Tuesday, April 03, 2007

No Bill Would Be Just Fine

So today the President is warning Congress that the failure to send him a "clean" war supplement bill would delay funding to the troops. Even though Congress has passed, in two different forms from each chamber, legislation to add another $100 billion or so to the U.S. military's occupation of Iraq, the fact that each bill includes language setting non-binding and unenforceable dates of military withdrawal has got the Unitary Executive up in arms and threatening a veto.

But as anti-war Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has argued, and as even supporters of the Omnipotent Presidency, such as John Yoo, have affirmed, Congress has two tools at its disposal for dealing with the war-turned-occupation. One of those tools is its "power of the purse". So, Congress need not send the president a war supplement bill at all. The President, and his war-mongering supporters are dependent on a Democratic Congress to continue and expand funding for their empire-overreaching dreams.

If it's true, as Atrios or TPM, remarked the other day, that the public's support for Democrats last fall had to do with the party's conversion to taking up the serious issue of the day, that being Iraq, than the clearest signal Democrats could send the public about the party's position on the occupation of Iraq, and towards American empire more broadly, would be to unequivocally pull the plug on the siphon of cash.

The potential downside I see to this isn't over the matter of "supporting the troops". The problem will be if shutting off the war-cash spicket has negative economic repercussions across the country--that is, the U.S. country--as money drains away from the nation's most prolific employer of last resort; the U.S. military and the multitude of contractors attached to it. That is to say, the ongoing occupation isn't just a political issue, confined to matters of "terrorism" or "stability" in the Middle East, as much as it is about funding military pork around the country and continuing to prop up the Military Industrial Complex, whose existence and grotesque size belies the lack of comparable military threats opposing it.

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