DownsizeDC.org
June 6, 2011
Your Pressure is Creating More Congressional War Skeptics
By James Wilson

Here are some updates on recent Congressional actions that prove your letters to Congress are making an impact . . .

* On May 24, we warned you about a vaguely-worded clause in the National Defense Authorization Act that essentially declares war without end. (http://bit.ly/lQeDPa) An amendment to strike that clause received only 20 minutes of debate and almost no media attention, but it still received 187 votes in favor.

* We have campaigned to pull out of Afghanistan (http://bit.ly/jAIM4p), and an amendment, that would do exactly that, almost passed.

* Last Tuesday we told you that a vote was scheduled Wednesday, June 1 on Rep. Dennis Kucinich's resolution, directing the President to remove troops from Libya. (http://bit.ly/kbCeCc). House Majority Leader John Boehner pulled it at the last minute, because he feared it would pass!

Instead . . . 

Boehner proposed a replacement resolution, which challenges President Obama to explain the reason and strategic objective of the War on Libya. This passed easily. It wasn't what we wanted, but it WAS a step in the right direction.

So did you and I "win" on any of these votes? No. That's politics, and even the minds of politicians don't change overnight.

But are you making progress? YES!

Thanks to you, the number of war skeptics in BOTH parties is increasing. We should literally "en-courage" them, that is, give them the courage to stand up and speak out against our endless wars and bloated Pentagon budget.

That's why I sent the following letter to my Representative and Senators using DownsizeDC.org's "Bring the Troops Home" campaign.

The hardwired message says simply, "Please bring the troops home."

I included these additional comments, from which you may borrow or copy . . .

I urge you to oppose the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540) unless it ends funding for our endless wars and occupations . . .

* The President's War on Libya is clearly in violation of the law and Constitution. It must end.
* We routed Al Qaeda and the Taliban in a few weeks in 2001, and Osama bin Laden is dead. Why are we still in Afghanistan?
* We have troops stationed in over 100 other countries, which understandably creates resentment among patriotic locals and actually UNDERMINES U.S. security.

Most importantly, it is IMPERATIVE that you strike out Section 1034, which gives the President (and future Presidents) unchecked authority to start new wars in even more countries and to imprison so-called belligerents forever. Only CONGRESS has the Constitutional authority to start wars.

We simply cannot afford these wars and occupations, and they do NOT advance our security interests. Bring the troops home and slash the bloated Pentagon budget.

END LETTER

You can send your letter using DownsizeDC.org's Educate the Powerful System.

And check out this piece at the Downsize DC Foundation: Terrorism Is A Crime

James Wilson
Assistant Communications Director
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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