Earlier this week, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D- CA) submitted a proposal to the Democratic National Committee (DNC), asking the DNC to pass a resolution “Supporting Ending the War in Afghanistan and Transferring the Funding to Job Creation, other Crucial Domestic Priorities and Deficit Reduction.” Also, recently, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for an end to “The War on the Middle Class.” Both wars, of course, must be ended; and the two are certainly related.
The war in Afghanistan, fiscal issues aside, is immoral and illegal. We need to begin the process of bringing the troops home. We need to complete the withdrawal as quickly as possible. The war is wrong. It is also severely draining our country of the resources we need to create jobs, to transition to the use of sustainable and safe energy, to rebuild our infrastructure, and to reduce the federal deficit.
Congresswoman Lee’s resolution before the DNC states that “the mounting costs of the war in Afghanistan, now totaling over $100 billion a year, have constrained efforts to invest in job creation and in strengthening our country and our economy.” It asserts that “a diplomatic solution in Afghanistan that emphasizes economic development, political reconciliation and inclusion, the engagement of regional and global stakeholders, and the safeguarding of basic human rights is essential to ensure long-term stability in Afghanistan and the surrounding region.” The resolution calls for the Democratic Party to support “prioritizing job creation and a swift withdrawal of U.S. armed forces and military contractors in Afghanistan which must include a significant and sizeable reduction no later than July 2011.” The full text of the proposal can be read and downloaded here.
UPDATE: On February 26, the DNC voted to adopt this resolution!
The passage of this resolution could certainly help to bring us closer to an end to the war in Afghanistan. Importantly, Congresswoman Lee will soon be submitting a bill in Congress, titled, “The Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act.” This extremely important piece of legislation, similar to one Lee introduced last year, would “end combat operations in Afghanistan and limit funding to the safe and orderly redeployment of all U.S. troops and military contractors.” This bill provides “that funds for operations of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan shall be obligated and expended only for purposes of providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan of all members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense contractor personnel who are in Afghanistan.” The full text of the bill, HR 780, can be read and downloaded here.
Update: Congresswoman Lee has now introduced the legislation. As of this writing, it has 53 co-sponsors.
While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost us over one trillion dollars, Congress and the President have extended tax cuts for the wealthy. Unemployment remains at nine percent. President Obama’s budget proposal includes drastic cuts to essential social programs, while providing $36 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear power industry. The Republicans propose to so drastically reduce regulations and cut back vital domestic programs, that this would, in many ways, bring us back to what life was like in the 1920’s. Senator Bernie Sanders says that there is “A War on the Middle Class.”
We need to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to “move the money,” to fund important services for our people. We need to “bring our war dollars home,” and use the funds to create jobs at home. We must ensure that our laws and our federal budget are tailored to serve people, not corporations. This is what a strong democracy is about.
This four-minute video comprises two segments. The first segment is an excerpt of Barbara Lee’s speech before Congress, last year, discussing the need to stop funding the war in Afghanistan. The second segment is made up of excerpts from Bernie Sanders’ November speech, where he asserts, clearly and powerfully, that we must stop the war on the middle class.
If you would like to email your Senators or your Member of Congress, you can contact them by clicking here and here.