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Strategizing With leaders of the Anti-War Movement (Democrats Collude w/ Pro-Terrorist Leftists)
SpiritualProgressives.org ^ | Friday, September 7, 2007 | Rabbi Michael Lerner

Posted on 09/08/2007 8:02:53 PM PDT by kristinn

The Network of Spiritual Progressives

Strategizing with leaders of the Anti-War Movement

Posted Friday, September 07 2007 Rabbi Michael Lerner This is a slightly edited version of a phone conference call convened by the NSP with the goal of establishing more contact and cooperation between various segments of the anti-war movement, and encouraging long-term strategic thinking. On the call were Tim Carpenter of Progressive Democrats of America, Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, Rick Ufford chase of the Christian Peace Wtiness for Iraq, Leslie Cagan of UFPJ, Dot Maver of Ept. of Peace, Rabbi Michael Lerner and Nichola Torbett of NSP, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of the Progressive Caucus of the House, Congressman Jim Moran, and many other significant national leaders of the efforts to the end the war in Iraq.

8/29/07: Iraq War Strategy Call

Present on the call:

Mark Johnson, President, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Dan Nejfelt, Faith in Public Life

Nichola Torbett, Network of Spiritual Progressives

Dot Maver, Dept of Peace

Medea Benjamin, Code Pink

Leslie Cagan, UFPJ

Rick Ufford-Chase, Christian Peace Witness for Iraq

Michael Lerner, NSP/Tikkun

Dave Belden, Tikkun Magazine

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA)

Tim Carpenter, Progressive Democrats of America

Jean Stokan, Pax Christie ______________________________________________________

Nichola Torbett: I thought we’d start by with a check in from each person where you tell us what you’ve been working on right now, and that relates to your vision of what it’s going to take to get us out of this war, i.e., the logistical piece, but also the strategy piece that’s behind that. We’re hoping to devote about ten minutes at the end about what we can be working on together. Congresswoman Woolsey, would you be willing to start us off?

Congresswoman Lynne Woolsey: Let’s start with what it’s going to take. It’s going to take some courage to not fund continuing the occupation. But we have to make sure that ending the war is not perceived as abandoning the troops. So what the triad (Congresswomen Woolsey, Waters, and Lee), are proposing ( H.R. 508 by Barbara Lee) is that we only fund a safe and orderly redeployment, including bringing the big equipment out of Iraq.

So that’s what we’re focusing on. Now, what’s it going to take for the Democratic leadership to do something bold? I don’t know. I promise you that we’re not going to stop pushing. But there’s still a lack of understanding that the reason we’re in the majority is that the people of this country wanted us to lead in bringing our troops home.

So your role (the NSP and the other organizations represented on this conference call) is to keep on doing what you’re doing. Help people change the conversation from “abandoning the troops” to funding orderly redeployment. I’m telling you, that’s going to take six months to a year. If we don’t get started…and they don’t want it to happen, the Republicans. Then we have Senator John Warner (R-VA) saying, “Start [redeploying the troops] by Christmas.” I think we should build on that, by the way, even though he doesn’t mean it with the same intensity we do. But we have to make it look like this is the beginning of something that could happen so that Democrats could get some courage.

Rabbi Michael Lerner: Is there any strategy that you have to accomplish that with your fellow Democrats?

Woolsey: Well, we have the Progressive Caucus that have had a letter that fifty-some members of Congress signed to the president saying that we won’t vote for another dime that isn’t focused on bringing our troops home. We’re invited into the leadership meetings and we push back, push back, push back, such as the Abercrombie legislation that they tried to get us to vote on before we left—which did nothing, I don’t know if you followed that. Our energy is going to pushing against our own people.

Medea Benjamin: Congresswoman Woolsey, do you know how Nancy Pelosi will play this whole thing out?

Woolsey: No, of course I don’t know, but I think it’s going to be…One, we can’t wait for the Senate, and I think it’s going to be possibly, and this is the most recent, we’ll revote on the Skelton initiative that was already voted on once. We’ll link it to Abercrombie that tells the president to put together a plan, and then revote on Tauscher, that says you can’t send troops in that haven’t had rest. But none of that is new.

Benjamin: And what will happen when that’s vetoed?

Woolsey: Oh, well, the Senate won’t pass it, so it won’t get to the president. So my argument is, if the Democrats are going to do something that the Senate won’t do anyway, then we might as well do something that’s meaningful, and show the country that there are Democrats who are willing to lead. So I mean, I know it’s all frustrating and I wish I could tell you that “this is the way it’s going to be,” and this is how wonderful it’s going to be, but it isn’t going to be.

Did you see the Chronicle today? The ACLU Ad portraying two sheep? One was Pelosi kicking on his ear and the other was Reid. It was a paid ad from the ACLU. It was embarrassing, quite, quite embarrassing for Democrats, I think.

Progressives know that whether we spend money on this or not is going to make the difference. That’s all the House can really do, the budget part of it.

Lerner: Do you have a context within which you can actually have this conversation with the people in the Party that don’t yet agree with you?

Woolsey: Well yeah, we have it. We have it at Caucus; we have it in the Speaker’s conference room. Believe me, the three of us are invited to everything, because they now have caught on that if the progressives wont support it, it goes nowhere.

Tim Carpenter: We’ve been working hard. UFPJ, PDA, a number of groups have been doing email blasts during the recess and Congressional visits. We’ve generated a little over 9,000 of those emails blasts into the [Speaker’s?] office supporting the Triad’s strategy in the last three weeks. And with the press conference tomorrow, it looks like a number of other organizations will also be sending out the link, as UFPJ and PDA are doing it, as far as getting you the support, just from own Caucus members who haven’t signed off on the letter, to try to get that number up for you in the next week or two. That’s something on the call that we can maybe collectively strategize on, on those specific members, and Bill’s been helping us with that list. Just to move that seventy number up to eighty or eight–five, by the time you get back in early September.

Woolsey: That’s all very useful, Tim, and it’s very meaningful. Because people aren’t in the streets, because they’re electronically communicating, it’s easier for the Congress or the media to pretend that it isn’t happening, but it isn’t visible. Now people start asking: “Why aren’t people on the streets?” And I say that they are on the streets, they’re on their blog, and they’re communicating. We get 3000 emails sometimes in a day, and other members are too, and you cannot pretend that the public’s not interested in this.

Carpenter: We have a blog written right now Lynn, the pledge blog, where there’s a direct link to get the email blast into the Speaker, and we’ve gotten that on about thirty different sites. So we’re really working hard on driving that as well, and the last thing that Barbara really stressed to us was to keep the emails, letters and phone calls coming to the Speakers office. Medea’s been doing great on the street-heat part.

Woolsey: Ok, here’s something. I believe that Nancy (Pelosi) is with us, and she’s counting on you guys and Barbara and Maxine and me to push from the Left in the Congress. But the people that need to hear are the moderate Democrats who are holding up the whole thing. They’re the ones who have to know that their people care, that they bring our troops home. They swear they don’t. They swear that they’ll lose their elections if they do the right thing.

Leslie Cagan: I think that it would be helpful to know, not necessarily at the top of your head right now Lynn, a list of who those people are, because I would venture to say that at a lot of those places a lot of people are doing work at the grassroots, whether that’s setting up meetings, or demonstrations, or letters to the editor. At least in our network of activists, through the legislative action network, are really standard all around the country. I’m not saying that every single one of those people that you’re talking about, Lynn, has been dealt with, but I’m sure a lot of them are getting some pressure from some of their constituents.

Woolsey: Well, my question is: How come Walter Jones gets it, and Democrats don’t? What’s missing in this picture? He’s got as difficult of a district as anybody. So, I’m not putting it all on you. I think what you’re doing is magnificent. And you know that MoveOn is tying the war to what these districts aren’t getting in their local budgets. And I think that’s very positive.

Cagan: But their strategy through the “Iraq Summer” has really been targeting the Republicans. Their strategy has been to peel away Republican supporters of the president. To be honest, I think a lot of their strategy is geared towards the Presidential elections and the Congressional elections next year. But nevertheless, their focus has been clearly stated: peeling away Republican support for the war. They’re not going after the Democrats.

Woolsey: Well, maybe you folks should go after the Democrats.

Carpenter: That’s our piece.

Benjamin: Well, we’re trying Lynn. We can’t even get Nancy Pelosi to meet with her own peace constituents. I would like to know: doesn’t she have the power to put a bill on the floor and not put it on? Can’t she decide that we’re not going to keep funding this war?

Well, it has to be a funding bill, and the supplemental is our next chance. It’s going to be soon.

Lerner: Pelosi could simply not bring up any funding bill for the military. She could not bring it up, and then say: “We’re only going to bring it up if you agree to end the war.”

Woolsey: That we’re only going to be spending our money to bring the troops home. And that’s what we’re going to be pushing for, I promise.

Lerner: Instead of bringing it to the floor where she knows she’ll lose the vote, she’ll refuse to bring it to the floor.

Woolsey: Well, she could do that, but it’s going to cost money to bring the troops home. The Democrats are more afraid of being labeled as abandoning, and if we fund the safe, orderly redeployment, then indeed folks will start phrasing it that way, including our own leadership, and then we can abandon the mindset that we’re not abandoning our own troops. The Republicans will say it, but Democrats have to quit saying it.

Benjamin: Lynn, if there’s no change of heart from the leadership of the Democratic Party now, is the most likely scenario that Bush will get his now 200 Billion dollars for the war with no timeline?

Woolsey: Well, it could be, yeah.

Benjamin: Is that the most likely scenario now?

Woolsey: Well, we had fifty-some members sign a letter saying no more money except to bring the troops home.

Carpenter: We’re at 70 now, Lynn.

Woolsey: Ok, 70 now, thank you.

Benjamin: But if Pelosi doesn’t take that one seriously, things will play out the way it did with the last 95 billion.

Woolsey: It could. Of course, that’s my greatest fear.

Lerner: The only thing she could do is to not bring that bill to the floor. She knows that on the floor, she would lose the vote.

Woolsey: Yeah, she might not. She could put the same amount of energy into the Blue Dogs as she puts into the progressives to be key members.

Carpenter: This seems to be unlike May. This is the line in the sand vote. We in PDA should make it clear that if there are Democrats who are on the wrong side of this one, that there will be primary opposition when they seek their own renomination as the Democratic candidate for Congress. This movement has now drawn the line. If they’re not with us at this point in time, then we need to keep upping the ante from our end, to communicate to those Blue Dogs and those moderate Democrats the political consequence of this vote.

Woolsey: I think that’s a good idea, Tim. I’d hate to lose the majority, but I’m telling you, if we don’t stand up to our responsibility, maybe that’s the lesson to be learned. I don’t know.

Lerner: There’re two votes here: I keep on going back to the issue of bringing it to the floor, because once it’s on the floor, all the Democrats who are waffling, that is, the non-seventy other Democrats, a lot of them can vote against he bill, knowing that a minority of Democrats will vote with the majority of Republicans to pass funding without specifying a date for ending the war. Then it goes through, with the majority of the Dems voting against it but in a maneuver that actually made it possible for it to pass. But the way it can be stopped is by having Nancy to refuse to bring it—to refuse to bring that authorization to the floor, and bring a different authorization for troop withdrawal.

Woolsey: And that’s what we’re going to be pushing for.

Carpenter: That’s the Lee amendment,

Dot Maver: We bring a different constituency here to this call, and many of our folks are insistent that we need to paint a compelling and credible vision of the future that actually unifies action. That includes making this the final, if you will, war. Of course we want out of Iraq, and of course we want to end this and to begin redeploying troops immediately. But painting such a compelling vision and to reduce and prevent violence ultimately—there has been no Republican or Democrat that has disagreed with us on our visits to the Hill or throughout this country that violence is of epidemic proportions, and that the war is a huge symbol of that. I just invite us to think about what we can do together. Our constituency is not taking an “anti” stance: We are absolutely not for war and what we are doing is painting this picture. We’ve got the stats and a lot of support from both sides of the aisle that maybe we could talk about that vision that could be painted in this, as you called it, “final grandstanding.” It’s a no-brainer: money should be spent first domestically, and internationally, but domestically to reduce and prevent violence and bring programs and whatnot back to our inner cities and communities.

Woolsey: Well you’re absolutely right, and smart security is one of the good answers to that. I’d like us to not divert our energies right now before the supplemental. I think we start talking now, yes, but we should put every ounce of energy you have into this, into Iraq. Don’t go off onto impeachment—stay on Iraq. And then if we can’t change enough minds to have Democrats look like they…

Lerner: …have a backbone.

Woolsey: …Have a backbone. I was going to say something else [laughs]. Then you’re going to want to do other things, just out of frustration, and I don’t blame you. We’ve got September. Let’s just focus on this for a little while. And I think you guys in all that you do, and you’ve got me and Barbara and the Progressive Caucus, and Maxine and the Out of Iraq Caucus. You know, we’re going to the early primaries and looking at Iraq in people’s choices for their presidential candidate. We’ve been to Iowa and Nevada, and we’re going to go to more, because this is how important we think it is.

Lerner: It’s great that you’re doing that.

Woolsey: Thank you.

Benjamin: Does the Skelton Amendment have a timetable?

Woolsey: Well, it’s the one we did before—and it passed.

Benjamin: So the Skelton-Abercrombie-Tauscher passes…

Woolsey: It’s three different things…

Benjamin: If all of those pass, and then something more watered down passes in the Senate, it would be a replay of last spring. It would go to Bush, he would veto it, and then we could be pushing Pelosi not to put anything back on the table.

Woolsey: Except I’m not sure this supplemental isn’t going to come up before then. It’s up to her to bring it.

Benjamin: Wouldn’t then these be amendments on this supplemental?

Woolsey: No. You don’t amend a supplemental.

Lerner: That’s the problem.

Carpenter: That’s where we get boxed in.

Woolsey: Thank you so much for doing all you’re doing, and I’d love if someone gave me a report of where we’re going.

Jim Moran: Lynn, this is Jim Moran, the Congresman from Virginia. Thank you.. You’re doing a heck of a job, and I know everyone on the line realizes the terrific job you’re done in organizing the Out of Iraq Caucus and keeping the pressure up. So thank you from somebody that watches what you do everyday and appreciates it.

Woolsey: Thank you Jim. Goodbye everybody.

Lerner: Let’s go around and talk about other peoples’ strategies. We’re heard about what we need to do for September, but this call is also about laying out peoples’ long-range vision of strategy, given that there’s very little chance we’re going to get out of this war in the next two months.

Mark Johnson: We’ve been most directly involved with the emergence of the October 8th fast with the National Council of churches and the Shalom Center. That falls, in some ways, after strategic dates here. We’ll continue to monitor local activity in forty chapters and sixty-five affiliates, and serve as connector to groups that are doing things locally. We’re also part of an ongoing conversation that Rick Chase can talk about with the Christian Peace Witness plan to have national vigiling starting September 16th. Our primary activities as a national organization are working on Iran, an ever-emergent threat, and work in Columbia.

Dan Niefeld: Rick and I were talking earlier about how to get local activities around the Christian Peace Witness, and the fast, and ongoing vigils. We talked about raising our profile in the media, which can turn up the heat on people who represent the people who’re coming out. We have some organizing tools and some media tools that reinforce each other, such as computer mapping. toolkits, workshops for people who are organizing these events, to get them media. That’s something we need to focus on, because that’s something that can turn up the heat on people who are finally turning against the war, namely evangelical Christians.

Dot Maver: Thank you everybody. As many of you know, our stance is not to talk “anti-war” stance, but work side-by-side with you, and paint a picture with those who are choosing that same line of what’s beyond war, if you will. We’re doing walks for peace and around the country in September, alongside many of you, on the international day of peace. We’ll be in Japan for the global alliance summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace—thirty-two countries now that call for structures in government that support and encourage–building and the beginning of the end of all wars. Calling for a fresh approach—dialogue so that all needs are met. We also have a student alliance that’s growing by leaps and bounds. One of the reasons that I’d like to talk to some of you offline—our students are looking to partner and have alliances with every group. These are students that don’t protest on campus because they don’t simply want to fight against—they want to create communities where we don’t have this kind of violence anymore, whether it’s war or domestic violence, or whatever. The dovetailing that we were invited to think about has invited tremendous response for ways for me to think about so that we’re working together and painting the whole picture.

Cagan: Let me just begin by saying: We don’t know how this war’s going to end. This has been a nightmare for five years—almost five years now, before the war began. A lot of people in UFPJ and other folks have been trying all kinds of things. I don’t mean to be pessimistic—our movement is growing, and we’ve made a tremendous difference, and I can’t even begin to imagine how things would be if we weren’t all active and out there.

In the short term, we do believe that September is a critical time, in terms of what Congress can do, what they might do, what they probably won’t do. Nonetheless, they’ll be a lot of attention and focus on Congress, and we’ve been pushing hard for people around the country to keep the heat on Congress, especially during the august recess to lay the foundation for a continued push on Congress.

In fact, we just sent out a memo today to our member groups that we’re initiating a call-in next Thursday. They come back next Tuesday; we’ll give them a little bit of a breather, and then hopefully flood their office with phone calls. We invite everyone to join those calls—tomorrow we’re sending out a memo to MoveOn and True Majority and Working Assets everybody else we can think of to encourage to join that call-in day. And we’ll see what Congress does and doesn’t do.

We do believe that this war is not going to end in September, and that there will be a need for ongoing anti-war manifestations after that. In June, our national assembly decided to initiate a call for regional action—regional anti-war demonstrations on October 27th. The goal here is to, to the degree that it’s possible, tap into what we call the 70 percent (whatever the actual numbers are), the vast majority of the people of the country that oppose the war—maybe for a lot of different reason—who have not spoken out, not taken any action, not found a way to be visible in their opposition. So we’re experimenting with these regional actions. Instead of a day of a day of decentralized actions, or sending everybody to Washington or San Francisco, there’ll be about ten different sites around the country with hopefully very large crowds.

Beyond that, we’re beginning to look at 2008, as the country has already been forced to, in the election cycle. Both the Congressional and the Presidential races—not that we will support a particular candidate or political party, we certainly will not do that—but again, how do we begin injecting not only ending this war and occupation, but also preventing a war in Iran, preventing any other military operations like this, and beginning to put forward a much more thorough peace and justice agenda, and how to use the election process to work through that agenda.

We don’t have things nailed down yet, but we’re going to keep hammering away at Iraq for as long as necessary, and hopefully doing that in a way that people are beginning to connect on immediate and more long-term issues.

Rick Ufford-Chase: We are clearly the new kids on the block, so I’ve listening and leaning from all of you. Our coalition has been around for ten months now, and it’s pretty clearly designed to move Middle Americans out of the pews and into the streets, and to give them a way to do that that feels authentic to their faith, that feels like a natural progression for them. To that end, we’re working to create opportunities that link worship and action. The Christian Peace Witness for Iraq event that we did on March 16th was a great start, but we’re clear that it was just the beginning. We’re also clear now that this is a long-term proposition: no matter what decisions are made now, or six months from now, there’s going to need to be a long-term effort to hold our politicians feet to the fire and make it clear that we mean it when we say we want to be out.

So our next steps are threefold: On the 16th of September, as Mark has already alluded, we’re going to begin a constant vigil and witness against the war: twenty-four hours a day, indefinitely. And what we mean by that is that we have a retooled website that just they went live last week, and there’s a calendar function on it. We’re inviting Christian faith communities and faith communities to sign up for a block of time—we’re encouraging twenty-four hours at a time—and they will cover the vigil and witness for a particular amount of time, whatever they feel is most appropriate. That goes back to one of the critiques of our own work in March. Folks wanted a way to take this local, and they wanted a way to link the war to issues in their own communities. So we’re trying to create as much freedom for people to do that in their own communities as we possibly can. We’re still trying to figure out exactly how we’re going to link all those efforts, so it feels seamless, as if we’re going to create a genuine community.

That’ll be going on at all times, and we expect to have somebody that will be doing that vigil and witness. I’m hoping that by November we’ll be doing two, three, four a day, and by the end of the year, up to a dozen or more on average everyday. We’ve been talking with folks at Faith in Public Life to talk about a media strategy that’ll go with that. So part of a vigil and witness will include media outreach, public action, vigil, worship, meeting with Reps., educating folks using some of the fabulous DVD and video resources available.

The second thing we’re doing is much easier to describe because some of you folks already know about it. That’s what Mark also referred to. We’re signed on as major supporters of the Columbus Day interfaith fast to end the war in Iraq. That’s a pretty major part of our website and we’re encouraging all of our folks to be involved. We’re now beginning to lay out the strategy for another Washington witness, similar to the one we did on March 16th at the National Cathedral and White House. We’re still trying to figure out all the details on that, and what the dates will be. We’re kind of torn between doing it in early November, and doing it in early March as we did it this year, to be on or near the first anniversary of the war, as opposed to early April in order to bring attention to the fifth anniversary of the occupation. We’re looking forward to finding ways to work cooperatively with the rest of you.

Lerner: The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) has as its major focus attempting to change the discourse of the anti-war or peace movement from “out now, end this” to answering the larger question that so many of us have of “what does that withdrawal mean for the U.S. and its role in the world?”

Because we know that many people who oppose the war are nevertheless unsure about how the US can get out without making the situation worse and without abandoning its role in the world, we are trying to encourage a national conversation about the fundamentally flawed idea that lies behind the war in Iraq, which is what we call “the Strategy of Domination.” The core bad idea is this: that the world is full of hurtful people who will hurt us unless we hurt them first, that they will dominate us unless we dominate them and so we have no choice but to take strong aggressive action lest they come to our very homeland and attack us. And of course, that could happen, but it will happen bccause we’ve been acting on that fear for decades, and attempting to dominate the world, in the course of which we’ve spread a great deal of pain and hence generated a great deal of anger.

We want our Congresspeople, and all the people who shape public opinion to begin to take seriously the notion that homeland security could be better achieved through a Strategy of Generosity rather then a Strategy of Domination. war to protect ourselves is by dominating others.

The Right says that you dominate through the military, but the liberals often say no, we can dominate through a variant of that, “soft power,” namely through economic and diplomatic means. Those are code words for domination as well.

We’re arguing that the West needs a fundamentally different paradigm. It’s one that would have tremendous impact because it’s intuitively obvious to many, many people in their own lives, and in their workplace and so on, that people do do more effective work when they go with cooperation and generosity, rather than with domination and fear. That, from our perspective is the most important thing to do: Change the liberal/progressive discourse so that we have an alternative intellectual and spiritual framework.

Specifically, that leads us to advocate for a Global Marshall Plan, and our call to dedicate between 1 and 2 percent of the GDP each year for the next twenty, for the purpose of eliminating global poverty, homelessness, hunger, inadequate education, and inadequate healthcare, both domestically and abroad.

1 to 2 percent of the GDP can do that. But the specific Global Marshall Plan only makes sense in the context of a general assault on the underlying ideology that makes this war and every other war seem plausible.

Torbett: We at the Network of Spiritual Progressives have a few chapters that are holding September 11th events that are focused on how 9/11 has been used to create a culture of fear that feeds right into the strategy of domination and the need to dominate the rest of the world. So we’re working on how to tell a different story about what happened on that day, and focus on the generosity and compassion that was shown on that day by the vast majority of the people in the world versus a small group of people that acted on violence.

Many of our chapters are getting involved with local event planned by groups, many of whom are on this call. Our members will help bring our people to those events and bring the Global Marshall Plan and the Strategy of Generosity to those events.

Lerner: We’re also proposing a modification on the plan to have people refrain from working for a day in protest—the Iraq Moratorium. Our proposal is that we try to get people once a month, on the day of the Iraq Moratorium, to stop doing whatever they’re doing for five minutes and stand in silence, both in mourning for those who have been killed, and in solidarity with the peace movement. People that would be driving, for instance, would be asked to pull over to the side of the road and stand next to their car for five minutes—and wherever people were to just stand in silence for five minutes. If that could happen, it would be a more effective way to indicate a moratorium than by not going to work, because when they’re not going to work, you don’t see them, and here’s something more visible.

Cagan: Are you projecting that as part of the Iraq War moratorium, which is going to be the third Friday of every month, or are you suggesting another date?

Lerner: We’d like to do this as part of the Iraq War moratorium, but we’re suggesting that this is a much more visible way to make this more powerful.

Torbett: Tim, would you like to say a little more about what the PDA I going to be doing?

Carpenter: This call is a bridge-building call, so Dot, Rick, we’d be happy to post short articles on the events you’re going to be doing. Folks that aren’t familiar with PDA on this call—we are not the Democratic Party. As far as framing, you can think about us as the progressive base of the party. We’ve the folks trying to do the fieldwork to help folks like Lynn, Barbara, and Maxine in regarding to building a progressive governing majority. I know for some of the folks on this call, partisan politics isn’t in your framing, but think of us as that avenue that can help do that outreach.

We have called what we call our “issue organizing team” once a month—all the folks within PDA that are doing work on Iraq. We’ve been organizing calls. We’re organized by Congressional district, I don’t know how everyone else has been organizing, so you folks can come on the calls, and often times military families have been speaking out—Medea, Leslie, etc. Those calls are open, and hopefully we can find some intersection with everybody on this call to talk to our folks that have been doing Congressional work. Also, the way our database is organized, specific events you’ve organized, specifically around October 8th, we’d be happy to go into the database and curry up people in those geographical regions to help you on that.

As far as the short term, I think Lynn really underscored it, and I don’t know if the Congressman is still on, the vote is in three weeks, and we’ve been working really hard on this peace pledge—we’ve got a blog button, if you can get it up on your website, get it out on your network.. When a person comes to that petition and signs it, in the autoreply, they’re then encouraged to email both the Speaker and their own Congress member. We have in the text of the letter the Congresspeople that have already signed, and we encourage people to thank those members. Often times we go after those Congress members who are not doing the right thing; we want to encourage people to thank those Congresspeople who are doing the right thing. So those tools are available and I’d be happy to get that out to anybody who’s here.

Our timeline as the vote finishes up is to identify candidates who will be running in 2008 who we can support, to begin doing that now, and to challenge Democrats who are voting wrong on the war. When Leslie was talking about the regional events on October 27th, our hope is that activists can see those candidates within their own communities who are committed to move forward and take this question inside the electoral arena.

The last piece that Lynn left you with, and we’re encouraged by, and I think is a great intersection for everybody here is that they [Congresswomen Woolsey, Lee, and Waters] are truly committed to going out into those pre-primary states and we’re going to work with them. It’s difficult to get all three of them in one place, but we’re hoping that they’ll in New Hampshire on November 2nd or 3rd. We’re going to hopefully set that up by October 10th, and that will be a vehicle for all of us to work together so that we’ll all their—with your literature, with your tables, so that we can work collectively. As Lynn said, they’re going to be there to challenge candidates, not to support anybody, so it’s going to be a real opportunity. We could really use some cooperation, some cross-fertilization, and some unity within the peace and justice movement.

I think that if they move around the country, and especially after the vote, it’s going to get more and more divisive and if it becomes clearer and clearer that the nominee is not going to be to our liking that we articulate what it could be, as Dot was saying, and for those of us that are in the progressive part of our own party, to speak out. So that’s the last piece that we’ll be working on, and I’m really looking forward to a follow-up call or however we move this process forward. My email address is tim@pdamerica.org and I’d be glad to go offline with anybody and look forward to working with everyone.

Torbett: Congressman Moran, would you like to say a little bit before we open it up to more discussion?

Moran: I’d be happy to. I just returned from Iraq on Monday (Aug.27), and I thought I might describe some of the impressions that I got and what I might expect will happen in the Congress in September.

I’m a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, and it was in that capacity that we talked with General Petraeus, Oderno, and the rest of them, as well as senior Iraqi leaders. We have weaponized that entire country. There are more jersey barriers than blades of grass, and more weapons than there are people. The military is performing well, and that’s what Petraeus is going to say. The result of the military success is going to be wholly inconsistent with our values, and certainly unworthy of the sacrifice of our military families. You could have the greatest car ever manufactured and drive it at the right speed, but if you don’t have the right map, you’re never going to get to your destination, and that’s the situation we have with the military. I personally think we put too much money into the military, but any way you put it, the end result is going to be Shiite theocracy that is suppressive of woman’s rights, human rights, and is closely aligned with Iran, with the most conservative elements of the Iranian government.

The Iraqi police have coordinated with the Shia militia, and they’ve cleansed most of Baghdad of Sunnis. The last time I was there, Baghdad was about 50 percent Shia, 50 percent Sunni. Now it is more than 75 percent Shia. There have been 4 million people from the Sunni middle class forced out of their homes, 2 million out of the country. There are 20,000 people who have been imprisoned—85 percent of them are Sunni. This is in country when only 20 percent of the population are Sunni. Only 10 percent of them have actually been charged with any crime. The police under the Ministry of Interior are corrupt: They are stealing weapons and money, and it is an embarrassment that we are supporting and empowering them. The Malaki government is not something we should be supporting. They are part of the Dawa Party, a semi-terrorist Islamic secret society, and the most moderate is the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), with very close ties to Iran. So I won’t go into that any more, but I’m just saying that the end result, even if we are successful, is not anything we could ever be proud of.

We know now that the President is going to recommend an additional 50 billion dollars on top of the 145 billion that he’s already said he’d going to request as supplemental. In the House, we’ve already passed 560 billion for the regular bill, and passed another 130 billion dollar supplemental earlier this year. If you add all that up, it comes to almost 800 billion dollars that we have made available for war making in this country. That’s more money than we’ve ever devoted to any other initiative; it’s more money than we would need to make this a better country and a better world.

One of the most striking juxtapositions is New Orleans. With the 450 million dollars we are spending everyday now in Iraq, we could transform New Orleans, and rescue it and make it a city we could be proud of. Instead we’re rebuilding Baghdad, and Mosul, and Tikrit and I call tell you that the Iraqi people are not appreciative. The Government is. The Government is because they’re using us and getting wealthy on our money. The people are oppressed and never see their government, and blame us for the conditions that we have imposed on them

Now, to talk about strategy: I’m going to recommend that Mr. Murtha reject the 50 billion entirely, take the 14 billion, and use it solely for withdrawal purposes. I asked Gen. Petraeus in Iraq whether he had made plans for withdrawal, and he said “No! There are no contingency plans for withdrawal.” He said: “I don’t know how to do it. It takes six months just to close down one military base, and you can’t do many simultaneously.” You can check on how many military bases we have all over Iraq. So basically they’re created a situation that they think precludes any ability to withdraw from that country in any reasonable period of time. I hope that we are going to recommend that the money that the President is requesting for Iraq be used solely for withdrawing our troops, weapons, and facilities.

And I think it is important for us to withdraw our weapons, because if we don’t take all that sophisticated, lethal weaponry out of that country they’re going to use it to kill each other eventually.

Now, one thing about Al Qaeda, since the President continues to mention Al Qaeda—there are only about 100 Al Qaeda in all of Baghdad, and only 1000 in the entire country. Now granted, they will pay people to do their dirty work, but there are very few Al Qaeda, it is hardly a war, and a policing action and [not?] and occupation, if anything. They are not going to be a sustained force in Iraq. Just to give you one example: Al Qaeda is saying that it’s a sin to smoke. They’re cutting of the fingers of smokers. Everybody in Iraq smokes cigarettes. It hasn’t been discussed, but it’s a principal the Sunni sheiks have turned against Al Qaeda in Anbar province. We’re taking credit for it, which is fine, but a lot of it is a reflection that this is a secular society, and all least the Sunni wont tolerate the Talibanization of their villages.

To go back to the supplemental: I hope we will only use the supplemental for the purposes of withdrawal. If we are successful, and I don’t know if we will be, but I know this is what Jack Murtha wants to accomplish, and if we can get it through the whole appropriations committee, and the House leadership stands firm, I think we might be able to get 220 votes in the House. That looks to be about what we can get in that situation, assuming we get two or three Republicans. The Senate is much more difficult, I don’t think we can get sixty votes in the Senate. As you know, we need more than a majority to kill a filibuster, and I don’t think even Senator Warner would support language that would do that. But if we could get sixty votes in the Senate, the President would veto it, and we can’t override a veto. It’s inconceivable that we could. So this war is going to continue until we have a national referendum, and that’s going to occur in November of 2008, when we elect a President who is absolutely committed to ending this misguided military mission that will make future generations of Americans ashamed what this generation of Americans allowed to happen. I’ve talked too much, but if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to respond.

Everyone: Thank you.

Moran: Thank you for what you’re all doing. I’d like to think that I’d be doing what you’re doing—organizing, protesting, and speaking out. If I were performing your role, I’d hope I had the courage and the intellect that you do. But I sure appreciate the fact that you do, and you make me proud to be an American and serve in this Congress. Unfortunately, when you look at how little we’ve been able to accomplish—and I don’t think it’s the Speaker’s fault, we’ve got too many risk-averse members—when you look at what we allowed to happen with FISA and the fact that we’ve allowed this to continue, the political process is very frustrating. If we didn’t have people such as yourselves, it’d be very easy to give up on it and go to Canada. You are the democratic process and I hope that you will prevail one day, and sooner rather then later.

Lerner: Is there any strategy on how to get the Speaker to stand strong?

Moran: The Speaker doesn’t have the votes. If you see what has happened in the Democratic Caucus, I don’t think you’d be quite as critical of the Speaker. She really is trying. She doesn’t have the votes; she doesn’t even have the complete support of some of the leadership.

Lerner: House Majority Leader Hoyer is against her, right?

Moran: Well, I don’t want to name names, but…There are members who have somewhat other agendas. Principle one is, of course, to maintain a Democratic majority in the House. We cobbled together a majority by winning in a lot of seats that tend to be conservative: in the South, in the rural Midwest, and so on. These members are very much afraid that if they get to far out front, they’re going to lose their seat, and they’re be advised to not take risks so we can sustain this majority.

You know, it’s a calculated decision, and it’s a difficult one. I think I know where Nancy is in her heart, and I think she is where we are. But she’s in a leadership position now: She needs to represent more than her immediate constituency; she’s got to represent the Democratic Party, and there’s a whole lot of Democrats that are far more reluctant to challenge this President and to make waves.

Just as we have Democrats in conservative Republican seats, they’ve got more Republicans in what have become Democratic seats. We’ve got to target them. They’re going to have to choose between their loyalty to their constituency versus their President. Their President is on his way out, and when you talk to them privately, their share a lot more misgivings then they express publicly, and I think we need to tap into those misgivings. I think we need to put pressure, for example, on Chris Shays, Tom Davis, Ray LaHood, [Note: LaHood has announced his retirement from Congress] Mike Castle in Delaware…I won’t go down the whole list, but you can figure that out.

And then, look at the freshman. Look at the freshman. These freshmen think that they walked a tight rope and they barely got elected. The reality is that most of the freshman, and the entire Democratic majority in a general sense, were elected because we were supposed to carry out a referendum on the war, and end this war. And that’s what they need to understand. If they don’t fulfill that mandate from the American people, then they don’t deserve to be representing their constituencies. I don’t know if they got their [pressure?] this month in August or not, but they should have, and you guys are the best ones to articulate that.

Carpenter: Congressman, I hope that when you’re on the floor, you can have that discussion with Jerry McNerney [Note: McNerney won a tough battle in 2006 in the exurban Bay Area for a Republican-leaning seat against powerful Republican Richard Pombo]. It was very disappointing to hear his remarks this past month.

Moran: I found it difficult to believe in my friend Brian Baird, too. I know Jerry thinks that he represents fairly conservative district because Richard Pombo represented it, but that district is changing. It split down the middle, and Jerry needs to be on the right side of that divide.

Carpenter: At the teaching moment, when we did that letter with Barbara and Lynn, John Hall who basically has the same kind of district, [Note: John Hall beat longtime Republican Rep. Sue Kelly in an exurban New York City district in 2006] John had no trouble in signing that letter, where Congressman McNerney has just been all over the map this month. It’s been very disappointing.

Moran: Well, he is a good person, and I don’t want to be critical of him. There is a right target. He needs to hear from his constituents who know why they put him there, and a lot of the groups who did the fieldwork who enabled Jerry to get elected. You know, it’s difficult as a freshman. I know that when I came in in 1990, we had the first Persian Gulf War, and I was inclined to vote for the war. Then I thought about it overnight, and I decided I couldn’t. I voted against the war, and for the first few years, it hounded me. I was glad that I didn’t vote for that war, and I feel more and more comfortable with it as the years go by, but those are tough decisions, and Jerry’s facing that right now. He needs to hear from the people he’s going to be proudest to represent in the long run, and those are the people against this war, and in favor of reinvesting that money and rebuilding our society and protecting our environment. Those are the people who enabled him to get elected, and he needs to hear from them.

I’m going to sit down and talk with Brian [Baird]. I hope that some of his remarks were somewhat mischaracterized. I can’t believe that he fell for the spin of the generals and the sheiks and the Iraqi government when he was over there.

Carpenter: We’ve been trying to heat up in Northern California.

Moran: Northern California is key. There’re an awful lot of seats, and it’s turning, and as Northern California turns, it’s a pendulum that swings the national mood. I do think that thanks to President Bush—it’s the one positive legacy that’s left, that this country is going to reject that kind of conservatism, and anti-government philosophy, and militarism, and thuggishness that he has represented—the pendulum is going to swing to the left. And those members who are not part of that cutting-edge curve of the political shift are going to be very disappointed. They’re going to end up on the sidelines of history, and you guys are going to end up in the forefront. I really think we’re at a transitional time. You got to keep the momentum going, and the pressure, and you’re doing that. I keep repeating myself, but I really appreciate all that you do.

I got to tell you, Barbara, Lynn Woolsey, and Maxine Waters, you know, they really deserve a lot of appreciation. And from what I hear, I think Nancy deserves a little more appreciation than she’s getting. She’s on the hot seat, and it’s very difficult. If you heard the caucuses that are not public, and could hear the arguments that she makes to sway some of the conservative members, I think you’d be much more impressed with her. You’ve got a great delegation in California, and consistently California has been in the forefront of our national politics. Particularly working the Northern California delegation is going to have tremendous rewards for the nation in the long run.

Benjamin: Congressman, I still don’t understand the strategy. I’m in Nancy Pelosi’s district. We’re been doing a hunger strike, a campout outside her home in August—she wouldn’t even have a meeting outside with any of the peace groups—she said when she became speaker that defunding the war was off the table, so you might feel like she’s with us at heart, but we don’t fee like it out here. We don’t understand that if she can get 220 votes for some version that includes something with a timetable for withdrawal—something, as watered down as it might be—if that doesn’t go through, then why should she put anything else on the table?

Moran: There’s nothing else that she can put on the table because the spending leverage power we have is the only power we have. It’s the power of the purse. All the rest of the stuff really doesn’t matter. It amounts to rhetoric.

Lerner: She shouldn’t put forward a spending resolution. She should simply say that she won’t put anything to the floor of the House that includes spending for the war unless the President agrees to end the war, and use the money to take them home. That’s the power. The danger is that there would be rebellion in the Caucus, but from what you’re saying, it sounds as if even if she doesn’t have the votes of all of the Caucus, she would have a majority of votes in the Caucus for keeping a spending resolution from reaching the floor.

Moran: There was an amendment that Neil Abercrombie offered just before we left. Some of us spoke strongly against it. It was to give the President sixty days to come up with a plan to how to end the war. Well of course that means the plan would not have to be presented until October, after we would have appropriated all the money to continue the war indefinitely. There were a lot of people—probably the majority of the Democratic Caucus, and all of the Republicans voted for the thing. It passed out of the Armed Services Committee something like sixty-two to two. Duncan Hunter spoke in favor of it. She [Pelosi] was under tremendous pressure to do that, yet she listened us, which was primarily the Out of Iraq Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, and she killed it with no fanfare. I know, and Jack [Murtha] has told me that she wants to put a further limitation on any further funding that will [not?] end this war. That is her intent.

But I also know that some people in the leadership and a couple caucuses who don’t want that to happen, who feel that it’s going to set us back. They think the way that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) thinks. Have you read any of Al From’s articles or listened to his speeches? That’s what he’s saying. That we’ve got to be the party of more military aggressiveness and so on, we’re too weak on security, etc., etc. I don’t want to put words in his mouth. There is a DLC element in the Democratic Caucus, and it’s enough people that it can kill legislation.

Nancy can’t let anything get to the floor that is defeated. If this was to get to the floor and we didn’t have the votes, it’d be an enormous setback.

Benjamin: Wait, you had the McGovern amendment that went to the floor and got a good number of votes, but not enough, and it wasn’t a setback, that was movement forward.

Moran: The McGovern amendment was terrific. We really did well. But it was kind of tangential. I’m talking about the supplemental spending bill.

Benjamin: But that showed that their were fifty more Democrats who were willing to put themselves forward as wanting to put an end to the war, and I think if you go forward with the supplemental that includes restrictions in using it, and if Nancy Pelosi used her weight to get the Blue Dogs…Now everything she says is that it’s the fault of the sixty votes in the Senate. She never mentions that it’s people within her own party, and I don’t think she’s put the pressure on them—in fact, I know she hasn’t put the pressure on them. So if she could get something with 220 votes, which I don’t think is impossible, if she put the pressure, and if that didn’t go through the Senate, or if by some miracle it did and it got vetoed, then she could respond by not putting anything forward. And that’s what we’d like to see her do.

Moran: I would too, and I really believe that if she can, she will. I don’t want to be an apologist for Nancy, but neither do I want to undermine her in any way. She is the strongest Speaker we’ve had. I don’t want to be in her shoes, because I imagine the pressures that she gets. I know she is as frustrated as I am and Jack Murtha, the Out of Iraq Caucus, etc., that we have not gone anywhere in terms of fulfilling our mission to end this war. And it is showing in the poll results. And they know that we lost ten percentage points in the polls when we failed to have a definitive statement on the war in the last spending bills.

Lerner: Why did she enable the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act (FISA)?

Moran: She was led to believe, as was all of the leadership, that the White House thought there was going to be a terrorist attack in August. They were trying to set us up, so we would leave the country allegedly vulnerable, not passing any FISA legislations. The Senate passed it and then went home, and if we didn’t pass what the Senate did, there would be no bill, and there would be this gap in the ability for the National Security Agency to wiretap. I thought the whole thing was phony; I voted against it, a lot of us did. We had a very vigorous Democratic Caucus [debate] but again, the prevailing view among the leadership and the same people who are reluctant to end this war was that for the sake of the Democratic Party and the long-term ability to retain a majority, we’ve got to pass the Senate version. I thought it was a mistake, I said it was a mistake, and the majority of Democrats voted against it, and Nancy voted against it.

Lerner: But she enabled it.

Benjamin: She’s the enabler, Jim. We see through that. She allows 200 Billion dollars to go through for war with no timeline for it; she’s going to lose the progressive part of this country.

Cagan: You know, there is one other thing. You know, you’re in a difficult position Congressman to speak for or against Nancy. One thing you could do is talk to her about meeting with us, so this conversation that we want to have with Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have to go through you or other member of Congress, but that that the anti-war forces, both within her own district and nationally as Speaker of the House, would like an opportunity to have her hear from us directly. Perhaps those of you who understand the value and importance of this anti-war movement could put in a word with her office and her directly that it’s not a crazy idea to meet with us.

Pelosi: I have suggested that, and have suggested that she meet with you, Michael, but she has an acute memory of you having protested in front of her office and apparently some other tactics. Everybody’s human, no matter what position they’re in, and they particularly get their feeling hurt when they feel that people who are close to them are critical.

Benjamin: You know, we camped outside of Dianne Feinstein’s house and she came out and talked to us. We were delighted—she took thirty minutes to talk to us, and we left. We’ve been outside Pelosi’s and she called us ‘nuts’. She doesn’t understand. She hasn’t talked to her constituents for a year and a half. She hasn’t had a town hall meeting. As Leslie said, she hasn’t talked to the national anti-war movement, I don’t know if she’s talked to MoveOn, but certainly not the rest of us. So we’re not ‘in’ on the strategy, all we see is that she’s become the enabler in this war, and it turns us against her, instead of working with her.

Moran: I understand that, but you know, it’s awfully difficult to get a liberal from San Francisco who is a woman elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. I have enormous admiration for Nancy: for her ability, for her intellect, for her heart, and I know where her heart is, and she is a progressive through and through. She’s under intense pressure, and that’s why I’m defending her. I’ve got my disappointments, too, but when you’ve got a woman as strong as her who is willing to make the sacrifices to get and retain a Democratic majority, and to push progressive legislation, I’m going to support her. I’m not going to argue with any of you, because I’d probably be saying the same thing if I were in your position. But I do believe that Nancy is one of us, and that’s why she has the reaction that she does. This is like family criticizing you: “Don’t you know who I am, and what I’ve done all my life? How can you do this to me”? I think she has a much more adverse reaction to what you do because she feels so close to you, then some conservative organization whose views she didn’t share.

Benjamin: Well, her strategy for ending the war isn’t working. It’d be nice if she sat down with us so maybe we could work with her in a different way.

Moran: I know that, but in all fairness, until we get a Democratic president, until we get a president who is committed to ending the war…

Cagan: …That may be a long time before we get that.

Carpenter: We’d have to be on the phone for a lot longer for that discussion.

Moran: That’s for sure. But the President gets to veto anything that gets to his desk. It’s inconceivable that we could override such a veto. The reality is that this war is going to continue as long as the person in the White House wants it to continue. And that’s what happened with Johnson, and Nixon, and throughout history. We’re going to have a national referendum, and it’s going to be in 2008. We’ve got to elect somebody who’s absolutely committed to end this war, and honestly, that’s the only way we are going to achieve that objective.

Carpenter: When we did have a meeting with Pelosi last summer when the May vote was coming up, and she calculated when MoveOn came to her with the plan, and at that we within the movement were pushing very hard, as you know, to allow the Lee amendment to come to the floor to at least get the vote. As you know, Barbara took it all the way to the Rules Committee, where Congressman McGovern [tried, attempted, in a way?]. The piece that Pelosi does understand, and the frustration what I want to remind her is that we’re winning by losing. Going up and having the vote with McGovern when we had 171 and we didn’t win, and you know how hard it took us to get to that vote.

She made a calculated decision, as did MoveOn, to go in May. It was more of a setback now that we look at it. She is winning, and I’d like to leave you with this thought if you’re able to talk to her: If we’re able to get from 171 to 182 or to 200 or 204, and yet if we ultimately lose the numerical fight on that specific vote, she needs to understand that we need to frame that we’ve moving everyday, and that is a victory. Losing that principled vote you gain more in the long run. In the short term I know she needs to watch her back with the leadership in the cloak room and so forth. She has trouble understanding this, and I hope this is the point you and your colleagues can make: We are winning, if we get the vote as you heard from Lynn and Barbara and Maxine. McGovern’s going to come back through as a result of the 171 vote. She has to make a calculated decision. If she’s going to come to the progressive members this time and ask you to be there, it seems to me the progressives need to be united in August before we get through to September, to make it clear that without that vote on the Lee Amendment, either as a stand-alone or as part of the supplemental and authorization, that the progressives simply can’t move. She’s got to go back to the Blue Dogs and not come back to the progressives to capitulate and not look to Raúl Grijalva at the last minute, who was clearly with us all the way until three minutes before the vote, when he was asked to move.

She needs to understand winning by losing: That if we can get that stand-alone vote, and even if we end up losing it, that if we move it from 171, even if it’s to 175, that we’re winning. I know it’s hard when you’re counting votes, and you’re working with your whips and your Majority Leader and you’ve got to deliver a victory. She’s got to get outside of that box and understand that she’s winning by having that vote, and how much more we outside can deliver at the end of the day to bring us to that ultimate vote. I just want to leave on that note, because if you, in that quiet moment can sit there wit Jim McGovern and so forth and explain procedurally the importance of having a stand-alone or at least getting the Lee Amendment as part of the Appropriations Supplemental, so that we at least have a vote that will allow the progressive members of Congress stand strong with the movement, those of us outside of Washington, it’ll show the American people that this party does have the wherewithal, and that although we may not succeed in this vote, we’ve come from forty-three to eight-nine, to 171, to whatever that number may be, even if it’s not the majority at this point in time. I don’t want to belabor it much more, but I hope you can covey that to her. We really are winning by having that vote.

Moran: Tim, I do agree with you. What I want to happen is that limitation to be put on the supplemental Iraq spending bill, because then it has real power. I think Jack Murtha would agree that that’s the limitation that should be on that bill, and I will express that, I agree with you, and I hope that we can see it through. You’re absolutely right. The Republicans have figured out: It’s the base that matters, and we need to understand that it’s the base that’s going to get the majority elected and continued in office, as long as we’re willing to show the kind of courage and commitment that is deserving of your efforts. I will try to convey that and I hope that you’ll see that kind of language on the Iraq spending bill. If you don’t, then we failed and…

Lerner: Meanwhile, we hope you all understand that we appreciate you, and all that you’re been doing and saying, and your stands. The frustration you’re hearing is not about you.

Moran: No, I understand, but frankly, it is about me. I know how wrong this war is and so I have a responsibility to try and end it. I saw what happened with the Vietnam War, and so many of my classmates were killed in that war, and have nothing to show for it, nothing that was achieved. There’s nothing more important than ending this war today, and if we don’t these words are nothing more than words. We’ve got to show results. I know that’s what you’re asking and you deserve nothing less. Thank you all.

Everybody: Thank you Congressman.

Moran: Thank you. Goodbye.

Cagan: Well I’m a little confused. I’m happy that both the Congresspeople we’re on the call, but I’m a little confused. It was great that both Lynn and Jim were on the call, because we got to hear their thinking and push, especially Jim, a little bit. But that wasn’t the call I thought was going to happen.

Lerner: Here’s why I invited them: I thought they were the two people that, amongst the ones that I know, think strategically at times. We didn’t get to that level. If we’re going to talk about a strategy to end the war, I think the intent of the call is to try to bring anybody with a serious constituency who thinks strategically. This got too focused on the immediate vote, and it definitely wasn’t the conversation I thought we were going to be having either, I do think it we good to have a regular conversation among the people who have constituencies, think strategically, to share their thinking. What do you think?

Cagan: I think that’s right. That’s the whole point of UFPJ. It’s a question of using the structures that are already in place and not adding more conference calls to our lives. I thought that part of the point of this was to help prepare an article for Tikkun.

Lerner: It turns out that since the call was so immediately focused and people were talking about things they’re going to do in September, it makes more sense for us to send this out on our 100,000 or so person email lists, and put it on our web site. Many of us on this call know that this war is going to be facing the next president, and if it’s a weak Democrat whose not sure that they’re willing to

http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php?story=20070907191110516


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: codepink; iraq; jimmoran; medeabenjamin; michaellerner; ratcrime; redjihad; religiousleft; wot
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I'd lik to thank Rabbi Lerner for giving us this intel. For those who don't know, Code Pink and UFPJ are Marxist front groups that have endorsed the terrorists in Iraq and have worked with them to try to bring about our defeat in the war on terror. Reps. Wooley and Moran are traitors for working with them.
1 posted on 09/08/2007 8:03:02 PM PDT by kristinn
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To: 1 Olgoat; 103198; 10Ring; 11Bush; 1stbn27; 2ndClassCitizen; 2SterlingConservatives; 2yearlurker; ...

D.C. Chapter ping. For your edification.


2 posted on 09/08/2007 8:07:45 PM PDT by kristinn
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To: kristinn

Ping for the morning read.


3 posted on 09/08/2007 8:09:40 PM PDT by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
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To: kristinn

thanks for the heads up. Bookmark for later printing.


4 posted on 09/08/2007 8:09:56 PM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: kristinn

Thanx Kristinn,

great post, I would like to add that all of the democrats are traitors to the troops and to the country....


5 posted on 09/08/2007 8:16:28 PM PDT by The Forgotten Man (He works, he votes, generally he prays--but he always pays....)
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To: kristinn

Well you know as the saying goes at least its my best motto (afte the Bible): “Infomation equals ammunition”. -I actually pulled this (but it works) from a cartoon that aired in the late ‘90s..

Thanks for the info, we can use this peer behind their deranged minds!


6 posted on 09/08/2007 8:23:29 PM PDT by JSDude1 (When a liberal represents the Presidential Nominee for the Republicans; THEY'RE TOAST)
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To: kristinn

7 posted on 09/08/2007 8:28:21 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: kristinn

I read about half of that. It’s interesting to see the mindsight of lefties on the war, and what was really interesting was how they are trying to frame the war as a war of “domination” and that we won’t be attacked if we have a war of “generosity”

At one point they mention a “Global Marshall Plan” to dedicate 2% of our own GDP to foreign countries...(barf)


8 posted on 09/08/2007 8:36:06 PM PDT by Tears of a Clown
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To: Tears of a Clown

“Carpenter: ...As you know, Barbara took it all the way to the Rules Committee, where Congressman McGovern [tried, attempted, in a way?]. The piece that Pelosi does understand, and the frustration what I want to remind her is that we’re winning by losing. Going up and having the vote with McGovern when we had 171 and we didn’t win, and you know how hard it took us to get to that vote.”

Holy moly, the dems really do believe that “winning is losing.” Wow.


9 posted on 09/08/2007 8:40:17 PM PDT by Tears of a Clown
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To: kristinn

dims ARE pro terrorist leftists... every last POS one of them!

LLS


10 posted on 09/08/2007 8:48:20 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Support America, Kill terrorists, Destroy dims!)
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To: kristinn

“Having been convicted of treason......to be hung by the neck until dead”.


11 posted on 09/08/2007 8:49:28 PM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: kristinn
If these fools weren’t so dangerous they’d be hilarious. What a circular firing squad! LOL
12 posted on 09/08/2007 8:50:49 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (Our next president--Fred Thompson!! http://www.ImWithFred.com)
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To: LibLieSlayer
Just imagine how many of them are working inside intell committees, the CIA, Justice, and State.

I'd put money on the fact that they are giving info to the enemy in Iraq, and to OBL.

13 posted on 09/08/2007 8:51:38 PM PDT by roses of sharon
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To: kristinn
They're socialists. Anti-American socialists. To call them liberals is to view them as patriots who accept the American system but have a difference of opinion. They aren't - they are exactly the opposite. They reject America, they reject capitalism and they reject freedom.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

14 posted on 09/08/2007 8:53:03 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: LibLieSlayer
dims ARE pro terrorist leftists... every last POS one of them!

Well, there are millions of people ("Independent voters") around the country who will not believe you, and will continue to vote for Democrats. And by the way, this thing is not new. If you are old enough, you will remember that bastard scoundrel Congressman Ron Dellums who stood under a North Vietnamese flag on the steps of the Capitol and gave a speech at the height of 'Nam.

15 posted on 09/08/2007 9:16:36 PM PDT by nwrep
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To: kristinn
These people are delusional. They think they were elected to end the war, but their ideas wont get through the Senate.

Democrats were elected because they obstructed everything the Republican Congress tried to do and then they stood back and said, 'the Republicans are inept' and the people fell for it.

The P in Democrat stands for Patriotism.


16 posted on 09/08/2007 9:33:51 PM PDT by do the dhue (Don't let Jihad Jane do what Hanoi Jane did!!!! SEP 15, 07 Gathering of EAGLES DC)
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To: kristinn

bump for later read.


17 posted on 09/08/2007 9:35:18 PM PDT by khnyny (Hillary has given Bill a new title: Chief Flying Monkey)
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To: kristinn

Plotting defeat and surrender with our troops in the field? Sure sounds like treason to me. (Giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States...never mind *being* a domestic enemy)


18 posted on 09/08/2007 10:32:07 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: SandRat
I got that book today at the MoveAmericaForward rally in Crawford, TX. (well yesterday now I guess). Got it dedicated and autographed by Lt. Col. Patterson himself.

Of course I haven't read it yet, am still finishing "Domestic Enemies" by Matt Bracken, aka Travis McGee.

19 posted on 09/08/2007 10:36:20 PM PDT by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: kristinn

bump for later


20 posted on 09/08/2007 10:49:46 PM PDT by RaceBannon (Innocent until proven guilty; The Pendleton 8: We are not going down without a fight)
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To: kristinn

I wonder how that group of traitors will react when they find out Lerner could be working for the mossad and the cia....


21 posted on 09/08/2007 10:50:41 PM PDT by Yehuda ("Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!" (Choke on it, pinkos!))
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To: kristinn

The Dimocratz must’ve enjoyed being in the wilderness for 40 years. Now they’re following the roadmap to get back to the same place.


22 posted on 09/08/2007 10:53:41 PM PDT by Rembrandt (We would have won Viet Nam w/o Dim interference.)
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To: kristinn

P1ss on the left.


23 posted on 09/08/2007 10:54:48 PM PDT by rbosque ("To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." - Teddy Roosevelt)
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To: potlatch; PhilDragoo; ntnychik; dixiechick2000; kristinn
preload='http://domania.us/Oaccess/007/-DrNoTheme.mp3'
1000x750-257K
DrNo-No-key.gif-100x30 Mango-key.gif-100x30

24 posted on 09/09/2007 1:11:43 AM PDT by devolve
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To: kristinn
Did you see the Chronicle today? The ACLU Ad portraying two sheep? One was Pelosi kicking on his ear and the other was Reid. It was a paid ad from the ACLU. It was embarrassing, quite, quite embarrassing for Democrats, I think.

The ACLU did something right!

This thing reads like a seditionist cabel plotting our downfall - complete with a few weak rationalizations.

25 posted on 09/09/2007 2:23:07 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink)
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To: kristinn
Progressive Democrats of America (gag!)

Medea Benjamin

Leslie Kagan
26 posted on 09/09/2007 2:44:57 AM PDT by Beckwith (dhimmicrats and the liberal media have .chosen sides -- Islamofascism)
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To: kristinn
Moran spells his name wrong

It should be MORON....

IF he were any more stupid, his head would implode....

27 posted on 09/09/2007 3:17:26 AM PDT by dirtbiker (I'm a liberal's worst nightmare: a redneck with a pickup, a library card, and a conceal carry permit)
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To: devolve
ONE WAY TO STOP DR NO:

Law & Order on the Campaign Trail

FRED VETS, SIGN UP TODAY AT:

28 posted on 09/09/2007 4:20:58 AM PDT by W04Man (I'm Now With Fred http://Vets4Fred.net)
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To: kristinn

Both Code Pink and UFPJ are Medea Benjamin’s bastard children.


29 posted on 09/09/2007 5:59:28 AM PDT by Doctor Raoul
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To: kristinn

Thanks, Kristinn, for this excellent window into how the enemy thinks. And these people are the enemy. I scrolled through in a hurry, but I will go back and read the entire transcipt carefully.

I would say shame on the Michael Lerner crowd, but shame is a deceased sentiment for these hateful people. They must be resisted by any means.


30 posted on 09/09/2007 6:10:56 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: kristinn; 1stbn27; 2111USMC; 2nd Bn, 11th Mar; 68 grunt; A.A. Cunningham; ASOC; AirForceBrat23; ...

murtha buddy alert:

Moran: I’d be happy to. I just returned from Iraq on Monday (Aug.27), and I thought I might describe some of the impressions that I got and what I might expect will happen in the Congress in September.

I’m a member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, and it was in that capacity that we talked with General Petraeus, Oderno, and the rest of them, as well as senior Iraqi leaders. We have weaponized that entire country. There are more jersey barriers than blades of grass, and more weapons than there are people. The military is performing well, and that’s what Petraeus is going to say. The result of the military success is going to be wholly inconsistent with our values, and certainly unworthy of the sacrifice of our military families. You could have the greatest car ever manufactured and drive it at the right speed, but if you don’t have the right map, you’re never going to get to your destination, and that’s the situation we have with the military. I personally think we put too much money into the military, but any way you put it, the end result is going to be Shiite theocracy that is suppressive of woman’s rights, human rights, and is closely aligned with Iran, with the most conservative elements of the Iranian government.

The Iraqi police have coordinated with the Shia militia, and they’ve cleansed most of Baghdad of Sunnis. The last time I was there, Baghdad was about 50 percent Shia, 50 percent Sunni. Now it is more than 75 percent Shia. There have been 4 million people from the Sunni middle class forced out of their homes, 2 million out of the country. There are 20,000 people who have been imprisoned—85 percent of them are Sunni. This is in country when only 20 percent of the population are Sunni. Only 10 percent of them have actually been charged with any crime. The police under the Ministry of Interior are corrupt: They are stealing weapons and money, and it is an embarrassment that we are supporting and empowering them. The Malaki government is not something we should be supporting. They are part of the Dawa Party, a semi-terrorist Islamic secret society, and the most moderate is the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), with very close ties to Iran. So I won’t go into that any more, but I’m just saying that the end result, even if we are successful, is not anything we could ever be proud of.

We know now that the President is going to recommend an additional 50 billion dollars on top of the 145 billion that he’s already said he’d going to request as supplemental. In the House, we’ve already passed 560 billion for the regular bill, and passed another 130 billion dollar supplemental earlier this year. If you add all that up, it comes to almost 800 billion dollars that we have made available for war making in this country. That’s more money than we’ve ever devoted to any other initiative; it’s more money than we would need to make this a better country and a better world.

One of the most striking juxtapositions is New Orleans. With the 450 million dollars we are spending everyday now in Iraq, we could transform New Orleans, and rescue it and make it a city we could be proud of. Instead we’re rebuilding Baghdad, and Mosul, and Tikrit and I call tell you that the Iraqi people are not appreciative. The Government is. The Government is because they’re using us and getting wealthy on our money. The people are oppressed and never see their government, and blame us for the conditions that we have imposed on them

Now, to talk about strategy: I’m going to recommend that Mr. Murtha reject the 50 billion entirely, take the 14 billion, and use it solely for withdrawal purposes. I asked Gen. Petraeus in Iraq whether he had made plans for withdrawal, and he said “No! There are no contingency plans for withdrawal.” He said: “I don’t know how to do it. It takes six months just to close down one military base, and you can’t do many simultaneously.” You can check on how many military bases we have all over Iraq. So basically they’re created a situation that they think precludes any ability to withdraw from that country in any reasonable period of time. I hope that we are going to recommend that the money that the President is requesting for Iraq be used solely for withdrawing our troops, weapons, and facilities.

And I think it is important for us to withdraw our weapons, because if we don’t take all that sophisticated, lethal weaponry out of that country they’re going to use it to kill each other eventually.

Now, one thing about Al Qaeda, since the President continues to mention Al Qaeda—there are only about 100 Al Qaeda in all of Baghdad, and only 1000 in the entire country. Now granted, they will pay people to do their dirty work, but there are very few Al Qaeda, it is hardly a war, and a policing action and [not?] and occupation, if anything. They are not going to be a sustained force in Iraq. Just to give you one example: Al Qaeda is saying that it’s a sin to smoke. They’re cutting of the fingers of smokers. Everybody in Iraq smokes cigarettes. It hasn’t been discussed, but it’s a principal the Sunni sheiks have turned against Al Qaeda in Anbar province. We’re taking credit for it, which is fine, but a lot of it is a reflection that this is a secular society, and all least the Sunni wont tolerate the Talibanization of their villages.

To go back to the supplemental: I hope we will only use the supplemental for the purposes of withdrawal. If we are successful, and I don’t know if we will be, but I know this is what Jack Murtha wants to accomplish, and if we can get it through the whole appropriations committee, and the House leadership stands firm, I think we might be able to get 220 votes in the House. That looks to be about what we can get in that situation, assuming we get two or three Republicans. The Senate is much more difficult, I don’t think we can get sixty votes in the Senate. As you know, we need more than a majority to kill a filibuster, and I don’t think even Senator Warner would support language that would do that. But if we could get sixty votes in the Senate, the President would veto it, and we can’t override a veto. It’s inconceivable that we could. So this war is going to continue until we have a national referendum, and that’s going to occur in November of 2008, when we elect a President who is absolutely committed to ending this misguided military mission that will make future generations of Americans ashamed what this generation of Americans allowed to happen. I’ve talked too much, but if anyone has any questions, I’d be happy to respond.

Everyone: Thank you.

Moran: Thank you for what you’re all doing. I’d like to think that I’d be doing what you’re doing—organizing, protesting, and speaking out. If I were performing your role, I’d hope I had the courage and the intellect that you do. But I sure appreciate the fact that you do, and you make me proud to be an American and serve in this Congress. Unfortunately, when you look at how little we’ve been able to accomplish—and I don’t think it’s the Speaker’s fault, we’ve got too many risk-averse members—when you look at what we allowed to happen with FISA and the fact that we’ve allowed this to continue, the political process is very frustrating. If we didn’t have people such as yourselves, it’d be very easy to give up on it and go to Canada. You are the democratic process and I hope that you will prevail one day, and sooner rather then later.

Lerner: Is there any strategy on how to get the Speaker to stand strong?

Moran: The Speaker doesn’t have the votes. If you see what has happened in the Democratic Caucus, I don’t think you’d be quite as critical of the Speaker. She really is trying. She doesn’t have the votes; she doesn’t even have the complete support of some of the leadership.

Lerner: House Majority Leader Hoyer is against her, right?

Moran: Well, I don’t want to name names, but…There are members who have somewhat other agendas. Principle one is, of course, to maintain a Democratic majority in the House. We cobbled together a majority by winning in a lot of seats that tend to be conservative: in the South, in the rural Midwest, and so on. These members are very much afraid that if they get to far out front, they’re going to lose their seat, and they’re be advised to not take risks so we can sustain this majority.

You know, it’s a calculated decision, and it’s a difficult one. I think I know where Nancy is in her heart, and I think she is where we are. But she’s in a leadership position now: She needs to represent more than her immediate constituency; she’s got to represent the Democratic Party, and there’s a whole lot of Democrats that are far more reluctant to challenge this President and to make waves.

Just as we have Democrats in conservative Republican seats, they’ve got more Republicans in what have become Democratic seats. We’ve got to target them. They’re going to have to choose between their loyalty to their constituency versus their President. Their President is on his way out, and when you talk to them privately, their share a lot more misgivings then they express publicly, and I think we need to tap into those misgivings. I think we need to put pressure, for example, on Chris Shays, Tom Davis, Ray LaHood, [Note: LaHood has announced his retirement from Congress] Mike Castle in Delaware…I won’t go down the whole list, but you can figure that out.

And then, look at the freshman. Look at the freshman. These freshmen think that they walked a tight rope and they barely got elected. The reality is that most of the freshman, and the entire Democratic majority in a general sense, were elected because we were supposed to carry out a referendum on the war, and end this war. And that’s what they need to understand. If they don’t fulfill that mandate from the American people, then they don’t deserve to be representing their constituencies. I don’t know if they got their [pressure?] this month in August or not, but they should have, and you guys are the best ones to articulate that.

Carpenter: Congressman, I hope that when you’re on the floor, you can have that discussion with Jerry McNerney [Note: McNerney won a tough battle in 2006 in the exurban Bay Area for a Republican-leaning seat against powerful Republican Richard Pombo]. It was very disappointing to hear his remarks this past month.

Moran: I found it difficult to believe in my friend Brian Baird, too. I know Jerry thinks that he represents fairly conservative district because Richard Pombo represented it, but that district is changing. It split down the middle, and Jerry needs to be on the right side of that divide.

Carpenter: At the teaching moment, when we did that letter with Barbara and Lynn, John Hall who basically has the same kind of district, [Note: John Hall beat longtime Republican Rep. Sue Kelly in an exurban New York City district in 2006] John had no trouble in signing that letter, where Congressman McNerney has just been all over the map this month. It’s been very disappointing.

Moran: Well, he is a good person, and I don’t want to be critical of him. There is a right target. He needs to hear from his constituents who know why they put him there, and a lot of the groups who did the fieldwork who enabled Jerry to get elected. You know, it’s difficult as a freshman. I know that when I came in in 1990, we had the first Persian Gulf War, and I was inclined to vote for the war. Then I thought about it overnight, and I decided I couldn’t. I voted against the war, and for the first few years, it hounded me. I was glad that I didn’t vote for that war, and I feel more and more comfortable with it as the years go by, but those are tough decisions, and Jerry’s facing that right now. He needs to hear from the people he’s going to be proudest to represent in the long run, and those are the people against this war, and in favor of reinvesting that money and rebuilding our society and protecting our environment. Those are the people who enabled him to get elected, and he needs to hear from them.

I’m going to sit down and talk with Brian [Baird]. I hope that some of his remarks were somewhat mischaracterized. I can’t believe that he fell for the spin of the generals and the sheiks and the Iraqi government when he was over there.

Carpenter: We’ve been trying to heat up in Northern California.

Moran: Northern California is key. There’re an awful lot of seats, and it’s turning, and as Northern California turns, it’s a pendulum that swings the national mood. I do think that thanks to President Bush—it’s the one positive legacy that’s left, that this country is going to reject that kind of conservatism, and anti-government philosophy, and militarism, and thuggishness that he has represented—the pendulum is going to swing to the left. And those members who are not part of that cutting-edge curve of the political shift are going to be very disappointed. They’re going to end up on the sidelines of history, and you guys are going to end up in the forefront. I really think we’re at a transitional time. You got to keep the momentum going, and the pressure, and you’re doing that. I keep repeating myself, but I really appreciate all that you do.

I got to tell you, Barbara, Lynn Woolsey, and Maxine Waters, you know, they really deserve a lot of appreciation. And from what I hear, I think Nancy deserves a little more appreciation than she’s getting. She’s on the hot seat, and it’s very difficult. If you heard the caucuses that are not public, and could hear the arguments that she makes to sway some of the conservative members, I think you’d be much more impressed with her. You’ve got a great delegation in California, and consistently California has been in the forefront of our national politics. Particularly working the Northern California delegation is going to have tremendous rewards for the nation in the long run.

Benjamin: Congressman, I still don’t understand the strategy. I’m in Nancy Pelosi’s district. We’re been doing a hunger strike, a campout outside her home in August—she wouldn’t even have a meeting outside with any of the peace groups—she said when she became speaker that defunding the war was off the table, so you might feel like she’s with us at heart, but we don’t fee like it out here. We don’t understand that if she can get 220 votes for some version that includes something with a timetable for withdrawal—something, as watered down as it might be—if that doesn’t go through, then why should she put anything else on the table?

Moran: There’s nothing else that she can put on the table because the spending leverage power we have is the only power we have. It’s the power of the purse. All the rest of the stuff really doesn’t matter. It amounts to rhetoric.

Lerner: She shouldn’t put forward a spending resolution. She should simply say that she won’t put anything to the floor of the House that includes spending for the war unless the President agrees to end the war, and use the money to take them home. That’s the power. The danger is that there would be rebellion in the Caucus, but from what you’re saying, it sounds as if even if she doesn’t have the votes of all of the Caucus, she would have a majority of votes in the Caucus for keeping a spending resolution from reaching the floor.

Moran: There was an amendment that Neil Abercrombie offered just before we left. Some of us spoke strongly against it. It was to give the President sixty days to come up with a plan to how to end the war. Well of course that means the plan would not have to be presented until October, after we would have appropriated all the money to continue the war indefinitely. There were a lot of people—probably the majority of the Democratic Caucus, and all of the Republicans voted for the thing. It passed out of the Armed Services Committee something like sixty-two to two. Duncan Hunter spoke in favor of it. She [Pelosi] was under tremendous pressure to do that, yet she listened us, which was primarily the Out of Iraq Caucus and the Progressive Caucus, and she killed it with no fanfare. I know, and Jack [Murtha] has told me that she wants to put a further limitation on any further funding that will [not?] end this war. That is her intent.

But I also know that some people in the leadership and a couple caucuses who don’t want that to happen, who feel that it’s going to set us back. They think the way that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) thinks. Have you read any of Al From’s articles or listened to his speeches? That’s what he’s saying. That we’ve got to be the party of more military aggressiveness and so on, we’re too weak on security, etc., etc. I don’t want to put words in his mouth. There is a DLC element in the Democratic Caucus, and it’s enough people that it can kill legislation.

Nancy can’t let anything get to the floor that is defeated. If this was to get to the floor and we didn’t have the votes, it’d be an enormous setback.

Benjamin: Wait, you had the McGovern amendment that went to the floor and got a good number of votes, but not enough, and it wasn’t a setback, that was movement forward.

Moran: The McGovern amendment was terrific. We really did well. But it was kind of tangential. I’m talking about the supplemental spending bill.

Benjamin: But that showed that their were fifty more Democrats who were willing to put themselves forward as wanting to put an end to the war, and I think if you go forward with the supplemental that includes restrictions in using it, and if Nancy Pelosi used her weight to get the Blue Dogs…Now everything she says is that it’s the fault of the sixty votes in the Senate. She never mentions that it’s people within her own party, and I don’t think she’s put the pressure on them—in fact, I know she hasn’t put the pressure on them. So if she could get something with 220 votes, which I don’t think is impossible, if she put the pressure, and if that didn’t go through the Senate, or if by some miracle it did and it got vetoed, then she could respond by not putting anything forward. And that’s what we’d like to see her do.

Moran: I would too, and I really believe that if she can, she will. I don’t want to be an apologist for Nancy, but neither do I want to undermine her in any way. She is the strongest Speaker we’ve had. I don’t want to be in her shoes, because I imagine the pressures that she gets. I know she is as frustrated as I am and Jack Murtha, the Out of Iraq Caucus, etc., that we have not gone anywhere in terms of fulfilling our mission to end this war. And it is showing in the poll results. And they know that we lost ten percentage points in the polls when we failed to have a definitive statement on the war in the last spending bills.

Lerner: Why did she enable the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act (FISA)?

Moran: She was led to believe, as was all of the leadership, that the White House thought there was going to be a terrorist attack in August. They were trying to set us up, so we would leave the country allegedly vulnerable, not passing any FISA legislations. The Senate passed it and then went home, and if we didn’t pass what the Senate did, there would be no bill, and there would be this gap in the ability for the National Security Agency to wiretap. I thought the whole thing was phony; I voted against it, a lot of us did. We had a very vigorous Democratic Caucus [debate] but again, the prevailing view among the leadership and the same people who are reluctant to end this war was that for the sake of the Democratic Party and the long-term ability to retain a majority, we’ve got to pass the Senate version. I thought it was a mistake, I said it was a mistake, and the majority of Democrats voted against it, and Nancy voted against it.

Lerner: But she enabled it.

Benjamin: She’s the enabler, Jim. We see through that. She allows 200 Billion dollars to go through for war with no timeline for it; she’s going to lose the progressive part of this country.

Cagan: You know, there is one other thing. You know, you’re in a difficult position Congressman to speak for or against Nancy. One thing you could do is talk to her about meeting with us, so this conversation that we want to have with Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have to go through you or other member of Congress, but that that the anti-war forces, both within her own district and nationally as Speaker of the House, would like an opportunity to have her hear from us directly. Perhaps those of you who understand the value and importance of this anti-war movement could put in a word with her office and her directly that it’s not a crazy idea to meet with us.

Pelosi: I have suggested that, and have suggested that she meet with you, Michael, but she has an acute memory of you having protested in front of her office and apparently some other tactics. Everybody’s human, no matter what position they’re in, and they particularly get their feeling hurt when they feel that people who are close to them are critical.

Benjamin: You know, we camped outside of Dianne Feinstein’s house and she came out and talked to us. We were delighted—she took thirty minutes to talk to us, and we left. We’ve been outside Pelosi’s and she called us ‘nuts’. She doesn’t understand. She hasn’t talked to her constituents for a year and a half. She hasn’t had a town hall meeting. As Leslie said, she hasn’t talked to the national anti-war movement, I don’t know if she’s talked to MoveOn, but certainly not the rest of us. So we’re not ‘in’ on the strategy, all we see is that she’s become the enabler in this war, and it turns us against her, instead of working with her.

Moran: I understand that, but you know, it’s awfully difficult to get a liberal from San Francisco who is a woman elected Speaker of the House of Representatives. I have enormous admiration for Nancy: for her ability, for her intellect, for her heart, and I know where her heart is, and she is a progressive through and through. She’s under intense pressure, and that’s why I’m defending her. I’ve got my disappointments, too, but when you’ve got a woman as strong as her who is willing to make the sacrifices to get and retain a Democratic majority, and to push progressive legislation, I’m going to support her. I’m not going to argue with any of you, because I’d probably be saying the same thing if I were in your position. But I do believe that Nancy is one of us, and that’s why she has the reaction that she does. This is like family criticizing you: “Don’t you know who I am, and what I’ve done all my life? How can you do this to me”? I think she has a much more adverse reaction to what you do because she feels so close to you, then some conservative organization whose views she didn’t share.

Benjamin: Well, her strategy for ending the war isn’t working. It’d be nice if she sat down with us so maybe we could work with her in a different way.

Moran: I know that, but in all fairness, until we get a Democratic president, until we get a president who is committed to ending the war…

Cagan: …That may be a long time before we get that.

Carpenter: We’d have to be on the phone for a lot longer for that discussion.

Moran: That’s for sure. But the President gets to veto anything that gets to his desk. It’s inconceivable that we could override such a veto. The reality is that this war is going to continue as long as the person in the White House wants it to continue. And that’s what happened with Johnson, and Nixon, and throughout history. We’re going to have a national referendum, and it’s going to be in 2008. We’ve got to elect somebody who’s absolutely committed to end this war, and honestly, that’s the only way we are going to achieve that objective.

Carpenter: When we did have a meeting with Pelosi last summer when the May vote was coming up, and she calculated when MoveOn came to her with the plan, and at that we within the movement were pushing very hard, as you know, to allow the Lee amendment to come to the floor to at least get the vote. As you know, Barbara took it all the way to the Rules Committee, where Congressman McGovern [tried, attempted, in a way?]. The piece that Pelosi does understand, and the frustration what I want to remind her is that we’re winning by losing. Going up and having the vote with McGovern when we had 171 and we didn’t win, and you know how hard it took us to get to that vote.

She made a calculated decision, as did MoveOn, to go in May. It was more of a setback now that we look at it. She is winning, and I’d like to leave you with this thought if you’re able to talk to her: If we’re able to get from 171 to 182 or to 200 or 204, and yet if we ultimately lose the numerical fight on that specific vote, she needs to understand that we need to frame that we’ve moving everyday, and that is a victory. Losing that principled vote you gain more in the long run. In the short term I know she needs to watch her back with the leadership in the cloak room and so forth. She has trouble understanding this, and I hope this is the point you and your colleagues can make: We are winning, if we get the vote as you heard from Lynn and Barbara and Maxine. McGovern’s going to come back through as a result of the 171 vote. She has to make a calculated decision. If she’s going to come to the progressive members this time and ask you to be there, it seems to me the progressives need to be united in August before we get through to September, to make it clear that without that vote on the Lee Amendment, either as a stand-alone or as part of the supplemental and authorization, that the progressives simply can’t move. She’s got to go back to the Blue Dogs and not come back to the progressives to capitulate and not look to Raúl Grijalva at the last minute, who was clearly with us all the way until three minutes before the vote, when he was asked to move.

She needs to understand winning by losing: That if we can get that stand-alone vote, and even if we end up losing it, that if we move it from 171, even if it’s to 175, that we’re winning. I know it’s hard when you’re counting votes, and you’re working with your whips and your Majority Leader and you’ve got to deliver a victory. She’s got to get outside of that box and understand that she’s winning by having that vote, and how much more we outside can deliver at the end of the day to bring us to that ultimate vote. I just want to leave on that note, because if you, in that quiet moment can sit there wit Jim McGovern and so forth and explain procedurally the importance of having a stand-alone or at least getting the Lee Amendment as part of the Appropriations Supplemental, so that we at least have a vote that will allow the progressive members of Congress stand strong with the movement, those of us outside of Washington, it’ll show the American people that this party does have the wherewithal, and that although we may not succeed in this vote, we’ve come from forty-three to eight-nine, to 171, to whatever that number may be, even if it’s not the majority at this point in time. I don’t want to belabor it much more, but I hope you can covey that to her. We really are winning by having that vote.

Moran: Tim, I do agree with you. What I want to happen is that limitation to be put on the supplemental Iraq spending bill, because then it has real power. I think Jack Murtha would agree that that’s the limitation that should be on that bill, and I will express that, I agree with you, and I hope that we can see it through. You’re absolutely right. The Republicans have figured out: It’s the base that matters, and we need to understand that it’s the base that’s going to get the majority elected and continued in office, as long as we’re willing to show the kind of courage and commitment that is deserving of your efforts. I will try to convey that and I hope that you’ll see that kind of language on the Iraq spending bill. If you don’t, then we failed and…

Lerner: Meanwhile, we hope you all understand that we appreciate you, and all that you’re been doing and saying, and your stands. The frustration you’re hearing is not about you.

Moran: No, I understand, but frankly, it is about me. I know how wrong this war is and so I have a responsibility to try and end it. I saw what happened with the Vietnam War, and so many of my classmates were killed in that war, and have nothing to show for it, nothing that was achieved. There’s nothing more important than ending this war today, and if we don’t these words are nothing more than words. We’ve got to show results. I know that’s what you’re asking and you deserve nothing less. Thank you all.

Everybody: Thank you Congressman.

Moran: Thank you. Goodbye.

Cagan: Well I’m a little confused. I’m happy that both the Congresspeople we’re on the call, but I’m a little confused. It was great that both Lynn and Jim were on the call, because we got to hear their thinking and push, especially Jim, a little bit. But that wasn’t the call I thought was going to happen.

Lerner: Here’s why I invited them: I thought they were the two people that, amongst the ones that I know, think strategically at times. We didn’t get to that level. If we’re going to talk about a strategy to end the war, I think the intent of the call is to try to bring anybody with a serious constituency who thinks strategically. This got too focused on the immediate vote, and it definitely wasn’t the conversation I thought we were going to be having either, I do think it we good to have a regular conversation among the people who have constituencies, think strategically, to share their thinking. What do you think?

Cagan: I think that’s right. That’s the whole point of UFPJ. It’s a question of using the structures that are already in place and not adding more conference calls to our lives. I thought that part of the point of this was to help prepare an article for Tikkun.

Lerner: It turns out that since the call was so immediately focused and people were talking about things they’re going to do in September, it makes more sense for us to send this out on our 100,000 or so person email lists, and put it on our web site. Many of us on this call know that this war is going to be facing the next president, and if it’s a weak Democrat whose not sure that they’re willing to

http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/article.php?story=20070907191110516


31 posted on 09/09/2007 6:14:03 AM PDT by freema (United States Marine Corps Ping)
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To: roses of sharon

I have no doubt whatsoever. I wish we would prosecute at least some of them!

LLS


32 posted on 09/09/2007 6:14:21 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Support America, Kill terrorists, Destroy dims!)
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To: kristinn

That’s “transcript”!

(Geez... beam me up, Mr. Spellchecker!)


33 posted on 09/09/2007 6:14:42 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: kristinn

Excellent catch. Thank you!


34 posted on 09/09/2007 6:16:15 AM PDT by freema (United States Marine Corps Ping)
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To: kristinn

Wooley, Moran, and murtha are traitors working for them.


35 posted on 09/09/2007 6:17:25 AM PDT by freema (United States Marine Corps Ping)
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To: nwrep
I am old enough to remember everything politically from about 1960 forward. With today’s technology and Talk Radio, far more of those Independents are learning what seditious traitors dims are... and mostly by their own words. We live in a different world and Conservatives are motivated by their own existence and way of life... to preserve the same... and not just some pet right or group. Those of us that know are as much at war with dims as we are with al qaeda... just a non-shooting war... so far... but some on the left may start something that they cannot finish... as many of them are certifiably insane.

LLS

36 posted on 09/09/2007 6:20:42 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Support America, Kill terrorists, Destroy dims!)
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To: kristinn

What a document! Canyou imagine Woolsey, Lee, and Waters being called The Triad! How Soviet of them!

I suggest that we all save this to our own records, besides having it on this thread.


37 posted on 09/09/2007 6:25:16 AM PDT by maica (America will be a hyperpower that's all hype and no power -- if we do not prevail in Iraq)
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To: roses of sharon

Just imagine how many of them are working inside intel committees, the CIA, Justice, and State.

$$$$$

Good idea! I think we should not “just imagine” this. We (I will try to do it later today) must make a list of the assignments that these traitors have, for distribution to ouw own circles of “activists.”


38 posted on 09/09/2007 6:31:18 AM PDT by maica (America will be a hyperpower that's all hype and no power -- if we do not prevail in Iraq)
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To: kristinn

I have read and reread the Moran portion. I always knew that Moran is a violent leftwing jerk, but what he wants and now proposes to make happen is TREASON!!

Traitors need to be watched, and closely.

):^(


39 posted on 09/09/2007 6:40:28 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: LibLieSlayer; Freee-dame

Those of us that know [we] are as much at war with dims as we are with al qaeda... just a non-shooting war... so far...

######

It is very easy to believe that there are links between some of the people on this conference call to some people who are in touch with some people who work on Osama videos. There is just too much similarity in the dialogue and thought processes.


40 posted on 09/09/2007 6:43:25 AM PDT by maica (America will be a hyperpower that's all hype and no power -- if we do not prevail in Iraq)
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To: kristinn

Medea Benjamin: She’s the enabler, Jim. We see through that. She allows 200 Billion dollars to go through for war with no timeline for it; she’s going to lose the progressive part of this country.

41 posted on 09/09/2007 6:57:15 AM PDT by Albion Wilde ( America: “...the most benign hegemon in history.” —Mark Steyn)
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To: maica

dims and al qaeda hold the same core beliefs about America... that America is bad... that America is wrong... but dims and their coalition will be the first to die in stadiums and killing fields if al qaeda ever mobilizes within our borders. They are fools and traitors!

LLS


42 posted on 09/09/2007 7:03:12 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer (Support America, Kill terrorists, Destroy dims!)
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To: kristinn

BUMP for later read.


43 posted on 09/09/2007 7:09:17 AM PDT by PGalt
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To: El Gato
Post a sign near you when reading warning LIBERALs that:
1) You are reading War Crimes,
2) You have a cast-iron skillet at hand,
3) Gramms taught you how to properly use the skillet for things other than cooking.

WARNING!!!!!
Liberals Approach at your own Peril.

Oh, almost forgot, don't be anywhere near a TV set that's on with the Nightly Spews when you are reading it because shoes can suddenly fly through the air at the TV Spewscaster.

44 posted on 09/09/2007 7:40:20 AM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: kristinn
Thanks for the report, Kristinn.

It's always instructive to read in their own words what America's domestic enemies are really up to.

45 posted on 09/09/2007 8:11:00 AM PDT by Gritty (Americans want the Iraq War stopped and elected the Democratic Party for this purpose-Osama binLaden)
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To: kristinn; All
and you're surprised by this???

the DIMocRATS have been constant CREEPS & traitors, ever since before the RVN war.

that's why they must be HUMILIATED at the polls in '08, using whatever actions on our part that it takes to do that hard task.

free dixie,sw

46 posted on 09/09/2007 8:27:44 AM PDT by stand watie ("Resistance to tyrants is OBEDIENCE to God." - T. Jefferson, 1804)
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To: kristinn; freema; All
To get an overview on the depth of infiltration the Socialists have achieved in our American Society, drop in to Discover the Networks.org's Visual Maps of the Leftwing ^.

Then tell me, where do we go to reclaim Freedom and our Constitution?

47 posted on 09/09/2007 8:51:43 AM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional !!)
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To: kristinn

bump


48 posted on 09/09/2007 9:53:57 AM PDT by Freee-dame
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To: kristinn
Lerner: The Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP) has as its major focus attempting to change the discourse of the anti-war or peace movement from “out now, end this” to answering the larger question that so many of us have of “what does that withdrawal mean for the U.S. and its role in the world?”

Because we know that many people who oppose the war are nevertheless unsure about how the US can get out without making the situation worse and without abandoning its role in the world, we are trying to encourage a national conversation about the fundamentally flawed idea that lies behind the war in Iraq, which is what we call “the Strategy of Domination.” The core bad idea is this: that the world is full of hurtful people who will hurt us unless we hurt them first, that they will dominate us unless we dominate them and so we have no choice but to take strong aggressive action lest they come to our very homeland and attack us. And of course, that could happen, but it will happen bccause we’ve been acting on that fear for decades, and attempting to dominate the world, in the course of which we’ve spread a great deal of pain and hence generated a great deal of anger.


I got to this part and I'm rather incredulous. Do these people have no concept of reality? We've already been attacked on our homeland and many times around the world.

So the meme is "it's all America's fault" - nice./s
49 posted on 09/09/2007 10:45:40 AM PDT by khnyny (Hillary has given Bill a new title: Chief Flying Monkey)
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To: dirtbiker
Moran spells his name wrong

It should be MORON....

IF he were any more stupid, his head would implode....


LOL. Moran is an idiot. He is also part of the far left, liberal, Democratic machine at work in Northern Virginia. The machine that defeated George Allen and got Webb elected.
50 posted on 09/09/2007 10:57:08 AM PDT by khnyny (Hillary has given Bill a new title: Chief Flying Monkey)
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