Antiwar Clout in House, Senate and Elsewhere
There are 12 co-sponsors to Dennis Kucinich’s bill to end the Afghan war, and significantly Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, said that she wouldn’t try to block the vote, or do anything to push war funding through Congress,
Dennis Kucinich,(D-OH); John Conyers, Jr.; (D-MI); Ron E. Paul (R-TX); Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD); Bob Filner (D-CA); Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC); Lynn Woolsey (D-CA); Edward Whitfield (R-KY); Michael Capuano (D-MA); Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL); Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ); Eric Massa (D-NY); and Alan Grayson (D-FL).
Antiwar sites like antiwar activists need to get familiar with these people, and note there somewhat different perspectives in opposing the war. I hope someone could put this in the comment section, since I don’t know much about libertarians except for Ron Paul.
Besides Pelosi, John Murtha expressed meaningful doubts. Remember back in 2006 he was prevented from becoming Majority Whip because conservatives thought he was too shrill against the Iraq war. Rep. John Murtha is the head of the Defense Appropriation subcommittee, a potentially powerful position,
When it comes to the Senate, there is antiwar debate whether there is one or two Senators opposed to the war. Bernie Sanders statements are far weaker than Kucinich’s in the House,
I think Senator Arlen Specter’s opposition to the Afghan war is even stronger than Sander’s but others disagree. Specter is strongly opposed to al Qaeda, but believes that the Afghan War only empowers al Qaeda. Some peace actives think this stance represents confusion. Note he has made strong attempts to convince administration officials, especially note his handwritten comments besides his signature,
Specter Statement on the war,
Some liberal Representatives who are upset with the war don’t want to further disrupt the progressive agenda with any harsh criticism of Obama. Specter, depending on what is happening on the ground, could offer them hope not to have to criticize Obama’s integrity.
On my earlier blog post, I mentioned Specter’s background on other issues. I hope people post comments on his earlier life there,
By the way if someone wants to see how Specter deals with things, in Philly on Dec 28 Specter will hold hearing on witness intimidation,
As I pointed out earlier, the war is more likely to end not because the next President like Nixon has a so-called secret plan to end it, but because GI’s somehow rebel against spending their entire life oversees after they thought they signed for two years. I won’t repeat my comments on young people left out in the cold, with no job and shunned by such places as soup kitchens. However, if you have a young relative you don’t want to end up in the military tell them that you would prefer that they never end up with a full time job than the end up coming back home disabled, if even only mentally, from war.
Obama made very limited statements on what his goals were with the war, something about preventing the Afghan Government from being defeated by the Taliban, and there has been behind the scenes negotiations. See,
The Taliban may agree to try to turn over bin Laden, but only if the US makes assurance that it will leave anyway if they are unable to. Bin Laden could actually be dead. It would under any circumstances be hard to distinguish, between the Taliban making a real concession for peace or one that is only cosmetic. At any rate neocons who want America to have tension or be at war with a lot of Muslims and also defense contractors would say Obama sold out. And the section of the peace movement now claiming Obama is a totally fraud would have trouble coming to the defense of the peace deal. In the meantime unfortunately escalation will continue because like in Vietnam the choice, at each point, will be escalate further or get out. Somehow making life easier for those GI’s who complain about spending their entire lives in uniform, and helping unemployed youth, especially relatives, so they won’t be cornered into the army is probably the only thing that can be done in the name of militancy that won’t backfire.
For more on Specter see,
To comment on Specter history, I would prefer comment at my previous post, if it’s not too late to post,