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My Left Nutmeg

Escalation And You

by: BranfordBoy

Wed Jan 17, 2007 at 07:18:58 AM EST


There has been a spate of excellent Diaries concerning Bush's urge to surge, the cost of war, and some ways in which we can act, at the local level, to protest in a dignified, democratic, yet forceful manner.

Connecticut Man1 alerts us to a Dodd bill to cap U.S. trooop levels at 132,000. A good start? Wimpery at its finest? We link, you decide.

Wayne speaks of the cost of the war at the local level. For The Coalition for Peace and Justice he has created a series of eloquent flyers in handy PDF form that spell out the cost of the war, town by town. Here's the one for my home town of Branford, a cool $89.5 million! Check out your town via the CPJ link above, print up a batch and hand them out to your local politicos.

Finally, joesaho points us to an interesting initiative for a nationwide grassroots response to the madness of George W.

The Progressive States Network is offering a draft Resolution that can be introduced in state legislatures across the land. My suggestion: copy and paste, edit it to insert "Connecticut" where appropriate, and send it to your state senator and assemblyperson along with a stern note urging them to introduce it on the floor of their respective chambers.

To make it even easier, I have provided such an edited version below the fold.

BranfordBoy :: Escalation And You
RESOLUTION OPPOSING ESCALATION IN IRAQ

WHEREAS, The President has proposed an escalation in the number of US troops deployed in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, U.S. involvement in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 U.S. soldiers and the wounding and disabling of more than 22,000 U.S. military personnel to date; and

WHEREAS, This proposed escalation will further extend National Guard tours in Iraq, that the costs to the states of the call-up of National Guard members for deployment in Iraq have been significant, as reckoned in lost lives, combat injuries and psychic trauma, disruption of family life, financial hardship for individuals, families and businesses, interruption of careers and damage to the fabric of civic life in our communities; and

WHEREAS, The American troops have valiantly upheld their duty in Iraq under dire circumstances; and

WHEREAS, More than $357 billion has been appropriated by Congress to fund military operations and reconstruction in Iraq to date, money that could fund desperately needed education, health care, housing, nutrition and other social services in our communities in the United States or humanitarian assistance abroad; and

WHEREAS, Previous budgets that have prioritized Iraq have led to cuts in critical block grants for states and have increased the federal debt, which compounded by interest payments, will likely lead to even larger cuts in funding for critical needs in the States; and

WHEREAS, Polls show that the vast majority of Americans do not support increasing the number of troops in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, Most military experts oppose escalation in Iraq and press reports indicate that even the Joint Chiefs of Staff have opposed such a strategy; and

WHEREAS, Legal experts on all sides have determined that Congress has not only broad authority, but a long tradition of limiting escalation or forcing redeployment of troops through the Constitutionally-designate power of the purse.

BE IT RESOLVED, That the state of Connecticut, on behalf of its citizens, urges that in a period when the Iraq Study Group, leading military and diplomatic officials and allies around the world are calling for a reduction in troops and withdrawal of the US from Iraq, the United States government should not escalate its involvement in Iraq or increase troop levels; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That, at a minimum, the President should obtain explicit approval from Congress if he wants to send more American troops to Iraq.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Congress should pass legislation prohibiting the President from spending taxpayer dollars on an escalation in Iraq unless he first seeks Congressional approval.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a suitable copy of this resolution shall be sent to George W. Bush, President of the United States, to the Congressional delegation of the state of Connecticut, and to the United States Congress.

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Perfect timing (0.00 / 0)
My state Representative Janice Geigler just sent me a legislative survey.  Of course, since she's a Republican, many of the questions are loaded.  For example, on Children we are given the choice of

A)Provide instruction on Internet safety

B)Expand buffer zones to keep sex offenders away from schools

C)Allow a tax credit for businesses that open day care services for employees

First what kind of bullshit is this.  No mention of Head Start whatsoever, or after school programs, or improving our schools for that matter.  More tax breaks for businesses?  Yeah that's great.  So BRT didn't get enough tax breaks when our Republican mayor gave them 7 year tax abatements on not one but two new developments which will total more than $5 million in lost tax revenue which he's trying to make up by cracking down on vehicles registered out of state?. 

Expanding buffer zones for sex offenders?  Have I been soo busy that I didn't notice the outbreak of sex offenders abusing our children?  Also, didn't the Republicans in Danbury just pass some kind of unenforceable buffer law prohibiting sex offenders from being in parks?  How far do we have to extend them?  To the city limits?  And how the hell would we even enforce them?  By asking everyone in a park if they're a registered sex offender?

Internet safety?  Isn't that something that parents should be personally responsible for?  Personal responsibility is after all a Republican value isn't it?  Maybe if they put the fucking golf clubs down a bit and actually spent some time with their kids they wouldn't have to worry about this.

The bullshit goes on through the whole survey.  There's alot of the typical Republican anti-tax bullshit on it like eliminating the car tax and the estate tax and the millionaire tax along with alot of budget cutting crap.  I was writing her a letter anyway, but now I have not only the flier telling her our town's share of money being spent in Iraq ($179.4 million) plus the Resolution.

If they want to cut spending so much and cut taxes, well they can prove it by pushing for the end of the war!!!!


Another take on the war's cost (4.00 / 1)
The New York Times' David Leonhardt tells us all the things we could have for a fraction (sometimes a tiny fraction) of what the Bush administration is spending on Iraq.



wimpery? (0.00 / 0)
Connecticut Man1 alerts us to a Dodd bill to cap U.S. trooop levels at 132,000. A good start? Wimpery at its finest? We link, you decide.

Dodd's bill blocks an escalation of the Iraq war. Since that is what is (unfortunately) being debated, and not an end to the Iraq war, Dodd's bill is pretty damned fantastic in my view.

I'd love it if the Bush/McCain/Lieberman caucus was setting the debate about how to end the Iraq war, but they haven't. Bush won't consider it. Stopping Bush's escalation of the war is incredibly important and I think it's pretty insane to mock attempts to keep 22,000 Americans out of Iraq.

Disclosure: I'm proud to work for the Service Employees International Union


Thanks for the Tip of the Hat (0.00 / 0)
We just launched our online action piece -- a tool that lets people contact their local legislators and encourage them to sponsor the resolution.

The outgoing message includes a link to our full resources page -- where we can provide support for communications, strategy, etc.

Thanks again

(full disclosure: I work for the Progressive States Network.)


 
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