Washblog

Time for an apology

Crossposted from America In Solidarity

Five years ago today, Congress passed J. H. Res. 114, which authorized the President (presumably in perpetuity) to use any force "necessary" against the "continuing" threat to the nation posed by Iraq.. On October 10th, 2002 the house voted 296-133 to pass the resolution. The Senate followed suit the next day by a vote of 77-23. Shortly after, Bush began America's adventure in Iraq.

Iraq has cost us billions. Yesterday, the military announced that two more soldiers with ties to Washington State have died...just this year. America In Solidarity is based in Tacoma, WA, not far from the military bases of McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis. Pat Tillman was stationed at Fort Lewis, so is the 3rd Stryker Brigade, which has lost 88 soldiers.

Many of those who voted for JH Res. 114 have since been voted out of office, retired, died (Strom Thurmond and Jennifer Dunn among others) or have been arrested (Larry Craig) or even jailed (Duke Cunningham). Some of those who also voted for this are now running for President including John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Christopher Dodd, Joe Biden and John McCain. Even some of those who signed America In Solidarity's pledge voted for this measure like Adam Smith and Norm Dicks. This is the legacy of the 107th Congress (and massive tax cuts for the rich along with the Patriot Act).

Yet, our nation's debt can be fixed. Even an unfortunate experiment like the Patriot Act can be overturned. But our legacy with the Iraqi quagmire can not be forgotten, nor easily forgiven. We know now that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11. Under this premise, each and every soldier's death has to be questioned. Every budget request for more war funding needs to be fought and denied. The 110th Congress has been given an unfair charge to correct the failings of the 107th Congress while dealing with a stubborn President and a Republican minority hellbent on dealing in fear, if not outright pandering to a war machine that has profited well from what is nearing five years in Iraq.

But Congress, this is why you ran for office.

America In Solidarity is concerned with being a voice for working families. Our issues are protecting America's workers from corporate greed. This means getting affordable, accessible health care for all. This means safe, healthy working conditions, the right to organize, protecting the middle class, living wages and fighting unfair trade agreements. This is where the heart of our organization lies. We accomplish this by helping elect politicians who stand up for working families, hosting forums and events on these subjects and telling anyone who will listen what is needed to help America's working families.

But Iraq still dominates. We cannot realistically talk about affordable health care when we spend billions in Iraq. Iraq trumps everything. And for what is nearing 4,000 families in this country, it is a legacy that ends legacies. It is the destructive force of this generation.

It is time for our leaders to apologize for our misdirection in Iraq. It is time for a new, radical change of course. No matter how you voted in 2002, it is now 2007 and time to lead.

< Commissioner Keane will not be pleading guilty to reckless driving charges.
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"The bar for success (in Iraqi)is so low that it is almost buried in the sand." Barack Obama, Sept 12, 2007

by Lietta Ruger on Thu Oct 11, 2007 at 04:06:09 PM PST

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