodePink ladies camped out all night Tuesday, July 16, thankfully on soft grass, next to the Senate gallery entrance at the Capitol in an effort to speak to each senator arriving for the filibustering and cloture vote on whether to vote on the Levin-Reid amendment. It would have mandated a start to troop withdrawals in October and completion of same by April 30, 2008. The outcome? Here's a quick, good explanation:
On Election Central 7/17, Eric Kleefeld wrote "Great Moments In Fox News"
"So, did a majority of Senators vote today against withdrawing the troops from Iraq? That's what Fox News seems to be saying on its Web site this afternoon. That makes it sound like 52 Senators "rejected a bill" for withdrawal. Of course, in the real world, 52 Senators didn't vote against withdrawal from Iraq in the Senate today at all. Rather, 52 Senators voted to not block the measure from getting a straight-up majority vote (this includes Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snow -Mele's note). This failed because it fell short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. But in Fox News Land, a majority of Senators voted against withdrawal today."
A rousing rally preceded our camp-out, organized by MoveOn in the park in front of the Capitol. Many Democratic senators and representatives attended and spoke eloquently about ending this bloody war and bringing home our troops. Promises were made that if this effort failed, there would be another and another until success, though at such a terrible cost. Seems we are losing an average of 5 young Americans per day, not to mention uncountable numbers of Iraqi lives.
At a hearing on "Policy Options on Iraq" by the House Foreign Relations committee that I was able to attend Tuesday morning, Mr. Simon from the Council on Foreign Relatons stated that it's clear there is no possible military victory in Iraq. We "must withdraw." He argued against staying in Iraq indefinitely to prevent a civil war, saying that the "conditions for a nation-wide genocide are absent." A planned withdrawal, starting now, would be the "least-bad option." In contrast, the Bush administration's and the press's spin about what would happen upon withdrawal turns speculation into "fact" in the press, and the unknown becomes the unthinkable.