Take a look at this survey from last spring by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (University of Maryland): http://tinyurl.com/8jzp5
According to this data, the largest cut by far that most Americans would make in federal discretionary spending is in the military budget, which they would cut by nearly a third. In particular, majorities favor reducing spending on the capacity for conducting large-scale nuclear and conventional wars. Next on the list of cuts after the "defense" budget? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most Americans believe that spending on economic and humanitarian aid is much higher than it is, and yet they want it increased significantly. Most Americans favor multilateral approaches to security.
On issues where public opinion diverges this far from common media depictions of public opinion, it is rare to find elected officials acting on behalf of real majorities (rather than taking their advice from strategists with election win-loss records of 0 and 43).
Woolsey is not aiming for machismo here, but for intelligence. "Our Iraq policy hasn't just been immoral," she wrote in an op-ed, "it's been incompetent. There is a better way to ensure national security than the brawn-over-brains approach."
Woolsey is not simply advocating a "Get tough on al Qaeda instead of Iraq" policy of the sort you hear from so many Democrats eager to ignore their base and pursue their opponents'. As we saw this week, when Bush gets tough on al Qaeda it's by bombing civilians, and should he ever manage to kill Osama bin Laden, some of his political opponents will be left with nothing further to say. Woolsey, on the contrary, has proposed a serious alternative.
(1) prevents future acts of terrorism by strengthening international institutions and respect for the rule of law;
(2) reduces the threat and stops the spread of weapons of mass destruction and reduces the proliferation of conventional weapons;
(3) addresses root causes of terrorism and violent conflict;
(4) shifts United States budget priorities to more effectively meet the security needs of the United States; and
(5) pursues to the fullest extent alternatives to war
This op-ed by Congresswoman Woolsey about this security plan might just restore in you some hope for our country and world: http://woolseyforpeace.org/?q=node/45
Woolsey is launching a new website this week at http://woolseyforpeace.org The purpose of the site is to raise funds for her reelection campaign. There is a lot of money behind a challenge to her seat, and for her to keep it, she may need the support of everyone around the country who opposes the current war.
If we do want to end the war, we'd be smart to keep Lynn in Washington and to thank her for her leadership. Lynn Woolsey voted against the Iraq war. She also
--Led 15 Members of Congress in writing a letter to President Bush on Jan. 12, 2005, calling for the troops to be brought home.
--Led the first debate on troop withdrawal on the House floor on May 25, 2005, introducing an amendment that garnered 128 votes, including 5 Republican votes.
--In June, was an original co-sponsor of H.J.Res. 55, the first legislation to set a timeline on troop withdrawal from Iraq.