Greens Blast Bipartisan Approval of $87 Billion for the Occupation.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Greens urge all Americans who oppose the war to join the October 25 protests, and to defeat yea-voting Democrats and Republicans in 2004.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States sharply criticized the House and Senate approval, with overwhelming bipartisan support, of President Bush's $87 billion request for the occupation of Iraq. Greens called the votes a rubberstamp by most Democrats and Republicans for the Bush Administration's invasion and occupation of a foreign nation.
"By their votes they make themselves known. These Democratic and Republican incumbents are firmly on the side of the President's unpopular war policy," said Ben Manski, Co-Chair, Green Party of the United States. Manski, a Wisconsin Green, added that he was especially disturbed by the pro-war vote by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D. -Wis.), saying that the vote had moved Feingold solidly into the war camp.
In the House, 83 Democrats, including Dick Gephardt (D.-Mo.), joined 220 Republicans to pass the bill; 118 Democrats voted nay. In the Senate, only 11 Democrats voted against the bill; Joseph Lieberman (D.-Conn.) voted yea. Sen. John Edwards (D.-N.C.) supports the U.S. occupation, but voted nay as a criticism of President Bush's lack of an adequate occupation plan.
"With so many Democrats blessing Bush's invasion and occupation, that leaves the Greens as the party of opposition to the Bush-Cheney doctrine of empire," said Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate to the national party.
"Democrats also helped pass the surrender of Congress's constitutionally mandated war powers over to Bush in October, 2002. These votes suggest that Democrats will maintain many of Bush's most destructive and belligerent policies. Without Greens in the 2004 races, the national debate will be between two pro-war factions."
Greens noted that the vote in Congress guarantees a longer term of service in Iraq for U.S. troops, placing them at greater risk of injury and death in what has become a low-intensity war. Green Party members will participate in demonstrations across the U.S. on Saturday, October 25 against the continued occupation.
The Green Party of the United States opposed the invasion of Iraq from the beginning, protesting the Bush Administration's deceptive justifications for the war and calling it a grab for oil and a violation of international law, the Nuremberg principles, and U.S. Constitution, which prohibits invasions and requires adherence to international treaties. The Green Party endorsed a 'Uniting For Peace' resolution in May and a resolution in July calling for all U.S. troops to be returned stateside by the winter holidays, and demanding that the United Nations take over efforts for humanitarian relief, reconstruction, and establishment of democracy in Iraq.
"One day the American people will realize all they have lost to fund this illegal war," said New Mexico Green Carol Miller. "The only winners are the military industrial complex. It is time to bring the U.N. into Iraq to lead its reconstruction and movement towards democracy. And it is time to bring more voices into our political system so that we can have a democracy here."
Uniting For Peace Coalition http://www.uniting-for-peace-net