headline: ask your best question and congress raises a largely symbolic fist

Dear Readers,

Another deep and yet not deep enough day in the news. Keep reading for today’s Hip Hop based commentary on the New York Times headlines by Political Poet Naxal. That’s me. I flips the news like you never seen. Enjoy.

“War Bill Passes House, Requiring An Iraq Pullout”

On May 1, 2003, George Bush gave a press conference on the war in Iraq from an aircraft carrier. At this photo opp, he stood in front of a sign which boldly proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished.” 4 years later we are still at battle. And today, in response to the war with no end, Congress narrowly passed its strongest measure against the war. The House bill approved $124 billion for war spending on the condition that troops begin a full withdrawal starting on October 1st. And today the Senate will consider and most likely approve a similar measure, conditioning nearly a 100 billion dollars of war money on a Fall 2007 pullout. Democrats and their allies who are creating print and broadcast media to garner supporter for these measures are relying heavily on the juxtaposition of Bush’s 4 year old “Mission Accomplished” message with the ongoing war. For example, the Times reported today that American’s United for Change has a commerical which shows repeat clips of Bush at the May 1, 2003 press conference with following message, “He was wrong then. And he’s wrong now. Its the will of one nation versus the stubborness of one man.” Hmmm.

Look, I’m glad Congress passed the measure, and I’m heartbroken that Bush has veto power (cheesy right, still heartbroken after I *been* known this Democracy is a “Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham”-Ward Churchill.) and will no doubt use it to stop the Bill from being enacted. But given the overwhelming amount of power centralized in the Executive these days (Big Ups to Mumia and KPFA for helping bring clarity to the import of the Patriot Act on this particular point), I think an extended analysis of these Pull Out Measures will be a distraction. Will it be Congress that ultimately ends the war and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan? Probably not.

Okay, so on to something interesting: Questions.

I don’t think it makes sense for Democrats and their allies to play up the whole Mission Accomplished thing. Who’s to say that sign behind Bush was wrong?

Check it, sometimes I catch myself getting hooked on a question, big or small, only to discover that the answer I’m looking for needs me to be asking a more pointed or more nuanced question. So lately I’ve been asking myself: What am I really trying to ask here? What is my Best Question? Cause the hope is, by getting closer to the best questions, I’m making room for the answers I need. Name that band: “You Can’t Always Get Watcha Want…But Ya Just Might Get Watcha Need!”

On the Mission Accomplished spin: I would argue that the first question to ask is: Whose Mission? Come on now, somebody’s Mission in the Middle East has f’sho been accomplished. Haven’t Bush and Cheney and Bechtel and Halliburton made more money/colonized more ancient flows/paved more of the world/stunted the lives of more little girls? I swear I be tryna keep it light, but that’s the truth y’all, that’s the truth. Mission Accomplished.

Next question I want to ask is directed towards the Democrat identified slangers of this ‘lil spin: What Mission Has Not Been Accomplished? What hasn’t America done that it was for real supposed to do? Bring freedom to more nations? Survey says: Wrong! Bring stability to more nations? Survery says: Nope. Someone tell me what Mission we were *legitimately* on in Afghanistan and Iraq that was Not accomplished. And while you’re at it, please make sure you are asking your best questions. 🙂

Stay tuned for more political poetry and political commentary from Naxal, aka Roopa Singh.

Free all prisoners of state violence and personal silence!



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