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The Obama Withdrawal Plan: Too Little, Too Slow; It's Time to Defund These Wars

By       Message michael payne     Permalink
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Did we expect anything else from this president? Did we think he would show strong courage and conviction by seizing this brilliant opportunity to withdraw sizable numbers of U.S. troops this year and bring the rest home by the end of 2012? Not really; but many of us still harbored a naïve expectation that he might make such a stunning announcement and do what is right for this nation and the world in the cause of peace; he didn't rise to the occasion and he failed us once again.


No, he didn't listen to the millions of those who elected him; once again he caved in to the U.S. military and the defense industry that continue to make obscene profits from these wars. Well, that should be the last straw; it is time that the decision on pursuing these wars be taken out of his hands. It is time that the American people put intense pressure on the Congress to defund these wars and there is a specific way that it can be done.


The 2012 Defense Appropriations bill will shortly be discussed and debated in the Congress. It includes funding of $119 billion for overseas wars. This is the point where the power of the people can be exercised by millions of Americans who must demand that their representatives significantly reduce this funding; if Congress would decrease this funding by one half, the president and the Pentagon would have no choice but to greatly scale back these wars. Yes, the president could and would veto the bill but it could be overriden if the Senate felt intense pressure from the power of the people.


Sure, it may be a long shot but this is the only way that these wars will ever be ended. There is a movement underway by any number of organizations to mobilize millions of Americans against these wars. One of them is the RootsAction Team, who through its website is mobilizing Americans to sign a petition to, Ask Congress To Deny War Funding, copies of which will be sent to their representatives in Congress.


This is how the power of the people can be used in this democracy to bring about change. The power is there for the taking. These movements and mobilizations aren't easy but multi-millions of Americans need to understand that it's time to take a strong stand against these endless wars.


Some well meaning and respected writers such as Robert Parry, in his June 23 article, "Afghan War: No Vietnam Redux", think that too many on the Left and we progressives are being too hard on him, that we should understand that he is trying to "maneuver through the Washington minefield toward a more peaceful world" and, therefore, we need to cut him some slack.


I disagree, we are not being too hard on him; it's been two massive wars, ten years and a tremendous waste of well over a trillion dollars; and, while nation-building has been going on in these occupied nations, America has been falling apart because no funds are available. No, we are not being too hard on him; he is being too tentative and soft. Our taxpayer dollars are fueling these wars that bring only destruction and create nothing of value. The people are tired of not having any voice in how their money is being spent. Enough is enough.


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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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