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Vote on Afghanistan War Tomorrow, Is Your Rep. a War-Funder? Be a War Stopper!


By Ralph Lopez - Posted on 16 March 2011

You Can Help End the War in Afghanistan, Push it Down to the 'Hood

As congress votes Thursday, March 17th on whether or not to continue military operations in Afghanistan, which in one week costs as much as Wisconsin's entire estimated budget deficit, it is critical to understand why disapproval of having our troops in Afghanistan is at an all-time high, an astonishing two-thirds of Americans, but congress keeps passing the money.  The reason is most people in your neighborhood, if you are represented by a Democrat, don't know that he/she keeps voting for it (unless yours is one of a very small number of solid "no" votes listed below.)  

It is the old conundrum: people generally have a negative view of congress, but at the same time generally like their own congressman.  It comes of folks generally being too busy with their lives to be well-informed.  Say "DailyKos" to your neighbors mowing their lawn or what have you.  How many know what you are talking about?

The hard fact is, because there is no draft beyond an economic one, unlike during Vietnam, the war in Afghanistan and the continuing occupation of Iraq do not affect most peoples' lives in a way they can readily see.  Even though the Pentagon budget is roughly on par with the other largest expenditures in the U.S. budget, Social Security, and Medicaide/Medicare, the futility of this spending is hidden from view.  

The GOP has managed to fool the Tea Party into thinking that controlling the debt is about controlling entitlements and union-busting, while keeping Pentagon and war spending conspicuously off the table (with Obama's complete acquiescence, it must be mentioned.)  But if a war in which the "enemy" must be paid to not attack military supply convoys in order to resupply bases is not futile, I don't know what "futile" is.

But just because most people don't know that their ostensibly "good liberal" congressman keeps voting to fund war, doesn't mean they would approve of it.  The key to stopping the wars is to make the connection between the waste of money and lives, and individual not-so-good-liberal congress members' actions.  This means flyers door-to-door and letters and comments at sites which local people look at, such as school websites which provide community forums.  Below is a flyer being given out by neighborhood anti-war activists in Schiff's district in CA, which is powerful and to the point.

Every time one of these votes comes around, congressmens' offices always hear from the same people: us.  They take note when the circle begins to expand beyond "the usual suspects," and this changes votes.  One call from a constituent not known to be active is worth five from "the usual suspects."

Afghans have made clear that they view the American troop presence as doing much more harm than good.   Apologies for civilian casualties are ringing hollow, as with the nine boys ages 9 to 15 who were shot one after the other from a helicopter while they were collecting firewood in Kunar.  A poll commissioned by the Washington Post, ABC, and the BBC revealed last December that:

But more than half of all Afghans — 55 percent — want U.S. forces out of their country, and the sooner the better.

Let us open our hearts and act.  Last week, upon news of the earthquake in Japan, Afghans in Kundahar managed to put together $50,000 to send as a donation to their "brothers and sisters" after the disaster.  This is the fourth poorest country in the world.

 Just change the name and contact info and cut and paste this into a neighborhood flyer.  Do something great with your life!  Be a war-stopper! Bring our war dollars home!

Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121

                   
                                         Your Congressman

                                 Adam SCHIFF

                voted to take $1.5 BILLION from YOU for WAR  in  2011 alone!  

That's about $2,350 from every man, woman and child in your Congressional District!  

                               Tell him how you feel about that!

                                    go to  www.house.gov

                                   or call him at 626 304 2727

                           Why is Congressman Schiff Voting for war?      

                                       HERE ARE THE FACTS:

    * Congressman Adam Schiff voted on December 17, 2010, without debate, for funds which will continue the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and for the largest Pentagon budget in American history. (for roll call of vote google "HR 6523 roll call vote")

    * The war in Iraq alone bore a cost of at least $50,000 for every American family of 4 between 2003 and 2008, or $5 TRILLION.   The total cost of wars is much higher when you figure in the cost of military operations in Afghanistan.  What would you do with this money?  Pay off a mortgage?  Make sure your kids finish college?   (google: "Economist Stiglitz Says Iraq War Costs May Reach $5 Trillion" by Thomas Keene)

    * According to the Congressional Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, chaired by Rep. John Tierney, the Pentagon is knowingly paying the Taliban for safe  passage of military supply convoys.  We are probably the biggest funders of the Taliban.  
www.truthout.org/us-taxpayer-dollars-killing-american-troops-afghanistan65995

    * Afghans themselves report that our military presence is leading many to  join the Taliban in order to fight the foreigners and are thereby being radicalized.  www.warisacrime.org/print/56089

Stop the Insanity!  Bring war dollars home to create American jobs and reduce the debt!

Please call Congressman Schiff and say "Shame on you for your Dec. 17, 2010 vote for more war funds!"  (Bill name: HR 6523 )  

Bring our tax dollars home!  Call 626-304-2727 or send him a message at www.schiff.house.gov//index.cfm?sectionid=155

The following congress members voted against war funding in the Dec. 17, 2010 vote, for $725 billion for the Pentagon which included $158.7 billion for "overseas contingency operations," i.e., the military occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan)  If your congress member is not here, he/she voted for war funding:

:

Baldwin,Blumenauer, Campbell, Capuano, Chu, Clarke, Cohen, Conyers, DeFazio, Duncan, Ehlers, Ellison, Eshoo, Farr, Filner, Flake, Fudge, Garamendi, Hall (NY), Honda, Jackson (IL), Johnson (IL), Kagen, Kucinich, Lee (CA), Lewis (GA), Lofgren, Zoe, Matsui, Michaud, Miller, Moore (WI), Nadler (NY), Olver, Paul, Payne, Pingree (ME), Serrano, Slaughter, Stark, Thompson(CA), Tierney, Towns, Velázquez, Watson, Watt, Waxman, Welch, Woolsey

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