By Rae Abileah
Today we did a sister occupation of Pelosi's office in the Cannon Building. We were on speaker phone with the activists who were in her office in San Francisco. Medea, Nancy, and I met with Pelosi's chief of staff and presented her with our questions and concerns about Pelosi's supplemental bill, namely:
* What's the logic behind the seemingly backward idea that we'd start pulling our troops out sooner if the Iraqis are failing (not meeting benchmarks) than if they are succeeding?
* Why would we ever want to trust Bush with assessing and reporting on the status of the benchmarks when he's lied so many times before?
* How many troops would be impacted in the loophole of maintaining a troop presence to capture and kill Al Qaeda terrorists, protect US embassies and American citizens, and other stipulations?
By Rae Abileah
Pelosi's chief of staff promised to report these questions to Mike Sheehey, the main foreign affairs staffer, and give Medea a call with the answers, since she apparently couldn't provide ANY answers or clarification. At the end of the meeting she reassured us that "We share the same goals, but have different tactics." I have already heard this several times from Dan and Melanie in Pelosi's SF office. Here's what I want to tell Nancy Pelosi: If you're not taking action to bring our troops home, then you don't share the same goal, you only mirror our goal in your rhetoric. If you won't redefine the debate to say that defunding the war IS supporting our troops, then you don't share the same goal: to stop bowing to the Republican agenda and speak truth to power. If you can't lead us out of war by cutting the funding, then your goal is the same as Bush's goal: remain in Iraq. I am still hopeful that Nancy Pelosi will recognize that indeed the only surefire tactic that Congress has towards the goal of ending the Iraq occupation and bringing our troops home IS to cut the funding.
This evening we made banners for our actions in the days ahead, and continued building our DC house!