An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Keep the Voice Alive
"Jan. 28, 2008, is a date that will live in congressional infamy. Congress surrendered the power of the purse over national security affairs to the White House.
President Bush appended a signing statement to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 denying the power of Congress to withhold funds for establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq, or to control its oil resources. The statement tacitly averred that Congress was required to appropriate money to support every presidential national security gambit, for example, launching pre-emptive wars anywhere on the planet or breaking and entering homes to gather foreign intelligence.
....The National Defense Authorization Act's restrictions on President Bush in Iraq were no novelty. Congress has repeatedly legislated to constrain the president's projection of the military abroad or has otherwise overridden his national security policies.
....Yet Congress acquiesced...." - Kevin Drum, Politico
But Democrats are no longer satisfied with merely approving all the emperor's whims. Now they seek to punish those who dare dissent from their submission:
"Before the Nevada primary, [Presidential candidate] Dennis [Kucinich] was visited by representatives of Nancy Pelosi and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee — AIPAC. They told Dennis that if he would drop his campaigns to impeach Cheney and Bush, they would guarantee his re-election to the House of Representatives.
Kucinich threw them out of his office. (Note: this story has since been denied by Kucinich. However, it remains symbolic of the relations between progressives and Democratic leadership).
Dennis now faces the toughest election campaign of his entire tenure in congress, with huge amounts of money being spent to turn his constituents against him due to 'his neglect of his district while he ran for president.'" - Portland IndyMedia, Feb. 6, 2008.
Those who have followed the words and deeds of Mr. Kucinich over the past few years know that he is being punished for much more than honoring his obligations to the Constitution to impeach those guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. "Kucinich has aggressively challenged the Democratic Party leadership in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail on the issues of war, civil liberties, impeachment and big business control of government. He's even refused to pledge to endorse the party's presidential nominee." - Kevin Zeese, "Is Kucinich Being McKinnied?", Feb. 8, 2008.
His real crime was exposing the craven surrender of Democrats to the imperial agenda and for that he must now pay the price. Pelosi and AIPAC might well study the results of similar acts of tyranny in recent history. But such tyrants seem incapable of learning from history that " ... every frail being slain by Church and State grows and grows into a mighty giant who will someday free humanity from their perilous hold." - Emma Goldman. Kucinich is targeted because he has made himself vulnerable by his stubborn and daring adherence to principle. It is likely that the Democrats will soon rid themselves of this irritating voice of courage and truth, but once they have succeeded, they may well discover the price of their moral comfort is far more bitter than any could foresee. Be this as it may, the exigencies of power compel them to make an example of Kucinich, "So, Kucinich needs to be taught a lesson that other members will learn from. The growing revolt of the 'Out of Iraq Caucus' needs to be kept impotent. Knocking out Kucinich will prevent others from too loudly disobeying leadership." - Kevin Zeese, "Is Kucinich Being McKinnied?", Feb. 8, 2006.
Throughout history, those who spoke as Dennis speaks have almost invariably been crucified. They are rarely attractive, never the preferred talk show guest, and those in power feel great relief as soon as their screeching is removed. But something dies in us and the world in the silence following their removal. And nothing ever replaces that voice.
The voice of conscience is not so easily silenced. Dennis is now in the fight of his life. We can allow Democrats to complete their surrender by attacking all those who don't join in their moral collapse, or we can give help to those who keep the voice alive. Please consider making a sacrifice to keep Dennis in office: Re-Elect Dennis Kucinich for Congress