This past week members of the Granny Peace Brigade along with many others called Congressional Representatives asking them to vote in favor of Kucinich's resolution, H. Con Res. 248, requiring the House of Representatives to debate whether to continue the war in Afghanistan. We are pleased that although few of our NY Representatives signed on as original cosponsors, many of them voted for the resolution on Wednesday. We like to think our phone calls made a difference.
Was it a good idea force debate on the withdrawal proposal? We all knew it would be voted down by a large margin. And the vote was 356 to 65 (60 Democrats plus 5 Republicans). This was not what we wanted but the question was aired and we did want that. Also, a key member of the House was one of the pro-resolution Democrats.
Congressman David Obey (D., Wis.)
is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He's in charge
of spending our money. For years he spent it on the wars in
Afghanistan and Iraq without any resistance. Until last October, Obey
maintained that spending hundreds of billions of our dollars on wars
was something he just had no choice about.
"Well, on Wednesday, Chairman Obey voted to end the war in Afghanistan. Of course, the bill was expected to fail and failed. The war did not actually end. But Obey acted so as to end it. He cannot then consistently take charge of funding its continuation, much less escalation, with a $33 billion supplemental. - David Swanson, After Downing Street - Read more.
The next step is to put the brakes on the $33 billion supplemental. According to the March 11 New York Times, "Although the outcome was never in doubt, debate on the resolution written by Representative Dennis J Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, offered a preview of Congressional consideration later this year of the administration's request for money to pay for operations in Afghanistan." Later this year means April or May.
It's time to hit the streets. This past Thursday we held a Phone-A-Thon at one of our favorite spots, the plaza space near Brooklyn borough Hall. The message:
"Stop the wars by stopping the funding."
"Vote NO on the $ 33 billion supplemental for the troop buildup in Afghanistan."
Keep the pressure on Congress. Call soon. Call often. CodePink is selling a t-shirt with a wonderful quote from Grace Paley. "The Only Recognizable Feature Of Hope Is Action." This t-shirt is not sized for the likes of me and it's not really for guys, but the slogan still fits. We can wear it in our hearts as we spread hope through action.
See you in the street,
- Eva-Lee Baird
for the Granny Peace Brigade