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Starting this morning the House will begin to debate the moral issue of our times – our continued military occupation of Iraq.  My colleagues and I will have the opportunity to vote on President Bush’s escalation – a failed policy from the start, which will only deepen our engagement in the Iraq, and increase the cost to our country in lives, limb and treasury.  The American public has already overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to the President’s plan, and now it is our turn, and our responsibility to have our voices heard.

I will support this week’s effort, and will cast my vote against the President’s proposed escalation, but you all know that I will not stop there, and neither should my colleagues.

To oppose the escalation is an important first step, but it must be the beginning of our debate, not the end.  Even if we succeeded in preventing President Bush’s escalation we would be left with an unacceptable status quo – over one hundred thousand of our brave men and women still in harm’s way, and a continued military occupation that is fueling the insurgency.  Let me be clear, we must do more than oppose the President’s escalation, we must bring our troops home.

As many of you know I have proposed legislation that would do just that.  H.R. 508 would bring our troops home within six months, provide economic, humanitarian and diplomatic aid to help the Iraqis rebuild their country, and care for those who have sacrificed themselves for their country by funding the VA as an entitlement, not another program to be funded at the whim of this President.  Others in Congress have put forth their own legislation, and after we have debated and voted on the President’s plan, it’s time that the Congress debate and voted on a plan, and H.R. 508 is the comprehensive plan we need.

You have been with me since the beginning, and your phone calls and letters have helped to move this debate.  Your actions have held your representatives accountable, and you continue to hold President Bush accountable for his disaster in Iraq.  

Thank you – and keep it up.


ps. Today is going to be very busy, but please leave questions and comments for me, and I will try and respond to them throughout the day.

Originally posted to Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:28 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for the diary (30+ / 0-)

    I think we can count on the House to do what the Senate couldn't.  Thanks to you and our other Democratic Representatives for being our voice.

    Let there be peace on Dailykos, and let it begin with me.

    by myrealname on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:27:08 AM PST

  •  Thanks you Congresswoman Woolsey (15+ / 0-)

    for all you have done and are doing to help end the war.  Good luck today.

    Peace Now -- Defund the War

    by TomP on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:27:26 AM PST

  •  Here's to H.R.508! (23+ / 0-)

    Bring it home, Congresswoman, and bring our troops home!

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:27:33 AM PST

  •  Impeach. (35+ / 0-)

    Congresswoman Woolsey, please:

    1. Stop the war.
    1. Investigate
    1. Impeach.
    1. Incarcerate.

    If we let these criminals walk free, what's to discourage future government officials with a taste for fascism?

  •  Thank you. (17+ / 0-)

    Can you also consider and work on simply not funding the next supplemental request for the war?

    It's good for your enemies to think you're a little crazy. As long as you can back it up.

    by dov12348 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:30:32 AM PST

  •  What has been your collegues' response to... (19+ / 0-)

    the cuts in VA funding, specifically the VA's Brain Injury Center.

    This seems like a simple and powerful issue to (for lack of a better word) exploit.

    "A problem has been detected and Bush has been shut down to prevent damage to your country."

    by ArgusRun on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:31:09 AM PST

  •  Thank you very much for helping (11+ / 0-)

    to bring this insane war to a close. I would like to see America lead the world in efforts to heal past and present hurts. I would like to see us address global warming, health care and the strengthening of communities at home and abroad. I would like people to feel hopeful instead of depressed.

    So thank you.

    Big boss ain't so big, just tall, that's all.

    by TheFatLadySings on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:31:19 AM PST

  •  Drive safe (8+ / 0-)

    I want to ask you and your staff to take extra care on the icy DC roads today.  Those idiot Republicans think their SUVs protect them from sliding!

  •  Thanks so much for your effort. (6+ / 0-)
    Please keep up the pressure, and we will do the same, until the war is over. I hope you will come out for the march on the Pentagon on March 17.
  •  BRAVO! (5+ / 0-)

    The House will do the right thing. It's unfortunate that our majority in the Senate is so tenuous that we will probably never be capable of doing the right thing there.

  •  Thank you so much, (6+ / 0-)

    I certainly hope the current resolution is but a first step.

    We need to stop the madness before we reach a point of no return.  I know you get it - please press this point with your fellow respresentatives.

    We expect them to act and to act quickly.

    Thanks again.

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:41:02 AM PST

  •  Rep. Woolsey,,,, (17+ / 0-)

    Get us out of there.  Please.  And then get the murderers out of the White House.

    Thank you for your efforts, truly, but we need a binding resolution.  

    "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 3110+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

    by Miss Blue on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:42:22 AM PST

  •  Congresswoman Woolsey, (9+ / 0-)

    What has been the progress in getting Representatives onboard with H.R. 508? I contacted my lone State Representative Peter Welch's office three times concerning the bill, but have no clear indication of his support of your bill.

    Further, the House debate centers around a non-binding resolution. Why must the debate be non-binding? Does the administration still have its fangs so deeply imbedded into Congress that no one will take a stand for a binding resolution to end Iraq, or is this just the opening salvo in ongoing debate?

    Administration mandates to "stay the course" and to not "embolden the enemy" are designed to rob us of our free will in this debate by positing naysayers as unpatriotic. This is a falsehood. We who want to revert our resources back to our own country are the patriots. Those waging war for profits are traitors to our democracy.

    Your stand is patriotic in the highest sense of the word. You and your co-signers are protecting our democracy for we the people, not the plutocrats who run our money and our foreign policy. Please continue your good work.

    I greatly respect and admire what you are doing for our country. I just wish we could clone your brand of patriotism and instill it in the rest of Congress.

    When all is said and done, it is likely more will be said than done. Harry Truman

    by 4Freedom on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:47:56 AM PST

  •  Rep Woolsey - please bring 'em home (6+ / 0-)

    If your colleagues are worried about looking too soft on defense, they shouldn't be. The American people are overwhelmingly in favor of withdrawal from Iraq.

    A vote to bring the troops home will be a fine thing to have in one's House and Senate record.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:50:18 AM PST

  •  The Kalamazoo (MI) County Democratic Party (11+ / 0-)

    in convention this past Saturday, unanimously passed my resolution in support of HR 508.

    I hope the MDP convention in two weeks will pass a similar resolution. This is what we must get behind. Enough of non-binding resolutions!

    •  I'll post the text, in case anyone wants to adapt (9+ / 0-)

      Adopted unanimously by the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party, in Convention, Feb. 10, 2007


      Whereas, the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party Executive Committee in June 2006 unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the return of US troops from Iraq, and,

      Whereas, in the seven months since then, over 500 additional US soldiers and Marines, and untold numbers of Iraqis have been killed, thousands of US troops have been wounded and disabled, with the additional monetary cost of the war over that time at $75 billion, and long-term costs estimated at over $1 trillion, and,

      Whereas, the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States, as well as the people of Iraq, oppose a continuing US military presence in Iraq, and,

      Whereas, all of the arguments against a continuation of the war presented in our original resolution apply with equal or greater force today, and,

      Whereas, despite the efforts underway in Congress to pass a non-binding resolution against the continuation of the war, both the President and the Vice-President have made it clear that such a resolution will in no way impede their plans to escalate the war, now therefore,

      BE IT RESOLVED, that the Congress must use the power of the purse to support our troops by bringing them home, and,

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Kalamazoo County Democratic Party urges our elected members of Congress to support H.R. 508, the "Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act", sponsored by Reps. Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee, and Maxine Waters, and co-sponsored by Michigan's own Rep. John Conyers. This bill would:

      • Withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from date of enactment.
      • Prohibit any further funding to deploy, or continue to deploy U.S. troops in Iraq. The bill does, however, allow for funding to be used, as needed, to ensure a safe withdrawal of all US military personnel and contractors, and for diplomatic consultations. Funding may also be used for the increased training and equipping of Iraqi and international security forces.
      • Accelerate, during the six month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi security force.
      • Authorize, if requested by the Iraqi government, U.S. support for an international stabilization force. Such a force would be funded for no longer than two years, and be combined with economic and humanitarian assistance.
      • Guarantee full health care funding, including mental health, for U.S. veterans of military operations in Iraq and other conflicts.
      • Rescind the Congressional Authorization for the War in Iraq.
      • Prohibit the construction of permanent US military bases in the country.
      • Ensure that the U.S. has no long-term control over Iraqi oil.

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the members of the Michigan Congressional delegation, including our 6th Congressional District Representative Fred Upton, and Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, and,

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Michigan Democratic Party Resolutions Committee for consideration by the 2007 MDP convention.

  •  Iran (10+ / 0-)

    Most of us here see that an attack on Iran would lead to profound, perhaps catastrophic destabilization of the ME region, with global consequences. But the administration seems willfully bent on widening the war in defiance of expert advice and common sense.

    Any thoughts on how congress and/or the American public can keep Bush/Cheney from attacking Iran?

  •  Thank you Congresswoman... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, TomP

    It is very helpful to have you come here and plunk down some thoughts regarding your position and the plans of the nascent Dem Congress.  This type of "dialogue" is very important and appreciated.


    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 06:59:18 AM PST

  •  Sad to say it, but this is a sideshow. (16+ / 0-)

    We have a window of a few weeks or, if we are lucky, months to leave Iraq with dignity and avoid a catastrophic war with Iran that will set the Middle East aflame.  Meanwhile, back in Washington, our representatives cannot agree on anything substantive to do from a legislative perspective other than to force Republicans to go on record for or against -- not the war itself, mind you -- but its escalation.

    If you look at the comments to Rep. Conyers's diary from yesterday, about every second comment, if not more, implored the Congressional Democrats to do something real about this madness.  The people on this forum are way beyond non-binding resolutions.

    Perhaps this is a first step, but it is too late for a small first step, I fear.  At this point, we need a giant leap, or -- and I go on record -- events will overtake Congress's ability to deal with them very soon.

    "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:01:11 AM PST

    •  Thank you, scorponic (5+ / 0-)

      If you look at the comments to Rep. Conyers's diary from yesterday, about every second comment, if not more, implored the Congressional Democrats to do something real about this madness.  The people on this forum are way beyond non-binding resolutions.

      I rarely read the politicians diaries anymore. Same old, same old.

      I'll know when they've done their job when Bu$hCo is impeached, censured or SOME goddamed thing!

      Til' then  :::YAWN:::

      •  This is the point! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When WE helped elect more Dems to the House and Sentate, we did not expect them to rally around a weak non-binding resolution!


        "The waging of war, by its nature, is total - but the waging of peace, by our own cowardice, is partial." -- Daniel Berrigan

        by Rico on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 11:08:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zentiger, Disillusioned, Annalize5

      A non-binding resolution in the face of this disaster is the very least they can do and by the very least they can do I mean the very least they can do.

      Will the dead leave behind non-binding widows and  orphans?  Will the depleted Uranium poisioning be non-binding? Will the vetrans' and civillians' PTSD be non-binding? The brain injuries, amputations, lost vision, deformed faces and bodies do they get the luxury of starting out with a non-binding first step?  The effects of our country's tourture policy, I'd like that to be non-binding. How about the debts we are piling up for our children and grandchildren to pay? Can they be non binding too?

      The effects of this foreign policy have been real and dangerous and heartbreakingly, painfully, hard so maybe congress should stop thinking they can  change the course of it with safe, easy rhetoric.  It makes me crazy to think that Congress thinks they have the luxury of time to waste more peoples lives with non-binding resolutions.

      Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

      by strengthof10kmen on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:53:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •   Non-binding dead children... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zentiger, Disillusioned

        Will the dead leave behind non-binding widows and  orphans?  Will the depleted Uranium poisioning be non-binding? Will the vetrans' and civillians' PTSD be non-binding? The brain injuries, amputations, lost vision, deformed faces and bodies do they get the luxury of starting out with a non-binding first step?  The effects of our country's tourture policy, I'd like that to be non-binding. How about the debts we are piling up for our children and grandchildren to pay? Can they be non binding too?

        Bingo! Not to mention the non-binding, unconscionable dismissal of the Iraqi people! Making their country a toxic waste dump for God knows how long? Cleaning up Iraq ain't gonna be searching for land mines.

        Nah. I've lost faith in the Dems to stop this monster. What will it take? I'm so sick of the current impotency of this congress.

        Are we suppsed to get exited current crop of would be presidential "candidates"? This country is lost. It's been a long time coming. Who owns six of our ports? Dubai? Yes.

        Non-binding humans posing as this goverment.

  •  Congresswoman Woolsey, (15+ / 0-)

    Thank you for authoring legislation with teeth.  

    I just wish it was your bill that was being debated and voted on this week.  A nonbinding resolution is meaningless and is a luxury that America can't afford for Congress to indulge itself in.  Not for one more week, not for one more day.  

    What has to happen to make Congress step up and do the job we elected it to do last November?  This isn't a rhetorical question, Congresswoman.  What is it going to take to get you people to act with authority?  You have the majority of Americans on your side.  You have the Constitution on your side.  You have moral authority on your side.  What else do you [think you] need?

    I asked Congressman Conyers a similar question yesterday, and received no answer.  Can you give me a direct, clear, unequivocal answer?

  •  Go Lynn ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kestrel9000, myrealname, TomP

    Be relentles.

    Al Gore for President 2008.

    by Spruce on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:02:20 AM PST

  •  Please don't stop there (4+ / 0-)

    ..but how far do you go?

    Do you get as far as debating why the United States, supported by my country, has adopted a false policy for the new American century that is at the fundamental heart of where we are today? Does Congress try and engage our populations in a review as to where and how we went wrong - because it certainly did not begin with a resolution four years ago concerning Iraq.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    NEW INTERNATIONAL TIMES Fortunately not on anyone's blogroll - we prefer to keep a good thing quiet :)

    by Welshman on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:03:23 AM PST

  •  Thank you for your efforts, Congresswoman. (4+ / 0-)

    Please remind your Democratic colleagues that if Democrats do not at least try to end this war it becomes theirs as well.

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    macdust, MarketTrustee

    Thank you, thank you ,thank you..

  •  Hookergate and Stop the Firing of US Attorneys (10+ / 0-)

    The San Diego US Attorney is all set to deliver indictments against Cunning, Doolittle, and the "Hookergate" crowd including Dusty Foggo at the CIA.

    Or they were ready until Gonzales fired the US attorney in San Diego.

    This is the scandal where Iraq, the CIA, bribery, and hookers all overlap. Investigate, investigate, investigate.

  •  Thanks for the appetizer... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Now when do we get to the main course, (binding resolutions, investigations, impeachment)? I ask because we're starving out here for real action to be taken against these ongoing policies, and so far we've only  received a few token crumbs.

    We don't have the time for this, and you guys know it (or at least you should). At this point, I'll take what I can get, but patience is wearing thin.

    The problem with America Today: There's a difference between The American Dream, and The American Way.

    by Disillusioned on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:14:25 AM PST

  •  can we address the "chaos if we leave" scenario? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dear Rep Woolsey

    First, a huge thank you.

    This morning apparently even Nicholas Kristof has bought into the "it will be chaos if we leave" argument.

    But if it is slow chaos now, with a heart-breakingly high human and financial cost, it will be a high human and lower financial cost if we withdraw.  

    Another solution:  offer shelter to every Iraqi who wants to leave.  Bring them to America.  I'm sure that everyone who supported the war will be grateful for the opportunity to support an Iraqi family living in their home.  (But you get my point)

    Seriously:  if we are so concerned about Iraqi lives, we should evacuate Baghdad of all personnel and materiel; destroy the road system linking Iran and Iraq; and destroy the oil infrastructure as we exit the city.

    This option would be least costly to human lives and least costly to the American taxpayer.

    The likelihood of Baghdad becoming a liveable city in the next 30 years under either "stay the course" or "surge" is zero.  At least we can save a few lives.

    Aren't our Republican colleagues members of the so-called "pro-life" party?

    •  They said the same in Vietnam. (5+ / 0-)

      I remember vividly the lurid predictions of bloodbaths and genocide predicted by the war supporters if the US left Vietnam.  Of course, as people who actually think about, instead of just emote about, such issues always observed, the longer the US stayed in Vietnam the more likely it made such horrific outcomes probable, because US violence was destroying the political middle and leaving only extremists to rule the aftermath.  The same applies here.

      "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

      by scorponic on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:22:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't stop. tell the truth. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    shine the light. keep the faith. end the war, the corruption, the lying.
    tall order? our future is at stake right now. thank you.

    fascination/'s a thin line, baby

    by memofromturner on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:18:30 AM PST

  •  Thanks for being a voice of reason. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Go get them today, for all of us.

  •  Congress woman Lynn Woolsey: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, Mehitabel9

    A diary here such as you have written gives me hope, which is in short supply these days.

    It bears repeating:  The new Democratic Congress can either stop this president, whatever it takes, or become complicit in the administration crimes.

    The Long War is not on Iraq, Afghanistan, or Iran. It is on the American people.

    by Geonomist on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:18:52 AM PST

  •  63% (7+ / 0-)

    That's the percentage of the public, as reported on the front page, that wants troops home by the end of 2008.

    Two questions:

    How high does that percentage have to go before Congress decides this is a democracy and implements the will of the people?

    What will the Democratic leadership do in substance to get us there?

    "When the intellectual history of this era is finally written, it will scarcely be believable." -- Noam Chomsky

    by scorponic on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:19:25 AM PST

    •  Congress (3+ / 0-)

      only cares about the will of the people in the few months immediately before elections.  After that it doesn't really matter.  What really matters is when Halliburton wants to leave Iraq.

      The greed of men destroys the wealth of nations. Visit:

      by ivorytower on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:27:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Look at Rep. Woolsey's record (0+ / 0-)

        That's a cynical and unhelpful comment to post on the diary of a courageous Congresswoman who's taken the lead on opposing Iraq... and in working on behalf of her constituents (and I am proud to say I am one).

        The truth is that Congress is a deliberative body and at the best of times works slowly - much more slowly than a headstrong executive who thinks he's beyond the law.

        The truth is that Congress is a mixed bag, containing people who are precisely as you describe... and those who are trying to do the right thing, but have to work within a process that's rigged against speedy action.  

        And they need to work right beside some of the most odious people in America.

        Sorry. Congresswoman Woolsey deserves better than your comment.

  •  hopefully the first step of a steady march (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, myrealname

    this administration cannot be trusted. Whatever you do, have something ready to go as soon as this first step is achieved.
    One thing I suggest, is be ready to begin an investigation into WH dealings with reporters and any damage done to the CIA because of leaks in the Plamegate matter.
    Thank you, Representative Woolsey. You have been a good partner and fine representative for the country and you district.

  •  Thank you congresswoman (3+ / 0-)

    For your post here, please encourage your colleagues to post as well.
    I am somewhat heartened to hear you describe this as a start, but I can't hide my disapointment that this is in fact such a tiny and meaningless step.
    Speaker Pelosi has much more power to control the agenda in the House than her counterpart Senator Reid does in the Senate. If there is going to be a three day debate over this escallation, why couldn't it be over a bill with some teeth? The President has already declared that not only will he ignore any such non-bnding resolutions, he won't even listen to the debate. Just what will be accomplished by this piece of theater?
    For many years now the Demiocrats have been accused of having no real convictions and not being willing to stand up for principles. Spending 3 days debating a toothless resolution that everyone knows will be ignored, while members of the leadership refuse to consider defunding the war or impeachment doesn't do much to dispell those criticisms.

  •  Frankly maam... (7+ / 0-)

    It better be the first step and not the last.  I know the Democrats are tempted to just sit and watch the polls so they can blame the entire thing on the Republicans come 2008, but if there is no binding action taken by Congress on this issue and soon, it will be your responsibility as well.

    I'd personally like to see some backbone, to see Congress, for the first time in years, ignore the political ramifications that may occur two years down the line and do what is right by our troops and this country.

    If this Congress fails to do so, then it's a betrayal of the voters who pushed the Democrats into a majority.  Stop talking and start acting.  

    The greed of men destroys the wealth of nations. Visit:

    by ivorytower on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:23:24 AM PST

  •  Congresswman Woolsey (3+ / 0-)

    Two things

    It would be great if one of you guys stuck around for a few moments after you post and actually field questions.

    Next, I think there is no more important issue today than stoppng the US from detaining and torturing people.


  •  I am proud of you (4+ / 0-)

    and those that are trying to stop this insanity that Bush has plunged us into. Go get them. Please, don't let them start bombing Iran either.

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:24:01 AM PST

  •  Iraq Insurgents holding American policy hostage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, MarketTrustee

    What happened to America's military flexibility to take action at a time and place of our choosing?

    Failure is not an option, yet over 1300 days have passed since the invasion of Iraq and the country is neither stable nor is there any indication that troops can be withdraw from Iraq.  This is failure.

    90% of attacks on American soldiers are by Sunnis insurgents yet the Bush administration is trying to blame the chaos in Iraq on Iran who support the Shia.

    American foreign policy is being held hostage by a drifting, pointless, muddled war in Iraq that drags on and on with no signs of conclusion.  

    America is held hostage by its 60% dependence of foreign sources of oil.

    Success for the insurgents is to keep fighting American presence.  Without American presence they have no cause to fight for.  At that point and only that point will Iraqiis demand an end to the violence in thier own country.  American presence give the insurgents a cause to unite under.  This is the failure of American policy, American policy held hostage by Iraqii insurgents.  This cycle must be broken.  
    The American military must re-assert it's dominance and re-deploy troops at a time and place of it's choosing.  Escalation feeds into the insurgents necessary desire for a unifying force and recruitment tool.  The insurgents never have to win a military battle to successfully hold American foreign policy hostage.  The insurgents need to simply fool American leadership into believing that the end to the violence is just around the corner.  
    Decide to change course, do not be led by actions of the insurgents.

  •  Thank you Congresswoman Woolsey (0+ / 0-)

    "Starting this morning the House will begin to debate the moral issue of our times – our continued military occupation of Iraq."

    You said it! All this talk about whether withdrawing would be better for the U.S. or for the region, whether we are part of the problem rather than the solution, whether tactically and strategically its better to withdraw or continue the's all irrelevant. What you or I or any of us thinks about the merits and drawbacks of the occupation doesn't matter; all that matters is what the Iraqis think. As Noam Chomsky puts it:

    "As to the consequences of a US withdrawal, we are entitled to have our personal judgements, all of them as uninformed and dubious as those of US intelligence. But they do not matter. What matters is what Iraqis think. Or rather, that is what should matter, and we learn a lot about the character and moral level of the reigning intellectual culture from the fact that the question of what the victims want barely even arises."

    It should be a basic moral truism that the decision of when to end an occupation should not be that of the occupiers; the decision belongs with the occupied and them alone. Iraqi opinion is clear on the subject: they want us out immediately. Therefore, we must comply, and withdraw immediately.

    Thanks again for the diary.

  •  Please continue, do not let Bush laugh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bush laughs at symbolic resolutions.  "If you continue your bad behavior, we will verbally reprimand you" has absolutely no effect on him other than to make him dig in defiantly.

    The only thing Bush understands is force.  Tie his hands.  You'll know you've gotten somewhere when he's angry.

    No more laughing Bush.

    bizutti says, "Give me more IBU's!"

    by bizutti on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:33:42 AM PST

  •  H.R. 508 (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, the next step needs to be discussion of this, and alternative plans.
    For a party that is accused of having "no plan" there are several out there. IMHO yours is one of the better ones becasue it seriously attempts to address the aftermath of the war and withdrawal; for both our soldiers and the Iraqi people.

    Revolutionary words start revolutions

    by Catte Nappe on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:37:29 AM PST

  •  Won't you need to amend a funding resolution? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A separate bill will be filibustered in the Senate, I assume.

    Failure is not an option: it's standard equipment on the BushCo 2000!

    by Elwood Dowd on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:38:02 AM PST

  •  Congresswoman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I want to thank you for communicating here.  
    What do you feel is the end result of today's debate? Is the plan to see who votes with you when the time comes and then decide to cut off funding for the war?  
    Again, thank you for keeping us up to date.

    It's been fun, but I gotta run...

    by funluvn1 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 07:40:42 AM PST

  •  She is MY Representative (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raatz, atdnext, Predictor

    And I could not be any happier with my representation.

    Except, perhaps, for Senator Feinstein.

  •  President Woolsey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    would be a good 2nd step.

    (A Tigger can dream...)

  •  Congresswoman it may be the first step (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, mmontanaman

    But congress needs to step it up

  •  Good, as far as it goes... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, atdnext

    But the problem the Congress has gotten itself into here goes far beyond Bush and the Iraq fiasco. You folks need to reclaim the powers that Congresses since Korea have surrendered to the President.

    Sending armies into foreign lands without the invitations of their governments is an act of war. In fact, more than that, it is perhaps the act of war. As such, it should not happen without a declaration of war. The wise men who wrote our Constitution clearly left the decision as to when the United States goes to war to the Congress. The Legislature need to reassert it's powers here.

    The War Powers Act isn't enough. It tries to regulate the President's use of powers he does not have. The following law is very simple, and utterly necessary:

    The United States shall not commit any acts of war without a Declaration of War by the Congress.

    Thank you.


  •  "this is only a first step" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Disillusioned, mmontanaman

    It better be. It ain't worth a pot of warm piss for stopping the war. The "support the troops" phrasing will be used to excuse provocations and attacks against Iran -- can't you folks see it coming?

    More good fight ahead, Rep. Woolsey. Please do your darndest!

  •  Thank you, Rep. Woolsey! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You have been a strong voice of conscience from the beginning when it comes to Iraq. I have always respected and admired you for this. And yes, I agree with you that this non-binding resolution should only be the beginning. After this is finished, we need A CONCRETE PLAN TO GET US OUT OF IRAQ!

    Thanks again, Rep. Woolsey, for providing the real leadership thatwe desperately need to provide a real plan to bring our troops home soon.

    : )

    Don't blame us... We're keeping California blue at Calitics!

    by atdnext on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:19:12 AM PST

  •  thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Great first step!

    Can the second be impeachment?
    ok, that was unprofessional, but I'm not the patient type.

    It would all end so quickly if they were just impeached.

    by netguyct on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:23:51 AM PST

  •  Patience 'tis a virtue . . . (4+ / 0-)

    . . . but we have been patient a very long time.

    Cong. Woolsey, I really appreciate what you're doing and the steps that are being taken.

    However, please keep in mind that those of us who were called "unpatriotic" and accused of "not supporting the troops" and "aiding the enemy" by your very own colleagues (our very own elected representatives) will no longer tolerate that discourse or name-calling.

    We are anxious beyond words to have our troops home safe and sound. We are anxious to get the national reputation of America out of international mud. We are deeply mortified at the torture this administration has apparently perpetrated. We are enraged by the treatment of our brothers and sisters in Katrina. We are appalled that our government is spying on us illegally, with no cause. We are dismayed at the wanton squandering of non-existent money for the war by this administration and the decimation of veteran's and other domestic benefits for those in need. To name only a few.

    The longer those things take to rectify, the more trust we lose in those we worked so hard to elect.

    So I will pose these questions to you and every other Congressional representative who comes to this site:

    How much longer do we have to wait? How much more patience do we have to have? How much more name-calling and belittling do we have to tolerate? What are the next steps?

    "You can count on Americans to do the right thing after they've tried everything else." -- Winston Churchill

    by bleeding heart on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:25:29 AM PST

  •  your strategy is brilliant! (0+ / 0-)

    this is like the first ballot cast in the jury room to determine who stands where and why!

    i support fully the efforts of the house, starting with the rules committee for determining that the republican opposition will NOT derail this resolution on the floor!

    by forcing the house members to commit, the lines are drawn and those who have serious doubts are asked to put their political lives on the line!

    i am watching now with full support of you and your colleagues - thank you, for a job well done!

    and thank you for the jobs YET to be done - godspeed, congresswoman woolsey - this nation is in your debt and that of your colleagues who are fighting for all of america, NOT just for the troops!

    soon as i got arthritis, most of my caps ran away from home! those that remain, huddle together in fear!

    by edrie on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:28:48 AM PST

  •  Congressman Woolsey, thanks. But I believe the (3+ / 0-)

    Democratic Congress has to do more to check the illegitimate power wielding of an out-of-control president.

    What I am very much worried about is things getting worse not better.  I am very much afraid if this administration isn't stopped it will try to start a war or incident with Iran.

    As a suitable test case for finally stopping the war in Iraq, perhaps there is something Congress can do to stop Bush's provocative acts in sending aircraft carrier battle groups near Iranian shores and bringing back any of those that are there.

    Certainly if Congress can do anything about ongoing military activity that is not in America's best interest it can start there.  And there is little political downside in letting Bush know in no uncertain terms that such activity is not authorized.  It's not interfering in an ongoing war so Congress couldn't be accused of meddling in an active military conflict (and with regard to those who say we are "already at war with Iran" if that's true it better not be for Bush and Cheney's sake and so can be treated as if it's not happening).

    And it would set the stage for the next steps while reaching a very important goal: Stopping an insanely destructive war before it ever begins.

    It seems Mr. Bush has a talent for putting the country into no-win situations and then challenging the Democrats to fix it as a political way of keeping himself and his party in power.  But you can checkmate him by doing this.

    Big justice is built from bricks of smaller justice - me (-6.25, -6.92)

    by AndyS In Colorado on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:31:21 AM PST

    •  Yep... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      imabluemerkin, AndyS In Colorado

      What you said...

      It seems Mr. Bush has a talent for putting the country into no-win situations and then challenging the Democrats to fix it as a political way of keeping himself and his party in power.

      "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Mark Twain

      by Donna in Rome on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:53:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, I meant Congresswoman .. oops (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

      Big justice is built from bricks of smaller justice - me (-6.25, -6.92)

      by AndyS In Colorado on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:57:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, Congress must prevent war against Iran -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyS In Colorado

      -- even while working to end the war in Iraq. Otherwise it may be too late.  The third battle group of aircraft carriers will be near Iran in another six weeks, and at that point the danger peaks --long before our troops will be out of Iraq.  

      Of course, it could be just sabre-rattling. But given Bush and Cheney's history, we can't count on that.

      Congresswoman Woolsey, I would like to know if you support House Joint Resolution 14, which clearly states that the Iraq AUMF resolution does NOT authorize any attack on Iran, and that short of a national emergency Bush does not have legal grounds to attack without further COngressoinal authorizaton?  If you do not support the resolution, can you tell me why?  (I, for instance, want the "national emergency" clause pulled.  IRan is not the Soviet Union; they can't attack us in any way that needs a response faster than Congress can act.)

      I hope you have the chance to respond to this and other questions.  And I thank you for your work so far on behalf of our country.

  •  Not NEARLY Good Enough (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Disillusioned, IndyScott, mmontanaman

    How about you keep us informed as to how many more US soldiers die from step to step to step?

    What I want from this Democratic Congress is an IMMEDIATE vote to defund the war in six months.  I want it TODAY.  And if it doesn't pass, I wanted it voted on again tomorrow...and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, until finally enough Republicans get it and it passes. Then I want it sent up to Bush to veto.  And then if Congress can't override the veto, I want them start all over again.

    I don't care what the rules say.  Congress is very adept at working the rules when it wants to.  Change one word and make it a "new" bill each time, or whatever.  I wanted unfund voted on, and voted on, and voted on again.

    And I don't want a single other bill to come to the floor, for as long as it takes. I don't want hear about minimum wage, or health care, ethics reform, or anything else except unfunding.  Bring the government to a halt if you have to.

    Just do it. Stop messin' around.

    The Senate is the last bastion of white supremacy. --Andrew Gumbel

    by Free Spirit on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:31:54 AM PST

    •  Yes, stop the talking, and STOP THE FUNDING (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Disillusioned, Annalize5

      I don't see why we should all stand up and salute the non-binding, toothless vote of no-confidence.

      Stop the war. Stop the funding. For god's sake, stop looking for validation. You and your colleagues seem to crave approval ratings more than you desire to end the war.

      But no, if you stop the funding, you'll be accused of 'not supporting the troops.'

      I can't believe this is where all my passion and money went in '06. To a non-binding resolution.

  •  Know how to get the troops home fast? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Massive civil disobedience.

    It's inevitable as long as the top 10% wealthiest continue to be the primary benefactors of legislation. Right now the US is scraping the middle class off its shoe.

    Listen to the people.

    Lee Harvey Oswald, Where Are You?

    by ackermanniac on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:35:24 AM PST

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At the risk of sounding like I only read the first sentence of this diary, I'd like to thank the diarist for calling Iraq a "moral issue" as well as an "occupation." These are exactly the right words to use.

    -7.63, -7.59 The Republic Party: Helping those who already have the means to help themselves.

    by droogie6655321 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:40:25 AM PST

  •  Takeing funding for the VA from the............. (6+ / 0-)

    discretionary spending side of the budget to the mandatory spending side of the budget would be the best thing that has happened for all of those who have served this country since the VA was created.  If you support our troops then f!@#ing support our troops!  No more magnetic ribbons - let's get real about what it means to support our troops; the men and women who have been hurt physically and mentally in the service of this country. Our support for these men and women should not end when they walk out of Walter Reed or upon discharge; effectively denied support by a byzantine beaurocracy. Whatever the plan it should include such legislation or there should be a bill unto itself to accpmplish this!

  •  Support (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778, murphthesurf

    Polls show that popular support for Congressional action gets larger as the action described gets stronger.

    That's a little irrational, but it shows that people are ready for the Congress to rein in this madman in hte White House.

  •  Congresswoman Woolsey you do seem actually (9+ / 0-)

    interested in the net roots and what we think and respond often here at DKos and it is appreciated. My Congressman is Joe Wilson R SC02 and he does not seem to be all there, if you understand what I mean. He makes a great cheer leader for Bush/Cheney but little else.

    I asked him about this and all he did was ask me why didn't they use animals instead and then refused to help me with the VA, can you bring this up with Congressman Bob Filner or other members of the House VA committee

    can you and the other Democrats find a way to help these 7120 veterans and or their widows after 30 years?  The silence from the VA and DOD is killing us, diabled and poor is not the American way, not for a program that was abusive  even if it was well intentioned

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step"

    by testvet6778 on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 08:58:33 AM PST

  •  Congresswoman Woolsey please note (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Means-testing veterans is DEMEANING!

    by glbTVET on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:02:04 AM PST

  •  We truly appreciate your efforts, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Congresswoman Woolsey. Thank you for your continuing efforts. As you say, this is only the first step, and it is important to keep one's eyes and actions focused on the ultimate goal of undoing the wreckage of our military/diplomatic strategy and influence.

    Thank you also for posting here, and keeping our community informed.

  •  Today's LA Times: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The day civil war erupted in Iraq
    A year ago, the Golden Mosque was bombed, and Shiites turned on Sunnis.
    By Louise Roug, Times Staff Writer
    February 13, 2007

    SAMARRA, IRAQ — The town is quiet, its residents asleep. A minute after midnight, the on-duty officer at a small U.S. base in the middle of Samarra starts his log. A solitary ambulance carries a sick child through the cold February night. Then, at 6:43 a.m., Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Gallas notes the sound of two explosions. Four minutes later: "Nighthawk elements report Main Dome on the Golden Mosque has been blown up."

    Gallas does not know it yet, but the attack he has just recorded will reverberate throughout Iraq and the rest of the world.

    The twin explosions last February claimed no lives. But because of the attack — the destruction of a Shiite Muslim shrine in a Sunni Arab city — thousands have died as Iraqis have engaged in a frenzy of vengeance, torching mosques and publicly executing civilians.

    This was the dawn of Iraq's civil war.

    We don't belong in Iraq.  Your bill, H.R. 508 is the most humane approach to cover our indebtedness to the Iraq people.  I look forward to its debate and successful passage.

  •  With all due respect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you need to move to the next step PDQ.  This is no ordinary debate and not one that should take months.  People's lives are at risk.

  •  I have only one question but its a biggie (0+ / 0-)


    while congress is debating iraq team bush is putting the final touches on their plan to invade IRAN.

    will we have to wait another 3 years before our reps debate stopping BUSH from escalating this war into IRAN (and beyond?)


    by KnotIookin on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 09:33:38 AM PST

  •  I didn't vote for non-binding resolutions! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought, and I can only speak for myself, that the Democrates would earnestly work to end this war. In Vietnam and Cambodia, there were votes to cut off spending rather than non-binding resolutions. You all still seem cowed by the prospect of being labeled anti-patriotic if you are against the are.

    My apologies Ms. Woolsey. I want dem's with backbones, and the idea that you have to present a toothless 'first step' instead of trying for direct action tells me that the Bush/Cheney 9/11 name-calling game is still alive and well.

  •  Non-Binding = TRASH (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Please grow a political backbone.  This country is begging for you to end the war in Iraq.

    •  Oh, no...not again (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      testvet6778, Leftie Gunner

      Back I go, back decades, to the time when I opposed the Vietnam war.

      Then, as now, there were folks who thought it unnecessary to bring as many of our fellow citizens to the anti-war movement as possible.  They pressed the rest of us for immediate action, no matter how some action might be mis-characterized (and opposed) by the pro-war people.

      What is it about "first step" that you don't understand?  We have to build a majority, and we have to maintain it.  The publicity about the resolution, and the favorable outcome, will widen the crack in the Bush administration dam, which has been built and strengthened through the use of those frames and memes which we all detest.

      We have to educate the rest of our fellow citizens before we can bring a large enough majority along with us.

      We're all in this together.

      by JTML on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:07:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once again, I try (0+ / 0-)

    to make a point to the good Congresspeople and Senators who visit us.

    Please stop the US from detaining and torturing people.

  •  Excuse me, but the issue of our times (0+ / 0-)

    Is the Unitary Executive.  Iraq will end.  Imperial Precedent will stay with us.


    The President is not my master. He is Chief among my servants.

    by DemCurious on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:16:47 AM PST

  •  Mrs. Woolsey, please tie funding to negotiations (0+ / 0-)

    so that the Democrats will only continue to fund the war if Bush agrees to negotiate with Iran and Syria.

    Put the ball in his court so that it will ultimately be his decision of whether or not he supports the troops.  Supporting the troops maturely through productive policies.

    Jim Webb is the man that John McCain pretends to be.

    by lostinbrasil on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 10:26:48 AM PST

  •  I personally have no confidence in Pelosi. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't think she can put away her culture/faith and do what's right for Americans. Grant it she's better than 10 Republicans together, but it's not going to be good enough.

    I think there are too  many Democrats like her, too many Democrats that will put Israel above America, and in the end, they won't bring the troops home.

    Why should anyone believe otherwise after this stunt, this non-binding bullcrap?

    I have no faith left for Democrats. We gave you your majority, we hounded you and supported you despite Democrats' cowardice.

    Now, I'm finished with the lot of you. If you people can't get it done, then we'll replace you next time you're up for election.

    There are no excuses in my book. Just because Lynn might be one of the best we've got, if the above is all she's got to say on this and her fellow Democrats, then she's not good enough either.

  •  tell the truth about bush and the war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the people will believe you and they already agree with us that the war must end.  They do not like bush and if you go out there and tell the truth about him and talk about ending the will have the people with you.
    If you all fail to do this, then you have not lived up to the mandate the people gave you, democrats, republicans and independents, to stop bush.  Fail to live up to the wishes of the people and you all will have squandered the power you have been given and the people will be as cynical and disgusted as in the past.

  •  Mahalo for your work on our behalf .. (0+ / 0-)

    Please stop Mr. Bush from further endangering his fellow citizens.  We are at a critical point in history for the planet and not only can Mr. Bush not help, he is, out of incompetence,ignorance, and just plain malice and a paucity of human understanding, he is just exacerbating the situation.  

    He is like baby Huey playing with a loaded revolver in his day care class.  You, as a thinking adult,  have the responsibility of taking the revolver away from him.  Please stop him now.

  •  Mahalo, Lynn! (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for your good work on so many issues and your leadership (with Barbara Lee) of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

    I'm so proud that my Member of Congress is a CPC member and thrilled that the CPC is the largest caucus in Congress.

    A liberal is a conservative who's been hugged.

    by raatz on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 11:15:20 AM PST

  •  Thanks Cong. Woolsey (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Please do everything you can to End This War asap.
    Support our Troops by bringing them Home.
    A Constituent of CA-08 who would like to see the strongest response possible from the Democratic members in Congress.
    You defeated a Hawk in your Congressional Primary 66.2% to 33.8%, and won your General Election 70.3 to 26.1% for the Repub. This issue one of the reasons for that. Please Keep the momentum!

    "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." Dalai Lama

    by Predictor on Tue Feb 13, 2007 at 03:59:43 PM PST

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