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War Vote Tonight, It Can Stop. A Little Perspective

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Report from WarIsACrime.org: Tonight the House of Representatives will try to vote over $30 Billion to escalate the war in Afghanistan. Here's how it's expected to go down (thanks to Peace Action for some of this):

First they'll vote on unemployment insurance as a stand-alone bill.

Then, following some unrelated votes, they'll debate and vote on the Rule for the Supplemental. Rules are procedural votes that caucuses of congress members serious about blocking something can vote against. Progressives don't tend to be serious, but there's a first time for everything, and we should ask them to vote No on the Rule.

Then they'll debate and vote on amendments to the supplemental. These are expected to include two good amendments to the war spending, which risk however providing members who vote Yes on the money the excuse that they also voted Yes on good amendments.

Then the "last votes" will come in the evening. Presumably these will include a vote on the complete package of the Supplemental.

Regardless of exactly how it goes, our demand is simple: VOTE NO! Vote No on the Rule! Vote No on the war escalation funding if offered separately! Vote No on a bill that includes the war escalation funding!

We've already identified more than enough Democratic No votes to stop this train if the Republicans vote No for their own crazy reasons (and some Republicans oppose the war).

Why Vote No?

Rep. Nita Lowey has already put the scotch on the civilian aid portion of the war bill, why not put the scotch on the rest of it? WarIsACrime.org has identified 21 progressive who can tilt the scales and bring the Afghan escalation to a screeching halt now. They are: Yvette Clarke, Steve Cohen, Jim Cooper, Jerry Costello, Barney Frank, Luis Gutierrez, Jay Inslee, Steve Kagen, John Lewis, Edward Markey, Doris Matsui, Jim McDermott, George Miller, Grace Napolitano, Richard Neal, James Oberstar, Jan Schakowsky, Mike Thompson, Edolphus Towns, Nydia Velázquez, and Anthony Weiner. YOU CAN SEND A MESSAGE TO ALL 21 OF THEM WITH ONE CLICK, COURTESY OF DEMOCRATS.COM, HERE. Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121

On June 16, 2009, when 32 true Progressives voted No on war and we needed just 7 more Progressives to end the wars, these 21 sorely disappointed us. These 21 Progressives can redeem their 2009 pro-war votes now by voting against the $33 Billion War Supplemental for 2010.

If Rep. Lowey and others really want to stop the waste, why not stop the gush instead of the trickle? The $33 billion the Pentagon is requesting which only harms our national security?

One of the most lacking aspects of media coverage of Afghanistan is an historical perspective of how we got to where we are. So in the interest of providing this on this critical day, that folks may realize more war is really not the answer, I am reposting the below.

Yes, They Wore Mini-Skirts in Afghanistan


Women wore miniskirts in Kabul under the short-lived Marxist government in the 70s

Afghans are some of the most bombed-out, shot-up, messed-with people in the world. It started when Zbigniew Brzezinski decided to give the Soviets "their own Vietnam." The Afghans were in the midst of growing pains into a modern, moderate Islam, nominally socialist society, when Brzezinski heard the word "SOCIALIST?!"

According to recently declassified records and admissions by Brzezinski and Robert Gates, it was a full six months before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 that the CIA began to arm the conservative Islamic resistance against the nominally Marxist regime. The regime consisted of young Afghans tired of seeing their people starving over the hundreds of years, and filled their heads with idealistic thoughts about everybody eating, without being affiliated with the Soviet Union. But that didn't matter to Ziggy. The word Marxist was enough. They had to be taken out.

Those commies believed in the education of women, and for a time Kabul opened up to the world and women even began to wear miniskirts, unharrassed. Author and journalist Paul Fitzgerald, one of the first journalists to be granted access to the country after the Marxist coup of the Afghan monarch, says:

"Afghanistan had made significant strides in its efforts to modernize and construct a civilian democracy long before Pakistan was even invented. Afghanistan's progressive monarch gave women the right to vote in the 1920's while the rights guaranteed under its Constitution were debated openly and freely prior to the Soviet invasion."

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)
 
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