War foes set sights on new ma­jor­ity, say they won’t let Democrats cave

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Amy Fa­gan

As Democrats rev­eled in their new ma­jor­ity on Jan. 4, anti-war ac­tivists com­plained of cow­ardice on the Iraq war and pledged that they won’t let Democrats cave to Pres­i­dent Bush.

Cindy Shee­han, who op­poses the war in Iraq, told more than 100 ac­tivists who ral­lied across the street from the Capi­tol that Democrats are be­hav­ing like Repub­li­cans and soon will be held to ac­count.

“We’re not go­ing to give them a free pass and they found that out [. . .],” Mrs. Shee­han said. On Jan. 3, Mrs. Shee­han led a group of about 75 pro­test­ers who chased top Democrats out of their own press con­fer­ence with chants of “de-es­ca­late, in­ves­ti­gate, troops home now.”

Ac­tivists on Jan. 4 pledged to keep pres­sur­ing Democrats to stop fund­ing the mil­i­tary cam­paign, force a with­drawal of troops, and in­ves­ti­gate and im­peach Mr. Bush for what they called “lies” that led to the war. They com­plained that Democrats con­tinue to vote for war fund­ing and have not put im­peach­ment on their leg­isla­tive agenda.

“They need a back­bone trans­plant,” Ray McGovern, a re­tired CIA an­a­lyst, told the crowd.

Elaine Brower, whose or­ga­niza- tion spon­sored the protest, said House Democrats “need to add to those first 100 hours what we are de­mand­ing to­day.”

Democrats plan to hold over­sight hear­ings on the war, but ac­tivist David Swan­son said that doesn’t go far enough.

“Prod­ding Bush is like teach­ing cal­cu­lus to a pig,” he said. “They are telling us that im­peach­ment is off the ta­ble. They are do­ing for Bush what Ford did for Nixon: They are par­don­ing.”

The rally was spon­sored by World Can’t Wait/Drive Out the Bush Regime. The group dis­played ban­ners call­ing Mr. Bush a “tor­turer,” “war crim­i­nal” and “mur­derer.”

About 30 hooded pro­test­ers in orange jump­suits ar­gued that the gov­ern­ment is sanc­tion­ing tor­ture at U.S. Naval Base Guan­tanamo Bay, Cuba.

Mr. Swan­son said the con­gres­sional lead­er­ship needs to be more ag­gres­sive, but it is up to war op­po­nents to take ac­tion on im­peach­ment.

“We are go­ing to re­move Bush and Cheney from of­fice whether Democrats want it or not,” he said.

Mrs. Shee­han, who gained na­tional promi­nence as a war oppo- nent af­ter her son died while serv­ing in Iraq, told the crowd that her “big­gest fear” is that her al­lies will re­lax now that Democrats are in charge of Congress.

“They’ve proven to us that we can’t re­lax,” she said.

Getty Images

Cindy Shee­han (right) on Jan. 3 crit­i­cized Speaker Nancy Pelosi for not in­clud­ing a de­bate on the Iraq war in her agenda for the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress.

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