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LOCAL Commentary :: War in Iraq

Breaking the Mikulski Code!

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) voted against the Iraqi War, but she has consistently voted to fund it. She poses as a liberal, but on the Iraqi conflict, there is little or no difference between her complicity in that wrong and that of VP Dick Cheney. He was recently booed at a baseball game. When will the people of Maryland begin booing her? Another funding for the Iraqi War vote is coming up in late April. Will Mikulski again support the Bush-Cheney Gang?
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"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" - Mahatma Gandhi

She looks like a liberal. Walks like a liberal. Talks like a liberal, but on the Iraqi War, she's, in fact, just another blood stained War Hawk. I'm referring to U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)!

Just the other day, April 11, 2006, VP Dick Cheney tossed out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener for the Washington Nationals, a major league baseball team located in the nation’s capital. He was roundly booed by the hometown fans, even though his appearance on the infield was shielded by the company of some gutsy Iraqi War veterans. Cheney, a notorious Chicken Hawk, is one of the most unpopular politicians in the land, particularly because of his pushing of the Iraqi War and also because of his close ties with the war profiteering contractor, Halliburton. (1) I wonder: When will the people begin booing U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski? She is one of Cheney’s Congressional accomplices in abetting the awful tragedy that is the Iraqi War.

Although Mikulski voted against the Joint Congressional Resolution, (HJ 114), Oct. 11, 2002, which authorized the Liar-in-Chief, George W. Bush, to use force against Iraq, (which he did on March 20, 2003), she has consistently voted to fund the conflict. To date, over $274.2 billion has been wasted on the Vietnam-like war, which was launched based on a pack of serial lies. (2) Some experts predict the conflict will eventually cost the taxpayers over $2 trillion. (3) A vote in the U.S. Senate is due up shortly on a supplemental emergency military budget of which an estimated $67.5 billion will go to fund both the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars. (4) Unless convinced otherwise by the people of Maryland, Mikulski is expected to vote "yes" on the measure. Of the 2,377 Americans who have died in Iraq, 36 were from Maryland. (5) Does Mikulski ever think of those 36 dead heroes and the fact that her votes in the Congress, put them in harm’s way? Does she ever ponder the possible fate of the soldiers that she is continuing to send to Iraq, a country now racked by a vicious Civil War? Is she aware of the dangers of radioactive depleted uranium to our soldiers serving in that arena and to the countless Iraqi civilians? (6) Is Mikulski even capable of that kind of serious reflection?

Mikulski hasn’t dared to criticize the Bush-Cheney Gang's Iraqi War or to show any leadership in opposing it. Not once has she spoken out against it. There have been a number of important anti-war rallies in and around Maryland, but the liberal Mikulski is always a no-show. It is fair to say that she has been complicit in the Iraqi war-making process. It’s true that Paul Wolfowitz was the primary architect of the war, but it’s the Barbara Mikulski types in the Congress who have made it all an awful reality by continuing to vote to pay for the massive machinery of death, destruction, terror and mayhem. No money! No war! No U.S. casualties. No hell on earth for the Iraqi people.

Mikulski considers herself a Christian. I would like her to explain what part of Christ’s teachings justifies supporting this immoral, unjust and illegal war in Iraq? Is she faking her Christianity, too? According to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), the Iraqi War cost taxpayers $195 million a day! He wrote: “One day in Iraq could cover the full cost of attendance for one year at a public college for more than 17,100 students. One day in Iraq could provide more than 79,000 needy college students with a Pell grant. One day in Iraq could enroll 27,000 more children in Head Start. One day in Iraq could employ 4,269 elementary school teachers or 4,027 secondary school teachers for one year.” (7) Does Mikulski ever consider the social cost of funding the Iraqi War?

If the late Phil Berrigan, the dissenter emeritus, were still around, I’m confident he would have done a “sit in” in Mikulski’s office, forcing her to confront the choices she has been making in the Congress and pointing out the lethal existential consequences of her conduct, too. Earlier in her political career, Mikulski posed as a champion of the underdog. Supposedly, she worked in the 60s to stop a monster of an interstate highway from being built and destroying a part of historic Baltimore. My source, an ex-City Councilman, environmental activist, U.S. Army veteran, and highly respected retired jurist told me, “Mikulski didn’t write any letters, speak out, attend any [Baltimore] City Council meetings, or work on the project. I know this because I was there.” (8) In other words, Mikulski puffed up her resume on this important activism issue.

Meanwhile, gasoline prices are climbing to near $3 a gallon on Mikulski’s watch and “Big Oil” continues to reap obscene profits. Also, there are no federal limits on the interest rates the Credit Card Cartel can charge its customers. None! What has Mikulski done about the issues? More posturing for public consumption, if you ask me. General Motors, Procter & Gamble, and other corporate giants, have pulled some of their major job creating facilities out of Maryland, while Mikulski has acted as a pall bearer for plants that once gave workers a decent living wage. What was she doing while this process of deindustrialization was going down? Would you believe writing a political mystery novel? That book, "Capitol Offense," is now selling for "$0.01" on! (9)

Finally, I'm puzzled over the fact that the general public hasn’t discovered as yet that Mikulski is a fake liberal! Marylanders, and also the nation, can no longer afford her pretenses as a thoughtful, compassionate, establishment-challenging and life-affirming politico. It's time now to break the Mikulski Code! Maybe some one should invite this run-and-hide Democrat to throw out a ceremonial pitch at a baseball game. Then, we can all see, like Cheney's booing experience, just how popular Mikulski really is with the people of her home state. Hey, Peter Angelos, owner of the Baltimore Orioles, are you listening?


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8. Retired Baltimore Circuit Court Judge, the Hon. Thomas Ward, pp. 51-53, "Baltimore Iconoclast."

© William Hughes 2006.

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘’No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at

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