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Live Blog of U.S. House Debate on Ending War on Afghanistan


By davidswanson - Posted on 17 March 2011

This is a repeat performance. The debut was on March 10, 2010. On that occasion 65 congress members voted to get out of Afghanistan. In January 54% of Americans had told CNN they "opposed" the war, but 59% supported escalating the war they "opposed."

This time around, 64% tell ABC/WaPo it's "not worth fighting," 73% want at least a "substantial withdrawal" but 53% believe the US government will not obey the will of the people. Bloomberg finds that 66% want complete withdrawal.

Should begin around 9:30 am ET.

They rearranged the schedule to defund NPR first (and perhaps to allow cowardly congress members to leave town before the war debate?).

Rep Dan Lungren ranting on the "Dept. of Defense" and NPR: "To suggest that NPR is in the Constitution in the way that um the uh subject of national defense is ... " Lungren seems to have actually noticed mid-breath that the Constitution does not create a standing military of any sort and is written with the clear understanding that a military would be raised when actually needed.

I have to be somewhere at 11:30. I hope they hurry up.

Congresswoman Slaughter, Congressman Jim McGovern, and other Democrats are suggesting cutting military spending, which is just a wee bit bigger than NPR funding. Logically they would vote to end the war if the vote is ever held. Remember, I said logically.

There's likely to be a debate on the war after this, then back to NPR, and both votes in the afternoon.

69% want NPR
66% do NOT want the war

What will Congress do?

Debate will begin at approx 10:40 a.m., Congressman Kucinich tells me.

11:00 a.m. debate underway with Ros-Lehtinen yelling about al Qaeda, despite its not being in Afghanistan, and despite its growing because of US presence in Afghanistan, and despite its ability to function in the rest of the world.

11:04 Kucinich introduces into record WaPo poll: 2/3 of Americans want out. Says $100 B/ year being spent.

11:10 a congressman reads a letter from a veteran (was it Elliott Adams?) opposing the war

11:13 Lynn Woolsey also citing polls. Why does she want a SOFA??? I want an end to the occupation!

I've got to run. Popular opinion. Yes. Financial Cost. Yes. But remember, this is about murdering human beings in large numbers, and Americans oppose that.

****

2:53 pm I'm back and it looks like the resolution passed on a voice vote, Ros-Lehtinen asked for a rollcall, and that was put off. So keep phoning Congress!

3:40 A total of 93 representatives voted YES. A majority is approx. 218. Here's who voted how.

Called Rep. Keith Ellison's local office at 0830 today. The message bank for his number 612-522-1212 was full. I sent a webmail message instead.

Every representative who voted against bringing our troops home and ending an illegal and murderous occupation should be replaced in the next election cycle. These people cannot be bellyaching about spending on schools and health care and aid for the poor while they are willing to WASTE money on killing children in Afghanistan.

We need to clean the House and the Senate and the White House.

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