Afghanistan

Like putting lipstick on a war

A congressional staffer told me months ago that she feared that the war funding bill would get loaded up with “Haiti relief and jobs and puppies and sunshine,” making it difficult for some antiwar representatives to vote no. She wasn’t that far off.

The $33 billion bill to pay for the escalation in Afghanistan is now a massive $59 billion bill that puts real needs on the line, so progressives feel forced to support the bill.  It includes everything from Haiti relief to oil spill cleanup to compensation for veterans exposed to Agent Orange. Sen. Tom Harkin is planning to offer an amendment to add another $23 billion to prevent layoffs of teachers. Funding for this misguided war should pass or fail on its own merits. Tell your senators and representative to vote no on war funding and support setting a timeline for withdrawal of US troops.

Earlier this week, the 1,000th US soldier died serving in Afghanistan. Afghan casualties caused by NATO forces are up 76% this year and Afghans are protesting in the streets. Civilians are fleeing Marja because the US can’t protect them after the supposedly successful offensive there. What is our tax money buying?

Republicans are threatening to vote against this massive funding package, which means the heat will be on antiwar Democrats to give the leadership the deciding votes to pass this bill. If Congress is to support real needs like stopping teacher layoffs in our school systems, they can do it without dressing up funding for an ugly war. We need to show that opposition to this war is growing in Congress and will only get stronger. Click here to tell your senators and representative that enough is enough.

I have heard from congressional offices that they are just not hearing from voters about Afghanistan. With your help, we are changing that. So far this year, we have already generated more than 15,000 messages and phone calls to Congress calling for a better approach. If we want Congress to act, we must build a movement to make them act. Take action today.

Thank you for being a part of that movement.

Categories: Afghanistan

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6 replies »

  1. Evidently my congressional representative is a hawk…………his reply to “Like putting lipstick on a war”

    May 20, 2010

    Dear Brian:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the status of the ongoing operations in Afghanistan.

    As you know, I traveled to both Iraq and Afghanistan during the 110th Congress and was inspired by the commitment to the mission and selflessness of our troops who honorably serve our nation. Afghanistan is a young democracy and while its current security situation is a concern, it cannot be allowed to fall back into the hands of the Taliban.

    As you know, General David Petraeus was named Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), after commanding our mission in Iraq. General Petraeus has been charged with stabilizing an increasingly volatile and delicate region based on his successes calming Iraq. I believe that General Petraeus is a proven leader and, along with his troops, has performed brilliantly in implementing our nation’s new strategy to win the war on terrorism.

    In Afghanistan, our troops are facing an increasingly violent enemy, whose unconventional warfare effort has grown stronger over the last few years. The increase of attacks has led to some destabilization, leading U.S. and coalition commanders to request an increase of troops to stabilize the region. Recently, President Obama ordered an additional 17,000 U.S. troops to be deployed to Afghanistan for security as well as to meet military needs.

    It is critical that Washington continues supporting our mission abroad and not micromanage our commanders, so that they have the flexibility to continue implementing a strategy to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan. Increasing stability, security, and creating a situation where our troop levels can eventually be reduced in the near future is what we all hope for, and I am committed to ensuring the safe deployment and return of our nation’s heroes after they have completed their mission.

    Thanks again for contacting me on issues of importance to you. If you would like additional information on services my office can provide, my votes and positions on issues facing our nation, and to subscribe to receive periodic “e-newsletters,” please visit my website at http://kevinmccarthy.house.gov/.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin McCarthy
    Member of Congress

    Do not reply to this email, mailbox is unattended.

    P.S.- As your Representative, I want to make it a priority that we continue our conversation so I can hear your concerns. One of the ways we can stay in touch is through email. Periodically, I send email updates about what is happening in Congress and surveys to hear from you about the issues.

    • Disappointing, but not surprising from McCarthy, who scored 8% on the Peace Action West voting record.

      Brian, thanks so much for sharing this, it’s a great way to raise awareness and build more accountability with our representatives in Congress.

  2. Evidently my United States Senator is a hawk…………his reply to “Like putting lipstick on a war”

    Dear Mr. Johnson:

    Thank you for writing to express your concern about continued U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. I appreciate hearing from you on this topic, and welcome the opportunity to respond.

    On December 1, 2009 President Obama announced that he will deploy an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in an effort to quell a resurgence of the Taliban and regain the initiative against terrorists operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This will be a short-term, high-intensity effort, with a majority of new American troops focusing on training Afghan National Security Forces and securing local populations. Further, the President indicated his intention to start drawing down troop levels in July 2011, pending the outcome of a security review at the end of 2010.

    I support the President’s plan, which is consistent with the recommendations laid out by General Stanley McChrystal. It has been carefully deliberated by senior officials in the Administration, including the President, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. It recognizes the severity of the situation, calls for strong cooperation from NATO partners, and avoids an open-ended commitment of troops.

    I believe strongly that Taliban forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, al Qaeda, the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and other extremist groups represent a real and significant threat to the security of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Unchecked, they threaten the United States and our allies as well. The plan put forward represents the most credible effort to reverse the Taliban’s gains and deny terrorists a safe haven, while giving the Afghan people the best chance for security and opportunity over the long term.

    While we do not necessarily agree on this issue, be assured that your views are important to me, and I will keep them in mind as Congress continues to discuss the most appropriate course for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.

    Again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to write on matters of importance to you. If you should have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

    Sincerely yours,
    Dianne Feinstein
    United States Senator

    Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENewsletterSignup.Signup. Feel free to checkout my YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/Senatorfeinstein