Madame Speaker Lynn Woolsey?

27 Jun

I can remember watching the 2008 election results at Irving Street Pizza, feeling the breath of a collective San Francisco sigh of relief to the end of the Bush Administration. The inauguration of President Obama, along with the helping-hand of a Democratic Congress, was going to finally bring an end to the disastrous and bloody 3-trillion-dollar-wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The more things change, however, the more things change the same.

Last week President Obama asked Congress for a 89.3 billion dollar increase in the war budget to assist in our “Af-Pak” war, a war that is blurring boundaries, leaving villages pummeled, and an infinite supply of recruiting tools for Al Qaeda. The Obama Administration is expanding the war in Afghanistan, the “Graveyard of Empires,” (ask the Soviets and the British), eyeing Iran in its crosshairs, sailing ships off of China’s coast, scolding North Korea, putting missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, and threatening Eastern Africa with attack. If this is “change,” I don’t want any part of it.

Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi , the speaker of the House and my Congressional representative, has failed in her pledge to help end the wars in Mesopotamia, the pledge that got many frustrated Americans to vote for her and her party in 2006. She has done nothing as Bush’s, and now Obama’s, wars are expanded and well funded under her watch.

For salvation and real hope, I inevitably turned my eyes north, where Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif), representing the beautiful and rural Sonoma County, rose up in opposition to President Obama’s war-expanding budget proposal:

As proposed, this funding will do two things – it will prolong our occupation of Iraq through at least the end of 2011 and it will deepen and expand our military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely.

“I cannot support either of these scenarios. Instead of attempting to find military solutions to the problems we face in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama must fundamentally change the mission in both countries to focus on promoting reconciliation, economic development, humanitarian aid, and regional diplomatic efforts.

Amen! She is a refreshing voice amongst the pro-war factions of the Democratic Party, and along with Dennis Kucinich (and others), refuses to get behind the war plans of this new administration. The War Party is not liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat; it is bipartisan, and Americans are getting sick of it. The Beltway pundits may enjoy carving up fragile Muslim societies 6,000 miles from home from their laptops, but the family with an empty chair at dinner may have second thoughts. 4,000 plus U.S. soldiers dead? Countless thousands (if not millions) Iraqis killed or turned into refugees? As the costs of these occupations continue to rise, Pelosi has had the opportunity to keep her promise and end the war, and her silence is an incredible disappointment.

So, since mid-term elections are coming up in about a year and a half, I say it’s time to vote Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi out of office and elect a pro-peace candidate (Cynthia McKinney, anyone?), then making Congresswoman Woolsey Speaker of the House. Harsh? Maybe…But that would be real change we could believe in, not the “change” of bumper stickers and campaign rhetoric, but the promise of peace and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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