Spoilers of the World Unite! ... Now!

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Let us start
with the biggest lie of all, that the Democrats cannot end the war,
are unable to do it, do not have the power to do it. Big, big, big
lie. Bush is now asking for another $127 billion to "stay the
course." If either the House or the Senate refuses to
pass that request, the war cannot be prosecuted. It only requires
a simple majority in one chamber – House or Senate. That is
it. The power is there. In the face of this grammar school fact,
it is amazing to hear the pundits prattle on about Bush being in
charge, that it takes 60 votes to get things done in the Senate,
etc., etc.

Let’s take
it one step further. Do the Democrats want to "stand up for
the troops"? OK, let them hand Bush the McGovern bill or its
like which provides funds only for the safe and speedy withdrawal
of troops. That requires a simple majority in two Houses of Congress.
Let Bush veto that. But do not expect the Democrats to take such
a course. The election was rigged by Rahm Emanuel in favor of pro-war
Democrats, and the beating which John Murtha took at the hands of
Hoyer, Emanuel and others is evidence that the war party is firmly
in control of Dem foreign policy and will do nothing to end the
war. In fact Emanuel wants to raise at least 100,000 more troops.

An end to the
war is what 60 per cent of the voters wanted in the election of
2006, and the desire for it grows by the day. What are we to do,
then? Simple. We can work now on mounting a third-party challenge
to the Democrats in 2008. The platform of such a challenge would
be simple. We are against war and the police state; these are the
over-arching issues of the moment and we shall not compromise on
them for any reason. The current test of these principles is Iraq.
If all troops are out of Iraq by November, 2008, then our issue
is gone and we cannot expect to win. If the U.S. remains in Iraq,
then we may or may not win – but the Democrats will have to
confront us; we may defeat them or we may spoil the election for
them. But either way, we will be a force to be reckoned with.

How to begin?
We must have some nationally known leaders who could start the ball
rolling. I can think of Kevin Zeese, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Justin
Raimondo, Lew Rockwell, Alex Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair, Cindy
Sheehan, Lila Lipscomb, Patrick Buchanan, perhaps even maverick
Democrats like Cynthia McKinney, Maxine Waters, James Webb, Jack
Murtha or Carol Shea-Porter – or maverick Republicans like
Chuck Hagel, who, Lieberman-like, might declare their independence
even while "caucusing" with one of the war parties. There
are endless possibilities. First would come some private meetings.
Next a national conference could be called, hopefully within months.
Out of this would come a movement to publicize the existence of
this nascent movement and party, raise funds, bird dog the pro-war
Democrats, expose those Democrats who pretend to be antiwar, all
in preparation for November 2007. (That’s right, 2007). At that
point if the U.S. is not completely out of Iraq, a full-scale run
for the presidency and for some Congressional seats would be started.
(An especially good Congressional target would be the Coleman/Franken
race in Minnesota since both are hawks.) Hopefully many Greens and
Libertarians would join in and commit themselves to running a consensus
set of candidates in 2008. This is a two-year strategy. But we must
begin now. This will allow the idea to germinate and build as the
Democrats show again and again that they are the other War Party.
With every sell-out, the movement will grow. Importantly, the Democrats
will not be able to say they were not warned. They will have plenty
of time to act and prove us wrong. They now have the power to end
the war. If they fail to do so, what good are they?

This strategy
can only apply to the Democrats since the Republicans in the person
of McCain or Giuliani or Romney are all openly committed to fight
on in Iraq. The Democrats are pretending to be the Party opposed
to the war. Let us take them up on that. As Condi Rice might say,
"The Democrats have some choices to make here." Nor should
the Democrats complain about this choice forced by potential "spoilers,"
since they just took the Senate because of a Libertarian "spoiler"
in Montana. They have not objected to this tactic for success.

This is a win-win
strategy. If the Democrats extract US forces from Iraq in a year’s
time, then we have won. If not, then we have started a new political
movement, which realigns many forces in preparation for future battles
against the War Parties. Victory is inevitable, perhaps suggesting
a slogan: "To the spoilers belong the victories."

22, 2006

Walsh [send him mail]
is a scientist who lives in Cambridge, MA, and is a frequent contributor
to CounterPunch.org.

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