Ithaca Blog

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Is there any way to think of our elected representatives as anything but traitors, as they betray the call of Americans for an end to the war in Iraq?

The 2006 elections were a mandate for an end to the war. Americans turned away from the Republicans to the Democrats to make it happen. The Democrats made promises and plans, then allowed them to wither and die. They voted today to spend another $120 billion to continue this deadly debacle.

The will of millions of Americans means little to these politicians, next to the billions of dollars involved. The bill they have passed includes a lot of trade-off money for Democratic politicians and patrons.

And of course, the $100 billion-plus that is spent on the war is a large enough amount that, although most of it goes to Republican-friendly patrons, there is enough for the Democrats, too.

The interest of both parties is controlling money. That's their sole concern. Amassing it; appropriating it.

Money is the most potent means to power - and the easiest. Legitimate power, borne of good leadership, is hard to achieve. But money and its strength flows easily, if you don't mind how or why.

The war in Iraq has already lasted longer than World War II, for two reasons. In World War II everyone sacrificed. In this war, the rich don't sacrifice and they don't serve. In World War II, war profiteers were hunted down and prosecuted as criminals. In this war, profiteering by the rich is the goal.

We need to take one step further than the turning away from the Republicans. That's to turn away from the Democrats, too, and towards a third party that will respect the will of the people, and the principles of representative government, rather than the mastery of money.

When you look at what they do - forget about how they talk, or pose; look at how they vote - you realize it's not just our best shot, but our only shot.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog

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