End Vietghanistan This Week
Little known secret: if the U.S. House of Representatives stops funding a war, or any other crime, neither the Senate nor the President nor the military can continue the killing. The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey, can single-handedly block funding to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and currently he is doing so by refusing to advance it unless schools and jobs are funded. Call him every day to thank him and ask him to reject war escalation funding even if jobs and teachers are funded: (202) 225-3365.
There are two ways this can go down, and one of them is likely to play out this week. Now is the moment, if you care about peace, to speak up for it, in public, in the media, in the local office of your congress member. Your House member. Stop thinking about senators and presidents for a minute. Your House member can be pressured to vote No, especially if you make clear that otherwise you will work to unelect them (nobody else can be much worse than someone who keeps funding wars).
Scenario One: With or without Senate agreement, the House passes everything (war escalation, schools, jobs) in one bill. Because the Republicans will all vote against such a bill, fewer than 40 Democrats can vote against the war they claim to oppose. This outcome can be resisted by pressuring Democrats to commit now to voting No, regardless of what lipstick is applied to the pig, regardless of whether they get a clean vote on the war escalation funding for show before voting on the package, and regardless of the inclusion of presidential-court-jester amendments requesting nonbinding “exit plans”. Here’s where they stand now: http://defundwar.org (looks good on paper). Ask them to join the Coalition Against War Spending: http://caws.us and call them through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-3121.
Scenario Two: The House passes funding for war escalation and for useful projects in two or more stand-alone bills. This scenario would mean that more than 40 Democrats refused to vote for war even with lipstick applied. It would mean that pretending these unrelated matters had to be combined in one bill was for purposes of lipstick. And it would mean that the leadership of the Democratic Party is more closely alligned with Republican members of the House than Democrats when it comes to our biggest public program: war.
Whichever of the above two scenarios plays out, the Senate will likely block the good stuff and pass the bad. This can be resisted by insisting to Obey that he get Senate passage first. If he does not get it, he will have to block the war bill, which is what he should do immediately and permanently regardless. Tell him: (202) 225-3365.
Scenario Three: The madness ends here and now.
If We Don’t Stop War Funding, They’ll Slash Social Security and Medicare
That’s the plan which was pushed by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer last week and by unsuccessful corporate pseudo rallies this weekend.
It’s time to choose.
Don’t Let a Bigger War Begin
When you call Congress also let them know that you will hold them accountable for any war they allow our country or Israel to launch against Iran.
Will they commit to ceasing to provide weapons to Israel?
Will they inform the Secretary of Defense that illegal war is grounds for impeachment?
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Get a DVD of the original “Who Decides About War?” here.
Veterans for Peace Drop Banner on Detroit
Members of Veterans For Peace (VFP), attending the U.S. Social Forum, a gathering of over 8,000 activists from across the U.S., created and erected the 10 x 15-foot sign that reads, “HOW IS THE WAR ECONOMY WORKING FOR YOU?” Detroit has an unemployment rate of 15 percent and 10,000 abandoned homes on the mayor’s demolition list.
Taxpayers in Detroit have sent a total of nearly two billion dollars to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The city’s 2011 general fund budget of 1.3 billion dollars contains an estimated deficit of 300 million dollars, even after years of cutbacks in services once assumed to be part of urban life. The budget for Detroit schools has a deficit in the same range.
Peace of the Action
Washington, D.C., July 4-17
Brown Bag Lunch Vigils
Everywhere, third Wednesday of every month
National Conference to Bring the Troops Home Now
Albany, July 23-25
PDA Grassroots Leadership Conference
Cleveland, July 23-25
Veterans for Peace National Convention
Portland, Maine, August 25-29