This Week You Need To Know
Anticipating President Bush's psychotic babbling to the nation on Jan. 10, Congressional Democrats decided to throw down the gauntlet to the Bush Administration, showing clearly that they are prepared to wield the independent power of the Legislative branch to stop the mad rush to war.
When the Senate Democrats held their retreat on Jan. 5, senior party leaders Bill Clinton and George Mitchell attended, and emphasized the need for the Democrats to take the offensive and set the agenda, rather than react to the White House. The result was Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy's hard-hitting speech on Jan. 9 at the National Press Cluba preemptive attack on Bush's anticipated "surge" proposal, on the eve of the President's address to the nation. As expected, Bush called for an additional 21,500 troops to be deployed in Iraq; not expected, was Bush's virtual declaration of war against Iran and Syria.
Kennedy should be seen essentially as a point-man for a Democratic strategy that includes a mobilization for a non-partisan resolution opposing the surge, which is now broadly identified by members of Congress and others, as a spearhead for war against Iran. Senators on both sides of the aisle are also loudly warning against an impending strike on Iran, and indicating that it would be a trigger for impeachment. Whether the Democrats are prepared to take the follow-up steps, toward impeachment, which White House intransigence demands, is still a wide-open question.
In his Press Club address, Kennedy announced that he was putting forward legislation which would require the President to come to Congress before increasing the number of troops in Iraq. "Our bill will say that no additional troops can be sent and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation, unless and until Congress approves the President's plan," Kennedy said....
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