Thursday, June 18, 2015

Conservatives In The House Vote Down A Resolution To Get U.S. Soldiers Out Of Iraq And Syria


South Jersey voters have a choice: Norcross backs pointless wars; Law doesn't

Wednesday afternoon, the House voted on a resolution introduced by Jim McGovern (D-MA), H Con Res 55, that directs the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces deployed to Iraq or Syria on or after August 7, 2014, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel. It was defeated 139-288, 222 Republicans sticking up for their new BFF, Barack Obama. (Led by Hoyer and Israel, 66 Democrats-- mostly Blue Dogs and New Dems-- voted with the Republicans.) 19 Republicans crossed the aisle in the other direction and voted with Pelosi and the Democrats. Justin Amash (R-MI) voted "present."

Ted Lieu (D-CA) was one of the Democrats eager to vote for the resolution. "What we need is a political solution in Syria and Iraq," he told us after the roll call. "Military force never has, and never will, prop up a government: the people have to do it themselves. Iraqi soldiers will continue to run and lose unless they have an Iraqi government that they can believe in. Until Iraqi Sunni soldiers are willing to die for Iraqi Shiite soldiers, or vice versa, we should not have American soldiers there to die for both. And if we have Iraqi miliitary forces willing to die for their government and their country, we also wouldn't need American troops.

One of the ConservaDems voting with the GOP was, not unexpectedly, Donald Norcross of South Jersey. The progressive Democrat who is challenging him in the NJ-01 primary is Alex Law, and Alex told us he would have voted differently Wednesday:
The situation we now face in the Middle East is incredibly complex. Congress attempted to answer how the United States should respond this week by voting to keep US military forces engaged in the conflict in Iraq and Syria. My Democratic primary opponent, conservative Donald Norcross, voted with the GOP to pass the resolution. I think both he and the GOP are wrong. As a nation, we must begin to examine the problems in that region of the world not just as they are today, but rather what brought us this new threat in ISIS. If we do that, we will unfortunately find that our bellicose military industrial sector is responsible.

We were pressured into a war we never should have fought during the Bush years, spending unfathomable amounts of money creating tools of war. In "winning" that war, we have created another enemy in ISIS, born from our conflict often armed with the surplus of weaponry we produced to feed the demands of lobbyists from defense contractors. I am a believer in freedom and defending the liberty that is so precious to America, but this never ending war has created enemies and wasted our national treasure. It has temporarily bankrupted our moral high ground in the world when the torture we committed was revealed. Rather than bully the world with our awesome might, we should lead with our commitment to our founding principles. Sometimes it is alright to walk away from a fight or to resist without having troops on the ground, and when I am in Congress, I will vote with the progressives to help make that American policy a reality.
Lou Vince, the progressive Democrat running for Congress in the Santa Clarita/Simi Valley/Antelope Valley area and an ex-marine, faces a different kind of conservative than Alex. Instead of a duplicitous DINO, Lou is up against a deranged teabagger, Steve Knight. Knight worships war and voted against the resolution. "I was disappointed to learn that the House voted against a resolution to withdraw our troops from Iraq and Syria," Lou told us after the vote. "Congress needs to exercise its duty to debate and vote on this military engagement. The fact that this de-facto war has been going on for nearly a year and Congress keeps authorizing and appropriating money for it without ever taking up the actual war authorization issue is just plain wrong to me. We cannot send our military into harm’s way to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria unless it is properly considered and authorized by Congress. I don’t think that this piece meal and haphazard approach will serve us well in correcting a failed and inadequate overall strategy. This quagmire of one step at a time-- especially with the steps out of order-- is going to leave us trapped in a political and military dilemma."

If you'd like to help Alex replace Norcross and Lou replace Knight in Congress, please give them a hand here.

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