Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Medea Benjamin

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of the women-led peace group CODEPINK and the human rights/fair trade group Global Exchange.

July 1st, 2010 7:57 PM

Out of Afghanistan Caucus Calls for NO VOTE on War Funding

With a vote scheduled tonight on the $33 billion supplemental for the Afghan war, members of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus held a press conference today, July 1 to express their opposition to the war funding. The Caucus, chaired by Congressman John Conyers, is an informal group of 21 members dedicated to reorienting US policy towards diplomacy and the swift redeployment of the US military.

Speaking at the press conference were Rep. John Conyers, Bob Filner, Alan Grayson, Barbara Lee, Judy Chu, Sheila Jackson Lee and Mike Honda. Cong. Maxine Waters arrived late and didn’t get a chance to speak.

The congresspeople addressed the hypocrisy of the fiscal conservatives in Congress who are concerned about the out-of-control deficit but support the war supplemental. Cong. Conyers labeled his Out of Afghanistan group the “fiscally-conservative doves” and called on fiscal conservatives of all political stripes to vote against the war supplemental. Cong. Honda complained that the administration said last year would be the last time the war budget was presented as a supplemental, outside the normal budget, but then the administration turned around and requested another supplemental. “Supplementals are always deficit spending and if fiscal conservatives are serious, they must vote against this,” Honda said.

Congressman Filner, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, painted a grim picture of the cost of the war for U.S. soldiers. While the official figures talk about 5,000 dead and 45,000 wounded, he said the true cost was exponentially higher. “Close to one million soldiers have visited VA hospitals for war-related injuries. Hundreds of thousands have brain injuries or PTSD,” he said. “We can’t keep this up. It’s time to bring our children home.”

Congresswoman Chu said that Congress was first told by Secretary Gates that we needed 2,500 more soldiers in Afghanistan, then Admiral Mullen called for 20,000 more, then McChrystal said 30,000 more. “What is the correct number of troops we need in Afghanistan,” she asked. “Zero. More troops just means more trouble.”

Congressman Nadler said we had every right to target bases where people were plotting against to attack us, but not to make war against those countries. “We have no business intervening in an Afghan civil war,” he said. “It’s a fool’s errand. If the Afghan soldiers don’t have the will and motivation to fight the Taliban, we can’t instill that in them. And without the will and motivation, there’s no winning.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee related the war funding to the BP disaster. “We have a crisis of tsunami proportions in our own Gulf with the BP disaster that will require billions, perhaps trillions, of dollars. We need our resources to fight this war at home,” she said.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee talked about her amendment to strike war funding from the Supplemental, and the hopes that her amendment will be voted on tonight. The other anti-war amendment is the one presented by Cong. Jim McGovern, which calls for a detailed withdrawal plan and has 100 co-sponsors.

Before the vote tonight, we need an all-out push for more 'no' votes. The following list of “liberal Democrats” must be pressured to vote no: Yvette Clarke, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Jerry Costello, Barney Frank, Luis Gutierrez, Jay Inslee, Steve Kagen, John Lewis, Edward Markey, Doris Matsui, Jim McDermott, George Miller, Grace Napolitano, Richard Neal, James Oberstar, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Thompson, Edolphus Towns, Nydia Velázquez, and Anthony Weiner.

While Afghanistan Caucus members spoke passionately today about ending the war, unfortunately they, and the anti-war movement, don’t have the clout to stop this round of war funding. Even though the majority of Americans now oppose the war, the majority in Congress will probably still vote for it. While we must make every effort possible today to get more anti-war votes, we have to build a stronger movement if we are really serious about ending this war!

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
12:35 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles