Monday, September 03, 2012

Peace Action Endorses Lee Rogers


The DCCC is busy going to every member of the veal pen-- the "liberal groups" Inside the Beltway-- persuading them to endorse DCCC-backed candidates. They don't ask them to endorse Blue Dogs and blatantly right wing New Dems on the DCCC list-- so none of the real nightmares like Brendan Mullen and David Crooks from Indiana, Gary McDowell and Steve Pestka in Michigan or Hayden Rogers in North Carolina-- but more like the tiny handful of progressivish candidates the DCCC is backing-- and they always slip in a New Dem or two-- like Patrick Murphy (FL) and Christie Vilsack (IA) by waving around the names of the villainous monstrosities they're running against, in these two particular cases, Allen West and Steve King. And they warn these serious veal pen insiders not to waste their money on non-DCCC candidates. Peace Action isn't one of those groups. They know exactly what their criteria is for backing candidates and that's who they back. They have no interest in working with a vile and corrupt bucket of slime like Steve Israel and, of course, they don't want an invitation to a cocktail party from Debbie Wasserman Schultz or, God forbid, Joe Crowley.

Here's who Peace Action is raising money for this cycle. Even if Steve Israel has put the corrupt warmonger who heads the House Armed Services Committee, Buck McKeon, out of bounds for anyone who wants to be a friend of the DCCC-- and even though most of the Beltway veal pen groups are kissing Israel's ass on that-- Peace Action recognized the opportunity the peace movement has in replacing McKeon with independent-minded progressive Dr. Lee Rogers. Rogers is a big supporter of Peace Action as well and calls them "an organization with a very noble cause." Rogers:
"Peace is what we all strive to achieve. In most cases, peace takes more guts than war. Unfortunately, not all share our aspirations. We still live in a world where others want to do harm to our country and our friends. Keeping the peace requires diligence and deterrence. Our brave men and women did our country's calling in Afghanistan. We accomplished our goals. We toppled the Taliban government and killed Osama bin Laden. Now let's bring our service members home and reunite them with their families and fulfill our obligations for their medical care and education.

"When in Congress, you can be assured that I take the responsibility of war very seriously. I will do everything necessary to defend our country, but I won't be lured into war by false threats and lies, as Congress was in Iraq. Already, my opponent Congressman Buck McKeon, is beating the war drum about Iran. War with Iran should only occur if we are truly threatened or attacked, or if an ally is. We mustn't be motivated by the armament industries, just because they need to increase their profit margins or because a Congressman needs more campaign donations."

Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland is thinking along the same lines and she just penned a letter to her congressional colleagues-- co-signed by John Conyers (D-MI)-- urging them to be very wary of the drums being beaten by neocons eager for an attack on Iran. "A decade of two costly wars in the Middle East has ballooned our national debt and stretched our Armed Forces to their limit," she wrote. "As the prospect for a war with Iran looms closer, it is vitally important for Congress to fully understand the potential costs of a war with Iran. Many security experts have warned that a military strike against Iran would fail to stop and would likely spur its nuclear program. A conventional war with Iran could place strains on our military and economy that would prove untenable." She's asking everyone to demand that the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and Jeffery Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget provide a report detailing the projected costs of a potential war with Iran. This is the letter:
We write to you regarding the potential costs of going to war in an attempt to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. We share President Barack Obama’s belief that a nuclear-armed Iran would seriously undermine the security of the United States and our allies in the Middle East. We also support his administration’s firm commitment to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons through targeted sanctions and diplomacy.

It is in large part because we endeavor to keep nuclear weapons from proliferating to Iran that we are very concerned about the growing prospect of launching a new war against it. The current discourse over how to deal with Iran’s nuclear weapons program is disconcerting for several reasons.

Numerous American and Israeli security experts have warned that a military strike against Iran would likely fail to stop its nuclear program, and could even trigger its acceleration. Moreover, these experts have cautioned that Iran could counter the use of force against it by igniting a regional war through its terrorist proxies that would gravely imperil the populations of our allies and U.S. troops stationed throughout the Middle East and Afghanistan. A strike on Iran would also undermine Iran’s domestic opposition movement, by allowing the Iranian regime to rally the Iranian people around their national leaders in response to foreign attack.

After the past decade of wars in the Middle East paid on the nation’s credit card, our troops have been stretched to their limits and our fiscal situation remains precarious. Military hostilities could easily escalate into a conventional war with Iran which could place an untenable burden on our troops as well as threaten our economic recovery by incurring tremendous new debt and destabilizing oil prices. Further, with Congress now considering appropriations for Fiscal Year 2013-- including the prospect of a sequester-- the time is more than ripe for considering the practical and fiscal costs of the use of force against Iran.

We request a report assessing the projected costs of a potential war with Iran. The report would address the following (with appropriate classified appendixes):

• The scope, duration, potential number of combat troops (including National Guard and Reserve Forces) and costs of military action by the United States Armed Forces that would be required to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons or the capability to produce such weapons.

• Additional measures that would be necessary to protect members of the United States Armed Forces and the United States Armed Forces’ facilities in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and elsewhere from the Iranian forces and their proxies following a military attack by the United States or any of its allies against Iran.

• Any other factors relating to the efficacy, risks, and costs of the use of military force by the United States against Iran as a means of deterring or neutralizing Iran’s nuclear program.

The United States is only now transitioning out of a period of nearly a decade of war. It is essential that we understand clearly what another war would do to our economic and national security, and the safety of our troops. Having your full assessment of the costs of war with Iran will allow Congress to have an informed discussion on this pressing issue.

The DCCC doesn't concern itself with policy matters, just winning seats and, alas, just furthering the careerist trajectories of its own leaders and the personal financial golas of its top staffers. Voters, on the other hand, have more important matters in mind. Which is why we should all be thankful to the few groups like Peace Action who do stand up to the DCCC and do the right thing.

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