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The Military Industrial Complex at 50

Maine Campaign to Bring Our War $$ Home

St. Louis Peace Economy Project

Boston's 25 Percent Solution

Bay Area's New Priorities Campaign

Maryland's Our Funds

Pennsylvania's Campaign for Smart Security

PDA's Brown Bag Lunch Vigils in districts everywhere.

Do more than vigiling.

Peaceable Assembly Campaign

New Priorities Network

Code Pink: Bring Our War $ Home

25 Teachers’ Salaries (California)

Bring the Billion$ Home (Seattle)

MFSO The True Costs of War


The Military Industrial Complex at 50



$7.6 Trillion Since 9-11.

A report from the National Priorities Project (PDF) contains on pages 23 and 24 documentation of how investing in military reduces jobs and hurts economy.  Get cost of war to your area here, but multiply it by five. Get cost of military contracts to your area here.  Get the amount of money military companies give your representative here.  And here's the cost of weapons you give Israel.

Here's a calculator for what particular weapons are costing us.

50 fact sheets, 1 for each state: here.

What we give up to pay for weapons.

Your 1040 tax form lies to you.

Proposed US military spending for 2012 is at least $1.3 trillion.



Draft legislation



From Budget Task Force


From President's Deficit Commission

From Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

From Center for Defense Information



Pass a local resolution.  Even big cities and state labor councils and state political parties are doing it.

Put a cost of war counter on city hall.

Here's a kit from Cities for Progress.

Some additional cities that have done this: Newton, Mass., Cambridge, Mass.

Resolution passed by Northampton, Mass.

Mayors have backed this agenda in Boston and two other Massachusetts towns.

40 Maryland State Senators and Delegates have asked Congress to take the money out of the military

Resolution passed by Hartford, CT.

Resolution passed by SCHOOL BOARDS in California.

Resolution passed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Resolution passed by Los Angeles.

Resolution passed by Seattle.



Unelect those who fund wars; someone worse cannot be much worse



Sample Flyer for a Particular Congressional District

Six Facts No War Supporters Know

Bring Our War $ Home

Code Pink flyer and other Code Pink resources.

Lipstick on Pig flyer.

We Call for the United States to End Its Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan!

AVATAR Awakening



Lots to choose from















Here's a power point with a handout and a script.

Another great power point -- and feel free to modify and adapt it.

Our Taxes Are Off to War



ReThink Afghanistan

Why Are We In Afghanistan Again

Capitol Hill Teach In

Arlington West

Video Contest: What Would You Do With A Trillion Dollars?

Military Math (short cartoon)

US Spending Problem



The Military as a Jobs Program: There are More Efficient Ways to Stimulate the Economy

A Unified Theory of War and Taxes

It's Jobs or Wars, Not Both

The Peace Movement's Progress.

Democrats forced to cheat to fund war.

33 Billion Dishonest Excuses for War

Dear Fiscal Conservative War Supporter

Congressman, Vote No on Afghan War Escalation

Afghanistan: Ending a Failed Military Strategy: A Briefing Paper by September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows

Wars have been ended by defunding them before.  Many times.

The Afghan Marshall Plan, an Exit Strategy

How to Save a Trillion Dollars

White House Website Lying About Your Taxes


Afghanistan War Weekly

War Is A Crime: Afghanistan



The Military Industrial Complex at 50

When the World Outlawed War, by David Swanson

War Is A Lie, by David Swanson

Ending the US War in Afghanistan: A Primer, By David Wildman and Phyllis Bennis

Seymour Melman's books



Update: Two-thirds want out.

Update: budget people want.

Where U.S. public opinion is and where it's moving , and even further along --  here too.

And how much people know.



Hold a drawathon. Here's how.



Our allies over there


You can post the ever-changing chart from below on your own website. Here's the code.



Stay Warm and Inform with a “Foreclose on War, Invest in People” Scarf



April 20, 2011, The Obama Gates Maneuver on Military Spending

April 15, 2011, 77 Representatives vote for a budget that defunds militarism.

February 11, 2011, Rep. Pete Stark puts in amendment to cut military

February 2, 2011, Budget Cut Talk Is Not Real

January 4, 2011, Gates Claims He'll Propose Cuts of $100 B

December 29, 2010, Identifying the Congressional Districts to focus on.

December 17, 2010, the House passed the military's offense budget 341-48: Here's how they voted.

December 8, 2010, the House passed more war funding together with other military funding, with only 35 Democrats voting No when only 4 more votes would have blocked the bill.

November 16, 2010, Schakowsky Produces Sensible Budget Plan: Tax the Rich, Cut the War Industry, Invest in Jobs, Strengthen Social Security.

October 13, 2010, letter to the catfood commission from 57 congress members: (PDF).

On July 27, 2010, 115 congress members behaved as if they might be worthy of keeping their jobs. These include 102 Democrats and 12 Republicans who voted no on dumping $33 billion into escalating the war in Afghanistan, plus one more Democrat, Alan Grayson, who publicly lobbied his colleagues to vote No in an unprecedented manner but was unable to be there to vote. Another 317 congress members clearly indicated their worthiness for being unelected, 308 by voting for the money and 9 by not voting. Here is background on how that July 27th vote happened and what it meant. This record can be enriched by looking at previous votes on war-related bills in the chart below.

Please phone your Representative at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to commit to voting No on war funding, and post below what they tell you. Thanks!

The next money is already moving (July 27, 2010, Politico):

"Ambassador Richard Holbrooke is scheduled to testify Wednesday before a House Appropriations panel that had deferred action on the administration's $3.9 billion request for aid to Afghanistan next year. And a second House panel is scheduled to meet behind closed doors Tuesday on the Pentagon's budget, including an additional $157.8 billion for war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Afghanistan portion of these funds constitutes about two-thirds of the total, and this money is sure to become more of a target by the time the bill comes to the floor in the fall — and closer to the November elections."

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When I called Lois Capps office (Congresswoman CA District 23), her representative told me that she has NOT decided how she will vote on a bill that calls for or funds troop escalation in Afghanistan. I don't know who put 2 "YES" votes by her name because this is not correct. I am the Santa Barbara Chapter Leader for PDA and am really keeping on top of this. Thanks for doing this, David.

Jim Cooper, is nothing short of being just another FRAUD. He supports and votes the way Nancy Pelosi tells him to vote. Always has, always will.
He was not available, didn't know when. {I tell you, he will not commit until he receives directions from Pelosi.
He voted No in June as a real representative when it didn't really matter. But when the REAL vote mattered, he voted with Pelosi as he was instructed. He's DOES NOT represent the majority of district TN05. As I've said, he's a Pelosi man.

I called the Congressman's office today, 04/23/10. His spokesman said, I quote, "Congressman Cooper still supports the troops, and he'll most likely to continue to vote "YES".
What a "FRAUD". He doesn't even know the difference between supporting the troops, and supporting Corporate America's Military needs.

Last Friday I spoke with a woman in Wolf's DC office and asked for his positions on the four issues in the Stop Funding War table. She said she'd have to get back to me.

She hadn't called back by that afternoon so I called back to find out why. She said she had passed my comments on to the Congressman, but I clarified that they were not meant to be comments, rather questions and I really wanted to know his positions.

This afternoon someone from Wolf's office called and spoke with my husband who related to me that Wolf's answers to all four questions were No on HR2404; No on HR3699; No on restricting troop/mercenary levels; No on ceasing funding other than for withdrawing troops.

Guess I'd have been pretty surprised if it had been otherwise!

Lois Capp's office rep said that she will not support any more funding for the wars. Gallegly's office said he supports funding. That's Ca. for you--split.

The Senate is hopeless, but FWIW Sen. Boxer commits to voting No on war money.

Russ Feingold (WI):
"I do not support the president's decision to send additional troops to fight a war in Afghanistan that is no longer in our national security interest. It's an expensive gamble to undertake armed nation-building on behalf of a corrupt government of questionable legitimacy. Sending more troops could further destabilize Afghanistan and, more importantly, Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state where al Qaeda is headquartered."

Bernie Sanders (VT):
"I have serious concerns. "First, why are American taxpayers and our brave soldiers bearing almost all the burden in what should be an international effort? Where are Europe, Russia, China and the rest of the world?... My nightmare is that we may get caught in a quagmire situation from which there will be no successful exit."

Sherrod Brown (OH):
"While I'm encouraged that the President laid out clear goals and a responsible timeline for completion, I remain skeptical about a commitment of 30,000 of our service men and women... But I continue to remain skeptical. I do not want a long commitment of troops in the region and I am concerned with the dramatic costs to human life and to military families. Before we commit more troops and more taxpayer dollars, there must be a clear path to stabilizing the country that does not amount to an open-ended commitment of troops."

Arlen Specter (PA):
"I oppose sending 30,000 additional American troops to Afghanistan because I am not persuaded that it is indispensable in our fight against Al Qaeda. If it was, I would support an increase because we have to do whatever it takes to defeat Al Qaeda since they're out to annihilate us. But if Al Qaeda can operate out of Yemen or Somalia, why fight in Afghanistan where no one has succeeded?"

Barbara Boxer (CA):
"I support the President's mission and exit strategy for Afghanistan, but I do not support adding more troops because there are now 200,000 American, NATO and Afghan forces fighting roughly 20,000 Taliban and less than 100 al Qaeda."

Tom Udall (NM):
"...I remain unconvinced that sending an additional 30,000 American troops into harm's way improves the situation or advances our national security interests in the region. Although skeptical, I remain eager to learn the rationale for this strategy in Afghanistan as the plan and its details are explored through committee testimony and debate in the days and weeks to come."

Paul Kirk (MA):
"I'm encouraged by the President's plans to ultimately disengage us from Afghanistan in a responsible and timely fashion. I remain skeptical, however, about a significant troop build-up when the legitimacy of our Afghan partner is in serious question."

Bermine Sanders: Why should Ru. and China get involved? Arlen Specter: Al Qaeda hasn't aimed for annihilating the USA, but, instead, trying to stop the USA's rogue ways in Arab countries. Barbara Baxter: She voted against authorizing the war, the sole Rep. to have done this, so why change from this position? And 20,000 Taliban versus 200,000 NATO and Afghan forces? The Taliban are impressive.

Lastly, the table of announced positions of congressional rep's at the top of this article isn't encouraging.

Mike Corbeil

Talk is talk. Show me the money.

Watch later how many of these fine talkers vote YES when its time to fund these additional troops.

(D) is for Liar. Watch their actions.

Rep. Perlmutter has been requested to vote against the White House plan to expand the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Rep. Perlmutter has positioned himself as a supporter of the military. He has helped raise funds for a new VA hospital near the famous Fitzsimmons Campus of the Univ. of Colo. Health Care megacenter in Aurora, CO. He has worked to help develop a new VA cemetery in his colleague, Rep. John Salazar's district in the central Front Range area of Colorado. He is well advised on the Pinion Canon military expansion in southeast Colorado, long in the planning stage.

He has a large war chest himself and is easily favored to win re-election in his district, which he helped map. He chose to join the Democratic Conservative Congressional Caucus whose members announced their membership list when they formed, though he later said they were ever-fluid on any issue. The changing times may alter how he is handicapped in his re-election bid if the voters volitionally ired, attentive and involved over White House policies which appear to be watered down versions of more of the same.

He has been asked to vote "No," to war funding. He did not support any amendments on your chart of 32. Dennis Kucinich has a big following in Colorado still. He could raise money here, and does. Our own reps have to go somewhere else for donations.

Fixing to be a messy election season with an appointee senator who is a recipent of incredible largess from Corporate America or maybe Corporate Globe. He is in a Primary with a past Speaker of the CO House, a brilliant young leader, who has announced he will take no corporate interest donations for his campaign, at least not about now, if he did receive any in the past. Rep. Perlmutter has not endorsed either one, though some others, like Sen. Mark Udall, jumpted behind the unseasoned appointee, filling the vacated seat of Ken Salazar who was made Sec. of the Interior. The U.S. Senate is doing its usual rallying round its own, the appointee - whatever that means.

Many in the CO delegation want the military to be happy in CO at all costs - it seems.

Do I think Rep. Ed Perlmutter will vote against funding the war even if every single voter in his district instructs him to? I think it is important for voters to consider how Rep. Perlmutter votes, and consider his explanations of his votes.

What we need then is a strong anti-war independent campaign in his district. Give the voters of that district an opportunity to vote for someone else. And maybe teach Mr. Perlmutter that he has to have our votes to win.

I live in CO, and I'm willing to help with such a campaign.

Its time to inflict electoral pain on pro-war Democrats.

From Rep. Alan Grayson's Press Secretary Todd Jurkowski:
"Congressman Grayson will oppose any STAND ALONE bill that funds the Afghanistan escalation."
"He has consistently called for the immediate end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and will not support any stand alone bill that funds either wars."

There's presently a petition for trying to persuade members of the Congress to vote no. Specifically, it's for them to "Vote NO on any spending bill that would send more troops to Afghanistan".

Mike Corbeil

I just called David Wu's office and the secretary said he's supporting the war. The only other answer that I got for an Oregon Rep. was Peter DeFazio and he's voting against any escalation. YAY DeFazio!!! As someone who has lived in Afghanistan for two years and spent a lot of time with the Afghan people, I thank you deeply.

Greg Walden, Earl Blunehauer and Kurt Schrader are still quiet. I encourage more Oregonians to call their Rep's offices and increase the pressure.

Liz Grover

From Rep. Raul Grijalva's Press Secretary Adam Sarvana:
"He is indeed vowing to vote against any appropriations bill to fund the Afghan war."

According to Rep. James McGovern's Press Secretary Michael Mershon, he will vote no on a bill to fund the Afghanistan escalation.

Rep. Timothy V. Johnson, Republican from the 15th Illinois CD, has promised that he will vote *against any further spending* for "either of the two wars" (i.e., Iraq and AfPak).

We had a confirming phone call from Tim this afternoon. (I ran against him as Green in this Congressional district in 2002.)

Regards, C. G. Estabrook

Ilan Kayatsky, Communications Director, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-08) writes:

Rep. Nadler is a co-sponsor of legislation to block funding for the war and remains strongly against the escalation and against the funding thereof.
Also, check this out from Brian Lehrer this am:

Pelosi/Hoyer/Conyers/Nadler/Reid/Durbin have betrayed the Constitution-not even holding a single impeachment hearing in the 110th & 111th Democratic Congresses on nearly forty very serious Articles of Impeachment against Cheney/Bush, these weaklings fearful of doing their constitutional duties, enables of an imperial presidency with absolute powers over the American people, the two culprits (Cheney/Bush) who usurped the Constitution, flaunted our laws, and violated our international Treaties, basking in the sunshine with their full privileges and esteem of their former high offices intact-link..

I was told, "he wants to remain flexible until he's had a chance to study everything." I persisted, "You mean you don't have any idea of which way he's inclined toward funding this war." Got the same answer again. I did, however, let what I thought about the whole thing be known to the staffer and she said she would pass it on!

I will try calling at a later time!

Minnesota First District Rep Tim Walz doesn't know whether to support Obama's surge but if I'm reading it right, he seems to lean towards supporting Obama. "Walz takes tough questions on war in Afghanistan--Town hall meeting on surge remains civil." Walz described himself as "progressive" at one point so it's apparent that there's must be a new category of "pro war progressives" forming. Their stance is that it's a tough, painful decision but they must follow Obama's will. Frankly that sounds no different than the pro-war Republican stance to most laymen, but....

Thanks for your email, and for acknowledging Congressman Quigley’s efforts questioning the war. You might also be interested in this floor speech, in addition to the one linked on the DownWithTyranny blog today.

As for a vote, at this time, we don’t have a funding bill(s) to consider and the Congressman will make a determination when he has something to review.



Aviva F. Gibbs
Communications Director

Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05)

I called Cong. Jackson's office just now to ask how he was voting on the "defense bill," which includes funding for Afghanistan. She replied, "he's voting for the "defense bill" and he still muddling over funding Aghanistan." I said, "do you realize that $130 billion, includes war funding for Afghanistan?" She became very confused -- I did finally get her to understand. So, I told her I'm against this so-called defense bill.

I also took the opportunity to tell the staffer that the House health care bill is a sham and it should be killed. Been trying to get through to Senators, as well -- can't get through yet.

It's good to hear someone vote for something good. Since I'm not on US anymore, I can't give any help. But, I won't support any bills to fund any damn war, including Afghanistan. Even, Osama live there, still, there are a lot of innocent people live there also. So, I won't sacrifice that people just for kill that one damned terrorist. I hope he's dead already.

So many of us are against war, in any form, much less the notion that anything justifies the means! Osama bin Laden may very well be dead for all we know!

Grass-roots Update from Rusti and Gael

Since President Obama’s announcement that he intends to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan,
we have been receiving messages from grass-roots groups about their experiences with Congressional offices.
Some folks have done “call-ins,” “stop-bys” or formal meetings with either staff members or the Representative.
One modest goal has been to find out where members of Congress stand on the issue.

Thanks to everyone. We are sending along a sampling of the updates we have received. If you have new reports,
please email to:

From Mary Beth Moore, Long Island Alliance for Peaceful Alternatives, January Stop-Bys to Long Island
Congressional Offices

On January 4th, twenty-one constituents visited their representatives and Senators for a monthly “Stop-by”
that has 3 components: registering our opposition to the war in Afghanistan, delivering materials that offer
the latest alternative thinking about the war and proposals for better solutions, reading the names of
casualties for the month….

Rep. Steve Israel: Sheila Croke met him coincidentally and used the opportunity to ask if he would oppose
the funding for the war. Israel is considering opposition and stated he would consult with local peace
activists before making his decision. A longer meeting with aide confirmed that Israel recent trip to
Afghanistan leads him to conclude that “things are not good there.”

Rep Carolyn McCarthy: District Director Chris Chaffey met with delegation and stated he had read their
previous information packets. He was interested in Israel’s leaning toward not funding war. McCarthy,
however, remains committed to Obama’s position and follows party directions.

Rep. Gary Ackerman: Stan and Shirley Romaine secured a meeting with Ackerman and a delegation met with
him for more than an hour. Despite delegation's well documented position about the futility of Afghan
war, Ackerman was unpersuaded and appears to fall unquestioningly into the narrative of the “war on terror.”
He supports Obama’s escalation.

Rep. Peter King: A long-standing supporter of the war and member of the Homeland Security Committee,
King is cold to opposition to the war. His aides are correspondingly unresponsive.

Senator Gillibrand: A Gillibrand aide listened respectfully but could not state the Senator’s position
with any clarity.

From Paula Rogovin, , Military Families Speak Out, NJ

We met last Monday with Congressman Rothman in Hackensack NJ. We had turned him around about Iraq. This
appears to be much more difficult on this. He’s so tied to Obama, it’s hard to get him loose. When we
talked about the toll on our troops, he had the nerve to say “they volunteered,” even though he doesn’t
like stop loss and things like extensions…spoke with him for two hours.

Sharon Abreu, 2nd Congressional District in Washington State.

I will be circulating your petition to stop the 'war' in Afghanistan. I'm sorry to have to tell you that
I will not be speaking with my "representative" Rick Larsen.

Larsen is among the "New Democrats" - a member of the DLC and very pro-military. He's on the Armed Services
Committee and caters to big business, including of course Boeing, and the military bases in our district in
Everett and Oak Harbor. He has proven himself to be completely uninterested in the pro-peace opinions of his
constituents. So there is no point in trying yet again to talk with him about ending wars. A group of us are
hoping to run a candidate against him in 2010 and have been working toward that goal. We finally came to the
conclusion that this would be a much more productive use of our time and energy.

Carolyn McCrady, Gary, IND

I am assembling a delegation of like- minded people to sit down with Rep. Visclosky to
discuss Afghanistan, the Kucinich resolution, withdrawal and voting to reprioritize monies from
warfare to human welfare.

We have 2 dates… We will also attend his two town hall meetings.

Rich Andrews, Boulder, CO

My Representative Jared Polis, Colorado CD-2, voted against the massive
military appropriation bill in Dec, largely because of the War on Terror
$130 billion. We're pretty sure he would also vote against any supplemental
war appropriation. I met with his staff in mid November in Wash, emphasized
that we wanted him to vote against any and all future war budgets. Met
again in Dec in local office with his staff to thank him for his vote
against the DoD budget bill.

Ann Mauney, Georgia Coalition for Peace and Justice

Spoke with staff member in the office of Congressman John Lewis. She said Lewis
has not issued a statement and at this time does not plan to. He is a co-sponsor
of both Res. 2404 and Barbara Lee's resolution on funding more troops, but in the
end it seems, he wants to play it both ways with his party leadership role, as usual.
He does not offer real leadership on the war issue. It's always frustrating to talk
with his staff since they are always lecturing us on not alienating our Congressional
allies while I feel I am (almost) always respectful and have simply been urging him
since the beginning to take a more active role.

Jim Hauser, Washington State

Our Congressman is Jim McDermott and he opposes Obama’s war decision

Rosalie Yelin, Long Island

A small delegation (including Charlotte Koons representing CODEPINK) visited Steve
Israel's office yesterday. He said that he was opposed to funding a surge in Afghanistan,
and that the only kind of surge that was really needed was something akin to the National
Solidarity Program… He said that he is an "author" of this program. He called it "soft
power development" and said that if this sort of aid was included in a larger surge
appropriations bill, he would have to vote for the whole thing… ..he is also adamantly
"pro drone."

Gail Mitchell, Barrington, New Hampshire

I constantly email Carol Shea Porter on my wish to pull out of Afghanistan. I will continue.
I also send her updates on any important news articles she may have missed. She is not happy
with Obama’s stand on Afghanistan and wants to bring them home keeping a small support group.

Jerry Lotierzo, Peace Action of Central New York

Peace Action of Central New York has a meeting scheduled with Congressman Maffei in March,
2010. We have already handed his local office and the local offices of Senators Schumer
and Gillibrand a two page pamphlet we prepared on Military Spending. … We also got some
press for the event because we had a press conference immediately before visiting their
offices. This all happened on December..

He just returned from a visit and said in the Syracuse Post Standard that he was skeptical
about sending more troops there but did not take a firm stand which is typical ... I am
sure he will vote to fund the war there.

Susan Lee, Greater Boston UJP

Meeting with Barney Frank. On Afghanistan…Thanked him for his co-sponsorship of HR.3699
which defunds escalation. Asked about his change of mind on Afghanistan: “Because it is
not working – it might have worked 7 years ago if we had stayed with suppressing Taliban,
but it’s too late now.” He pushed back at the notion that the current regime is as bad
as the Taliban and said it is a losing strategy to say that. We asked him to speak out
and write about Afghanistan

More extensive discussion on overall military budget and the need to cut it and re-direct
for domestic purposes.

Steve Carlson. PDA, 7th Congressional District, Wisconsin

As one of Dave Obey's constituents up here in north west Wisconsin, I have to say it was
heartening to see my congressman speak out on
ABC News
against an escalation of the war in Afghanistan. Obey doesn't often do such
things. He isn't one of the congressional regulars on the cable talk-show circuit.

Even more heartening is the fact that on Wednesday, November 18th, just a few days before the
interview aired, members of Progressive Democrats of America joined with our peace and justice
allies to stage a "Healthcare NOT Warfare" rally in front of Obey's office in Superior. Afterwards
we met with an aide and requested that the Congressman sign on to the Lee and McGovern bills
which would, respectively, prohibit any further troop deployments to Afghanistan, and require
Defense Secretary Robert Gates to provide Congress with an exit strategy by the end of this year.

Now, I know what you're thinking. "Do you really believe that your visit to Obey's office had
something to do with his appearance on ABC News?" You bet I do.

Deborah Allen, NYC
Sends Statement from Congressman Jerry Nadler

“I am disappointed by President Obama’s decision to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
I am not convinced that the United States and its allies will be able to end the 35-year civil war
in Afghanistan, nor is that our responsibility. We should not send additional troops to prop up a
corrupt government which neglects its own people’s needs. It is simply not justifiable to sacrifice
more lives and spend more money on this war. We must rethink our policy in Afghanistan. If we do
not, we are doomed to failure and further loss of American lives.”

Carol Coakley, UJP Boston
A group met with Rep Jim McGovern Dec 28.

1. He will ask Obama to make a formal request for those 30,000 troops.

2. He will ask Majority Leader Pelosi to hold a debate in Congress about Afghanistan.

McGovern said that he is drafting an updated version of his exit strategy bill (HR.2404 last year).
He is working together with Sen. Feingold so that there are parallel bills in the House and Senate,
and he expects to have a bill introduced by the end of January.

Diane Turco, Cape Codders for Peace and Justice

Meeting with Rep. Bill Delahunt, Jan. 12

The objective of our meeting was to support Delahunt to vote against the war supplemental funding.
We asked him to make a commitment but he began the meeting stating that he would make no commitments.
He was asked if he thought the current strategy was a failed one and he would not answer. 18 people
took turns speaking on various war issues. I got the sense that he supports Obama so we have our work
cut out but this was a good beginning. We did, however, get him to commit to sponsor a forum on
Afghanistan this March (before the vote!) so our next plan is to organize community groups (church,
human services, teacher's union, etc.) to pressure D. about the funding. We hope to pack the forum.
The group is meeting this Sunday to review the meeting and begin our plans.
Coverage in the Cape Cod Times:

I just asked him to commit to voting No on $33 billion, and he said he "opposes" it and "wants" to vote No, but will not commit. Spineless.

Congressman Payne: I Won't Oppose War Money Because Obama's President

Congressman Donald Payne (D., N.J.) has voted against war funding bills for years. Last summer he was one of 32 heroes to vote No under intense pressure from the White House to vote Yes. When I asked him a couple of years ago to sign onto impeaching Bush he immediately said "Sure!" and he did it.

Today I asked him if he would commit to voting No on the next $33 billion for war. I asked him privately, just after he'd given a long speech to a Progressive Democrats of America conference in New Jersey, a speech about how much he opposes the wars.

Payne told me that he didn't want to commit to voting No on the next "emergency war supplemental" because Obama is president, echoing Jan Schakowsky's comments last June when she made a similar reversal.

"Congressman Payne," I said, "aren't the bombs the same? Isn't the dying the same?" He agreed and told me I was preaching to the choir.

"And is the only difference that a different person is president?" I asked. "Yes," he replied.

When I had prefaced my question with praising him for standing strong last June, I had referenced the major promises and threats that other congressmembers had reported receiving from the White House. Payne said he had experienced the same. Yet somehow he had resisted, but is unsure about resisting further.

Earlier in the day, another Democratic congressman from New Jersey, Frank Pallone, had spoken to the PDA conference, and both PDA's national director Tim Carpenter and I had asked him publicly to commit to voting No on the war money.

I thanked Pallone for voting No on war supplementals in 2004 and 2005 and expressed disappointment that he had voted Yes last June. He refused to commit to voting No, with the excuse that something good might be attached to the war money. Yet he had voted No in the past, despite the fact that good hard-to-oppose measures were always applied as lipstick on these bills.

Was Pallone's real thinking that he wanted to obey the president? I can't say for sure, but I can say that he took a lot of questions from PDA members about his positions, and he tended to answer by explaining what Obama's positions are. And I can say that Pallone raised lots of rightwing reasons for not being stronger on issues like healthcare, and other members of the panel he was part of decisively refuted each point but had no impact on the congressman's position whatsoever.

Joining Pallone on the panel were Carpenter and PDA board member Steve Cobble, Co-Chair of PDA's Healthcare Not Warfare campaign Donna Smith, and the president of the New Jersey Industrial Union Council Ray Stever. They laid out the case and the strategy for shifting our resources from wars to human needs, especially single-payer healthcare.

The conference rooms were packed, and everyone involved was eager to get to work, including a lot of people new to PDA's organizing. Joanne O'Neil and the other leaders of New Jersey PDA were pleased with the conference, but far from satisfied with the positions of the two congress members who attended.

To their credit, however, everyone was focused on lobbying, challenging, and pressuring until their representatives agree to represent the people of New Jersey rather than taking their orders from a president who has three more years in office even if his followers get themselves voted out this November.

I expect more congress members from New Jersey, possibly even Payne and Pallone, to be joining those committed to voting No on the wars they claim to oppose:

Add Congressman Bill Delahunt to the list of misrepresentatives who claim to oppose wars when a Republican is president but agree to support them when a Democrat moves into the White House.

When Bush was president, Delahunt sometimes voted for war funding bills and sometimes voted against them. The inclusion in the bills of lipstick measures, such as relief for hurricane victims, etc., was not a decisive factor. Delahunt appears to have voted No when the Democratic leadership was most accepting of that action. But, with all the Republicans voting Yes, there was never a chance of a No vote actually helping to block funding.

Since Obama became president, Delahunt has voted yes at every opportunity to support the funding of wars that the majority of his constituents have opposed for years. Several weeks back, I had the opportunity to speak with some of Delahunt's more engaged constituents as part of a book tour, including members of Cape Codders for Peace and Justice. They had taken to calling their congressman "Dela-Won't" and had largely given up on him. I encouraged them to sit-in at his office and demand opposition to war funding. I was encouraged when I heard that they had done so and that he had agreed to meet with them.

Apparently, Delahunt met with a coalition of groups and refused to commit to voting No on war money. As is typical of congress members who take their orders from the president or a party leader, Delahunt didn't say he would vote Yes, he just refused to commit to voting No. Spineless servants of a party boss want to vote against unpopular bills if the bills are guaranteed to pass and they can be sure that no one will punish them for their action, but they want to keep open the option of voting yes if their vote becomes necessary for passing the bill. This is why the behavior of the people we think of as the best congress members largely amounts to voting No on bills that have been guaranteed passage and voting Yes on bills that have been guaranteed to fail.

About 30 people met with Congressman Delahunt, including military veterans, Cape Codders for Peace and Justice, members of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Greens, Socialists, anarchists, and representatives of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA). Everyone was united in pressing the single request that Delahunt vote against the next $33 billion for wars.

Bruce Taub, the state coordinator for PDA-Massachusetts, represented his organization's 4,000 members who are united in opposing more war funding. He reported that Delahunt refused to commit to voting Yes or No. Taub said that Delahunt offered two reasons for his position (or lack thereof). One was the fascistic-sounding nonsense that Delahunt called his "concern for the safety of the Homeland." Delahunt cannot be unaware that the wars are making us all less safe, just as he cannot have been unaware of that when he voted against funding them in the past.

The second reason was, in Delahunt's words: "President Obama is my leader. I respect him and trust him. I think he is earnest, someone who wants to genuinely do the best he can for the country, someone who considers all the options and is a thoughtful intelligent man. And if he thinks a supplemental is needed, I give that great deference."

And if he told you to jump off a bridge?

He may be telling you to risk your political career. He himself can afford to sacrifice dozens of servile Democrats and get himself reelected two years later, just as Clinton did. You want to run for reelection on nationalizing Massachusetts's disastrous healthcare plan AND using the money people need for jobs to fight hugely unpopular wars? Are you sure that's what you want to do, Bill? Congressmen Kucinich and Grayson don't need Rahm's support because they have gone public with a commitment to decency and peace. You want to obey a president who would throw you under a bus without a second's thought? You want to do that because you think he's earnest and have bowed down before him as your leader? You expect to have no regrets for this on your death bed?

We claim to have separated church and state, but we obviously have not separated stupid blind faith and obedience from the rhetoric of our statesmen. Or stateswomen. Last June Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who had voted against war funding while Bush was president, voted Yes with the explanation "I want to support my president." Congressman Donald Payne, who voted No on war funding when Bush was president and last June as well, told me last weekend that he would not commit to a No vote on the $33 billion, and this purely because Obama is president.

Payne gave no credence to talk of protecting the "Homeland" by killing Afghans and Iraqis. Payne made a lengthy speech about his passionate opposition to the wars and his desire to move our resources to human needs. Then he told me that he would like to vote No on the funding but could not commit to it because Obama is president. I blogged about this on DailyKos, where criticizing Obama is considered at least a misdemeanor. One of the comments posted in reply read:

"The 'only difference' is a different person is President? That's all the difference in the world, when one President is the apex of neoconservativism and the only President ever to govern with that philosophy, and the other is the only President to EVER run against neoconservatism [sic]. Bush wanted us in those countries, killing and destroying, as long as it made big corporations as rich as possible. He believed foreign occupation was limitlessly good. Obama believes foreign occupation is inherantly [sic] destructive to everyone involved, he watched the effects of it growing up in Indonesia and resented it everyday, not to mention its effect on his entire family history through Kenyan occupation; it's part of the understanding of and rejection of tribalism that has guided his entire life. From being the only Democratic candidate of the main three in 2008 to have had [sic] written a bill saying 'no permanent bases in Iraq', to his refusal to fear-monger on Iran, to his perfect handling of the protests there this year, to his pledge in the Cairo speech not to have permanent bases in Iraq OR Afghanistan (unprovoked by any progressive pressure and completely on his own) [sic], to his beating the 6/30/09 deadline to withdraw out of all Iraqi town and cities [sic], to his rush to get troops deployed quickly as logistically politically possible [sic] in order to begin withdrawing out of Afghanistan by July 2011, to his books that outline his thought process as inherently anti-occupation from childhood, assuming Obama will act like Bush with the same variables is an incredibly ignorant statement. This is because the problem with not giving Obama any more credit than Bush is that you're giving Bush the same amount of credit as Obama despite having done NONE of the things in the last paragraph, but rather for being the penultimate [sic] neocon and invading countries at every opportunity - and that, as someone who opposes wars vehemently, turns my stomach. I respectfully submit that this is what the Congressman gets that you do not."

So, there you see? Obama's obliging Congress has escalated the wars. There are more troops and mercenaries in Iraq and Afghanistan than ever during the Bush years, a larger military budget than ever, bases in more nations than ever, a dramatically increased use of drones, a complete failure to withdraw from Iraq the one to two brigades a month for the 16 months of Obama's presidency as promised, horrific war crimes routinely reported, and we are supposed to view the wars as decreased and improved because of a story about the president's childhood. This is what we've come to. Congress members don't believe this hooey. They just want the Party to fund their campaigns, throw them pork, and make them chairmen. But Party loyalists around the country actually think this way. That is fundamentally what is wrong with our country and what could end up killing us all, even though these president worshippers are still in a minority on the question of war.

Delahunt knows his constituents are paying a heavy economic price for these wars and that a majority does not want them funded. Anyone in search of such information need look no further than And, to his credit, Delahunt has agreed to hold a public meeting on the topic of war funding. Let us hope the outcome is not yet another elected representative bragging about his willingness to defy the will of the public.

I think we can count on Delahunt's constituents not to ease off on the pressure until he does, not just says, the right thing.

In his recent town hall, Rep. Schrader (D-OR) said he would vote against funding the war in Afghanistan.

I have spoken with Congressman Schrader several times about pledging to defund the wars, HR 3699, etc. He has said repeatedly (most recently during a town hall meeting in Corvallis Oregon on Jan 30th, 2010) that he will not vote for funding to escalate troops in Afghanistan. He has also repeatedly declined to sign on as a co-sponsor of HR 3699, but I think he could still be persuaded. He is on the House Budget Committee.

From Leah Bolger:

Verbally, he pledged a NO vote during a one-on-one phonecall on Jan 4th, 2010, and during the in-person meeting in Salem was on November 9th, 2009, and then most recently at the Town Hall on Jan 30th 2010.

From an Email from Schrader:

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Peter Bergel

Executive Director

Oregon PeaceWorks

104 Commercial Street NE

Salem , OR 97301

Dear Friends:

I apologize I could not join you this evening and thank you for the gracious invitation. It is absolutely vital for me to hear from constituents on all issues, and I value the voice of Oregon PeaceWorks on matters of peace, justice and environmental sustainability as we debate historic legislation in our nation’s Capitol.

This week President Obama outlined his strategy for 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan at a cost of $30 billion to stabilize and then exit the Afghan region. Many questions remain about how to pay for this surge; the ability to drawdown 18 months after an initial buildup and whether or not the Afghan government is willing to commit to taking over their own security.

Previously, the Administration has said that there would be transparency when it comes to paying for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that Congress would only be asked one time for an emergency supplemental. That question was posed to Congress earlier this year and $72 billion was appropriated for an emergency war supplemental to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan . Included in the final language of the appropriation, Congress laid out specific reporting requirements for the President “assessing the extent to which the Afghan and Pakistani governments are demonstrating the necessary commitment, capability, conduct and unity of purpose” to warrant a continued presence in Afghanistan by the United States.

Specifically, the legislation requires the President to report to Congress by the time he submits his 2011 FY budget request the following:

(1) the level of political consensus and unity of purpose across ethnic, tribal, religious and political party affiliations to confront the political and security challenges facing the region;

(2) the level of government corruption that undermines such political consensus and unity of purpose, and actions taken to eliminate it;

(3) the actions taken by respective security forces and appropriate government entities in developing a counterinsurgency capability, conducting counterinsurgency operations and establishing security and governance on the ground;

(4) the actions taken by respective intelligence agencies in cooperating with the United States on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations and in terminating policies and programs, and removing personnel, that provide material support to extremist networks that target United States troops or undermine United States objectives in the region;

(5) the ability of the Afghan and Pakistani governments to effectively control and govern the territory within their respective borders; and

(6) the ways in which United States Government assistance contributed, or failed to contribute, to achieving the actions outlined above.

My concerns remain the same now as they were in April, and perhaps even more so after the fall elections in Afghanistan . I have not seen adequate reporting on the six benchmarks above that convinces me an additional 30,000 American troops will be able to root out the corruption that prevents the Afghan government from ultimately rejecting bad actors from their borders. I am concerned that an additional $30 billion spent on this effort will add to our deficit and further delay much needed investment within our own borders. And I am concerned about the toll this surge would take on both our military personnel and our country’s military readiness.

In the weeks ahead I will be carefully weighing the information available and without sufficient answers to the above concerns, I will oppose any troop surge in Afghanistan .



Member of Congress

Statement on Kucinich H. Con. Res. 248:

No commitment to oppose funding.

I spoke with Press Secretary Jerilyn Goodman who said Rep. Baldwin does not make commitments on bills ahead of time and will not speak in generalities about funding.

From Ed Shelleby, Communications Director:
"Unless attached to funding for vitally important programs, Rep. McDermott will vote against funding to continue the war in Afghanistan as he did in December."

Statement by Filner from Waynee Lucero, Community Representative:
"I will oppose any funding for this war! It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan and seek political and diplomatic solutions. We should not ignore the high costs of continuing the war, especially the long-term cost of treating our wounded warriors."

Jim McGovern has told PDA he will vote NO.

according to text message I just got - I think from Leah

NYT reported this past week that Pentagon released info that $1 trillion in lithium has been found in Afghanistan, Jun 14, 2010.

The truth finally comes out. USA is in Afghanistan to steal its minerals. CIA knows were all the minerals & the oil is in the world. Don't for a minute think this is new knowledge.

CIA - The World Factbook
Lists population, government, military, and economic information for nations recognized by the United States.

"The War is Worth Waging": Afghanistan's Vast Reserves of Minerals ...
Jun 16, 2010 ... "Lithium is an increasingly vital resource, used in batteries for everything ... Bolivia and Chile are the countries with the largest known reserves of lithium. ... "Previously Unknown Deposits" of Minerals in Afghanistan .... Instated at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war and protected by the CIA, ...

Judge accuses CIA officials of fraud, unseals secret files ...
Jul 20, 2009 ... A federal district judge ruled Monday that the CIA repeatedly misled him ... untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known .... the potential for lithium deposits as large of those of Bolivia, ... -

called at 0745 west coast time and was told that Earl has not decided on how he will vote on the supplemental, no big surprise here. Told them I will not vote for any politician who votes for more money for wars and occupations.

I note that Cong. Jackson shows YES to ending funding.

Nonetheless, I just spoke with his staffperson and asked her to tell Jackson to vote "yes" for HR301. Also, I asked her what Jackson's position was on the supplemental funding of $33bn for an escalation in Afghanistan. She responded, "The Congressman is overall against funding conflicts." I asked her, "does that mean he will vote NO to the funding of $33bn?" She repeated that he's overall against conflict funding, but said she didn't know for sure if he would vote NO, but felt certain he would in view of his feelings about funding the wars generally.

She was very nice and we had a bit of a chat about the illegality of the wars (she feels quite the same, personally) and she took my name, address, etc. and told me she would be sure to convey my message to the Congressman.

you should call back and ask if he's made a decision yet

I called my Rep. David Obey and a staff member said he will continue to vote no to funding Afghanistan but yes to funding for withdrawing from Afghanistan. I also requested that he use his influence to get others to vote no on this.

Taken from his release this morning.

“Military experts tell us that it will take us at least 10 more years to achieve any acceptable outcome in Afghanistan. We have already been there 9 years. I believe it is too high a price to pay.
“To those who say we must pay it because we’re going after Al Qaeda, I would note that Afghanistan is where Al Qaeda USED to be.
“Today, there are fewer than 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, which was publicly confirmed last month by CIA chief Panetta. Al Qaeda has relocated to other countries and regions.
“I have the highest respect and appreciation for our troops who have done everything asked of them. They are being let down by the inability of the governments of Afghanistan and in some instances Pakistan to do their parts.
“I would be willing to support additional war funding – provided that Congress would vote – up or down – explicitly on whether or not to continue this policy after a new National Intelligence Estimate is produced.
“But absent that discipline, I cannot look my constituents in the eye and say that this operation will hurt our enemies more than us.
“And so, I will reluctantly vote no.”
# # #

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