Thursday, May 27, 2010

Senate Votes For More Endless, Tragic War-- Many Democrats Join Every Single Republican In A Horrific Pro-War Vote


If there's any hope for ending the war, it isn't in the Senate. It's either Barbara Lee or the streets

This morning Russ Feingold got up on the Senate floor and offered S. Amdt. 4204 requiring "a plan for the safe, orderly, and expeditious redeployment of the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan." It was co-sponsored by Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Tom Harkin (D-IA). It failed 18-80, the co-sponsors being joined by Max Baucus (D-MT), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), a newly liberated Arlen Specter (D-PA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). That's it. All the Republicans and the rest of the Democrats voted for more endless, failed war in Afghanistan. Feingold right after the vote:
“While I am disappointed it did not pass, I am encouraged by the support my Afghanistan timetable amendment received, particularly by most of the Senate Democratic leadership. This amendment would have given the American people the information they deserve on when our massive, open-ended military operation in Afghanistan will end. Now, however, this supplemental will add some $30 billion more to the nearly $300 billion we’ve already spent in Afghanistan, with no end in sight. This cannot go on and is yet another reason why a flexible timetable for drawing down our troops in Afghanistan is necessary and appropriate.
“This amendment is the first attempt in the Senate to get an idea of when this nine-year war in Afghanistan will end. Only 13 senators supported my original attempt to require a timetable for Iraq, and today, a timetable is exactly what is in place in Iraq. I am confident that, over time, more and more members will listen to their constituents and support my efforts to require a flexible timeline for ending the Afghan war.”

This was followed by a vote on cloture so that the supplemental could move forward. It passed 69-29, only Feingold among the anti-war Dems willing to cross the aisle and vote with the hardcore anti-America kooks led by DeMint, Burr and Grassley.

As David Swanson pointed out earlier, the way to stop this war isn't going to be in the Senate anyway; it's the House. And Barbara Lee-- the only Democrat courageous enough to stand up to Bush when he first went barreling in their like a chicken without a head, will be offering an amendment to Obama's war supplemental that would block escalating the catastrophic occupation of that devastated country.
At 5 p.m. this evening, the House Appropriations Committee will begin marking up a bill to spend another $33.5 billion on escalating the war in Afghanistan. Various useful projects will be packaged into the bill in order to provide congress members with assorted lame excuses for voting yes.

Among those speaking and voting against the war funding in committee will be Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who just told me that her thinking is as follows: "Since Congress last authorized and appropriated funds to increase our military engagement in this near decade long war, instances of civilian casualties have more than doubled compared to last year and there is still no end in sight to this conflict."

Lee said that she will continue "calling for a separate supplemental on military spending so that Members can have a true up or down vote on this issue without it being conflated with issues like education spending or relief for Haiti."

Lee also made clear one way that she can make this happen: "I will be bringing an amendment before the Rules Committee that would prohibit any increase in troop levels in Afghanistan." In other words, Lee will be asking for the Rules Committee, on which she does not serve, to allow a floor vote in June on this amendment.

Now that you know exactly where your two senators stand on the war, if you're interested in knowing where your congresscritter stands, David keeps track and keeps it updated very, very well. Helen Thomas confronted Obama on this today-- ducking and weaving:

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At 11:14 AM, Blogger Cirze said...

You could have stopped at the word "chicken."

I've always been a fan of Barbara's.

The pressure has to come from the bottom.

As usual.

Thanks for all you do for us!


Barbara Lee-- the only Democrat courageous enough to stand up to Bush when he first went barreling in their like a chicken without a head


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