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A New Congressman from Colorado Votes No on War Supplemental, Shames Colleagues With Honesty
Stephanie Westbrook sent this in from her new congressman from Colorado:
Polis Statement on Vote Against 2009 Defense Supplemental
Washington, May 14 - Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) issued the
following statement today on voting against H.R. 2346, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009:
Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) Statement on H.R. 2346, the
Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 Thursday, May 5, 2009
The Defense Supplemental funds a number of worthy and important
projects, including international humanitarian assistance for refugees and medical assistance for people suffering from HIV and AIDS. I applaud my colleagues, Chairman Obey in particular, for addressing these priorities.
Unfortunately, the positive aspects of this bill cannot hide its underlying
premise-funding a misguided war in Iraq and Afghanistan-a policy that I
believe must be changed.
At its heart, this bill is about increasing and prolonging US military
involvement in Afghanistan, which I do not support. I recently traveled to
both Iraq and Afghanistan and saw first-hand the very real challenges that
our presence creates. Let´s be clear-President Obama inherited two wars
and I know he is committed to ending both responsibly. I, however, do not
believe there can be a military solution to the conflict and therefore cannot
support this bill.
The occupation of Afghanistan will not help us defeat the very real threat of
Al Qaeda. Although I am especially encouraged by the "diplomatic surge"
and Special Forces´ efforts to defeat the threat of Al Qaeda, our resources
could be better spent on diplomacy and targeted security operations, rather
than continued occupation. I strongly support President Obama and his
efforts to end our presence in Iraq. I believe that the best way to support
the President is for me to use my vote to help force a discussion about our
strategy and tactics in Afghanistan, and for that reason I am voting no.
We cannot achieve peace through the occupation of an entire country. We
tried and failed in Iraq, and we cannot afford to do so again. We need a
fresh look at our policy in Afghanistan, and this can only come through
open discussion and debate. My action today is not a vote against our
military or a vote against our President, but an urgent call for an exit
strategy for Afghanistan and a plan for peace and security.