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Foreign Policy

52 Congressional Candidates Oppose War Spending

May 25, 2010

For Immediate Release

Fifty-two congressional candidates and 18 activist organizations are opposing any more funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and inviting more candidates, incumbents, and organizations to join them.  The 52 candidates, from 21 different states, include 19 Democrats, 16 Libertarians, 15 Greens, 2 Independents, and 0 Republicans (and more may be added to the website by the time you read this).  Forty-six are candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, and six for the Senate.

They do not all agree with each other on many topics, including their reasons for opposing war spending.  But they all back this short statement:

“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans over $1 trillion in direct costs, and over $3 trillion altogether.  At a time when our national debt exceeds $13 trillion, we can no longer afford these wars.  It’s time for Congress to reject any funding except to bring all our troops safely home.”

The Coalition Against War Spending ( http://warisacrime.org/caws ) has posted online a variety of divergent statements — in text and video — from signers elaborating on their reasons for opposing war spending.  A wide ideological spectrum finds consensus around opposing more spending to continue or escalate the current wars.  The coalition is inviting any congressional candidate, incumbent or challenger, and any national organization to join.

This announcement comes just as Congress is set to vote on whether to spend another $33.5 billion in an off-the-books “emergency” supplemental spending bill to escalate a war in Afghanistan that polls show a majority of Americans opposes.

Initial members of the Coalition Against War Spending (being added to at http://warisacrime.org/caws ) are:

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives:
Nick Coons, AZ-05, Tempe/Scottsdale, Libertarian
Rebecca Schneider, AZ-06, Phoenix, Democrat
Carol Wolman, CA-01, northwest corner, Green
Clint Curtis, CA-04, northeast corner, Democrat
Ben Emery, CA-04, Nevada City, Green
Mark Williams, CA-12, San Carlos, Libertarian
Mary V. Larkin, CA-17, Monterey, Libertarian
Les Marsden, CA-19, Yosemite/Mariposa, Democrat
Randall Weissbuch, CA-26, Arcadia, Libertarian
Marcy Winograd, CA-36, Los Angeles, Democrat
William Hedrick, CA-44, Riverside/San Clemente, Democrat
Ken Arnold, CA-46, Orange and L.A., Democrat
Mike Paster, CA-49, Fallbrook, Libertarian
Tracy Emblem, CA-50, San Diego, Democrat
Michael Benoit, CA-52, San Diego, Libertarian
Gary Swing, CO-01, Denver, Green
G. Scott Deshefy, CT-02, New London, Green
Doug Tudor, FL-12, Riverview et al, Democrat
Marleine Bastien, FL-17, North Miami, Democrat
Regina Thomas, GA-12, Savannah, Democrat
Matt Reichel, IL-05, Chicago, Green
Bill Scheurer, IL-08, Lindenhurst, Green / Independent
Rodger Jennings, IL-12, Alton, Green
Doug Marks, IL-14, Carpentersville, Libertarian
Sheldon Schafer, IL-18, Peoria, Green
John Wayne Cunningham, IN-08, Terre Haute, Libertarian
James E. “Jim” Holbert, KY-05, London, Democrat
Peter White, MA-10, Cape Cod, Independent
Michael Cavlan, MN-05, Minneapolis, Independent Progressive
Kevin Craig, MO-07, Springfield, Libertarian
Thomas Hill, NC-08, Fayetteville, Libertarian
Lon Cecil, NC-12, High Point, Libertarian
Jonathan Tasini, NY-15, New York City, Democrat
Emin Eddie Egriu, NY-28, Buffalo, Democrat
Ebert G. Beeman, PA-03, Lake Erie, Libertarian
Vernon Etzel, PA-05, Oil City, Libertarian
Ed Bortz, PA-14, Pittsburgh, Green
David Segal, RI-01, Democrat
Eric Schechter, TN-05, Nashville, Democrat
Martin Nitschke, TX-23, El Paso to San Antonio, Libertarian
John Jay Myers, TX-32, Dallas, Libertarian
Claudia Wright, UT-02, Salt Lake City, Democrat
Ron Fisher, VA-08, Arlington, Independent Green/Progressive
Larry Kalb, WA-02, northwest corner, Democrat
Diana McGinness, WA-02, Bellingham, Democrat
Roy Olson, WA-09, Olympia, Green

Candidates for U.S. Senate:
Duane Roberts, CA, Green
John Finger, CO, Libertarian
Bob Kinsey, CO, Green
Cecile Lawrence, NY, Green
Mel Packer, PA, Green
Ben Masel, WI, Democrat (2012)

Organizations:
Backbone Campaign
CODE PINK: Women for Peace
Consumers for Peace
The Democratic Activist
Democrats.com
Global Exchange
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Jobs for Afghans
Justice Through Music
Liberty Tree
Peace Majority Report
Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Push
Velvet Revolution
Veterans For Peace
Voters For Peace
War Criminals Watch
WarIsACrime.org

For more information about Doug Tudor, Democrat, for Florida’s 12th District, contact Chief of Staff, Rosalind Moffett, (813) 385-8605 or visit www.teamtudor.org.

##

Eight Years Later

After eight years of combat operations in Afghanistan, “The Graveyard of Empires,” America needs to have a national conversation on our future in that hostile, unyielding country. To begin the conversation, I believe one point needs to be very clear: we were never supposed to go to war in Afghanistan. Instead, we were supposed to go into Afghanistan to topple the Taliban and kill or capture (K/C) the leadership of al Qaida. We succeeded at the first objective and partially succeeded at the second.

Eight years ago today, America invaded Afghanistan. Operation ENDURING FREEDOM was born. On November 12, 2001, Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, fell to our forces. The Taliban was in full retreat. Objective number one accomplished.

In December 2001, conventional wisdom holds that we had Osama bin Laden trapped in the complex series of caves and fortresses in Tora Bora. Due to political pressures and cultural sensitivities, it was decided that, instead of using America’s overwhelming military force, our Special Forces should combine their efforts with the militia of Afghan warlords Hazret Ali and Haji Zaman Ghamsharik. When our efforts at Tora Bora did not realize the mission of killing or capturing al Qaida’s top commanders, America should have redeployed our forces for another phase of operations intended to achieve the K/C objective.

Instead, as often happens in wartime, mission creep set in. We had troops within Afghanistan’s border, so we figured we needed to find a mission for them.

President Obama is currently reviewing our current mission in Afghanistan. If he were to ask me for advice, which he hasn’t (yet), I would tell the Commander-in-Chief this: Stop counter-insurgency operations and concentrate on counter-terrorism operations. In other words, leave Afghanistan to the Afghanis and concentrate on killing or capturing the leaders of al Qaida.

To me, it really is that simple. After eight years of combat operations abusing America’s military force which is stretched dangerously thin, let’s concentrate on capturing or killing the people who killed nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens on September 11, 2001. We cannot make Afghanistan a Jeffersonian democracy. We cannot abet thousands of years of ethnic and tribal conflicts. We CAN use the awesome technological and intelligence advantages America holds to kill or capture the leadership of al Qaida. Not to be cliché, but “Yes, We Can.”

If you agree with me, Please Contribute to Our Grass Roots Campaign Now!. My only campaign promise is “I will always vote my conscience, no matter the politics of the issue.”

Thank you for all you have done, for all you are doing, and for all you will do.