Monday, September 17, 2007



Although it was a Blue America-endorsed incumbent who sent me the letter, dated September 12, it arrived at DWT Headquarters and at the headquarters of the Bush Regime on Representative Chris Murphy's stationary.
Dear Mr. President

We are writing to inform you that we will not support appropriating additional funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq unless a firm date is given to begin safe redeployment of our troops from Iraq.

Our military should not be tasked with using force to suppress a civil war. The recent study by the Government Accountability Office confirms that our current strategy is not working, and that this is a conflict that begs for a political, not a military, solution. Though the United States should play a constructive role in any potential political solution to the conflict we helped create, an open-ended military strategy in Iraq will only lead to more death, more casualties, and greater cost to the American taxpayer. Already, this war has led to more than 3,750 fatalities, and tens of thousands of injuries. It has cost more than $500 billion, creating a debt that future generations will be forced to bear.

The men and women of our military have performed valiantly and selflessly, and are true American heroes. They deserve to know when they can expect to come home. The time has come to redeploy our troops out of Iraq, and to hold the Iraqis responsible for their future.

It is signed by 9 of the most progressive members of the freshman class:
Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Ed Perlmutter (D-CO)
Phil Hare (D-IL)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Mike Arcuri (D-NY)
Stephen Cohen (D-TN)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

Democrats John Hall (NY) and Paul Hodes (NH) already signed a similar letter to Bush, authored by Lynn Woolsey, last month. This is the way the Democratic congressional majorities should be talking with Bush about the war-- and only this way. But it was all over for the congressional Democrats when they elected war supporters Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel to top leadership positions in the caucus. These two have dragged their feet and surreptitiously undermined Pelosi every inch of the way, starting back in the 2006 primary season when they systematically scuttled anti-war progressives to make way for pro-war puppets like themselves.

They are ultimate followers, never leaders and slowly, slowly, slowly they are realizing which way the wind is blowing and are coming around the positions that would have been acceptable a year ago. Today Anne Flaherty did a piece for AP claiming that the Democrats will delay funding for the war, a lame and weak strategy by non-leaders.

Leaders? The guys in the list above. If you would like to send a message, please consider helping out Steve Cohen, who signed both letters, and is in a heated primary battle against a reactionary, corporate Democrat in Memphis.


The Blue America endorsed candidates all want to end American occupation of Iraq. This morning our candidate in IL-03, Mark Pera, made it clear how progressive candidates should go after reactionary Bush Dogs. His opponent, Rep. Dan Lipinski, is a war supporter on the hot seat. Here's a statement Mark sent out today that turns that heat up-- on him and on a Republican ally of his in a neighboring district:
There was not only a lot of discussion about Iraq on the national stage last week, but also locally in IL-03. Between Sept. 10 and 14, Congressman Dan Lipinski made a four appearances in and around the district to outline his strategy in Iraq. Twice he appeared with U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a tier one Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-targeted Republican incumbent...

Democrat Mark Pera had the following to say in regards to Congressman Lipinski’s recent comments:

We heard Congressman Dan Lipinski talk last week about the war, but he has yet to justify why the American people should support an open-ended troop commitment in Iraq.

Let me again make clear my position: I have been advocating for months that our troops need to start coming home now and the drawdown should continue until the withdrawal is completed.

Congressman Lipinski wants more of the same:

Monday: Lipinski partnered with Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk and a panel of experts in Chicago to outline his support for the recommendations of the 10-month-old Iraq Study Group (ISG) Report and said he would consider a proposal that would commit troops to Iraq for at least five years.

Tuesday: Congressman Lipinski appeared on WTTW, again with Kirk, and acknowledged that the surge has not worked, but offered no reason for his continued support of the war.

Wednesday: Lipinski said during a radio broadcast that Democrats needed to wait for Republicans to get on board in order to facilitate progress in Iraq.

Thursday: Congressman Dan Lipinski told a crowd at the Summit VFW Hall that he believes in a long-term commitment of troops to Iraq. Asked to provide a firm timeline for withdrawal, he said he couldn’t.

Let’s be clear about Congressman Lipinski’s voting record:

Congressman Lipinski’s Iraq record indicates he voted five times to fund the Iraq war to the tune of more than $260 billion. In 2005, he voted against a measure to begin an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

This year Lipinski voted for an Iraq supplemental bill without a withdrawal timetable. He was one of only 13 Democrats representing Democratic districts to vote against the McGovern withdrawal proposal.

Now he tells us he’ll defer to Republicans, some of whom would be willing to keep troops in Iraq for a decade. In four years, taxpayers have already spent $450 billion on Iraq. We can’t afford a “more of the same” Iraq policy. We need real Democratic leadership on this issue.

Our troops are mired in a civil war. The Lipinski-Kirk-Bush Plan does not give us the leverage we need to end our involvement in Iraq. People work best when they are given a clear deadline. The Iraqis will not make any progress until they resolve their political differences and a withdrawal timetable forces them to do that.

Blue America backs Mark Pera and his approach. If you want to help, here's the place.

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At 5:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For an old Memphis native yet one who hasn't lived there for decades, Steve Cohen still does me and the South proud!

We're far, far from all being a bunch of ignorant rednecks. (take that you coastal folks). j/k

At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should add, DWT, thanks for touting Cohen on your site.


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