98-0, 420-1. That is the outcome of the 9-14-01 Congressional vote to authorize military force in Afghanistan. There was one dissenting vote. Only one leader could see that war was not an answer in the wake of 9/11. Today marks eight years since Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s courageous act, and her words continue to ring true.
Today, 57 percent of American oppose the war in Afghanistan and opposition is continuing to grow. Americans are tired of a war that is increasingly deadly for its soldiers, draining our economy, and distracting us from our needs at home. Yet despite all this, Obama has been escalating the war in Afghanistan and next week it is expected that General McChrystal will ask for authorization for more even more troops.
Even General Petraeus has said, “you don’t kill or capture your way out of an industrial-strength insurgency.” And members of Congress are starting to push back - Rep. McGovern has a bill in the House with 97 cosponsors calling for an exit strategy in Afghanistan; Senator Russ Feingold recently called on Obama to create a timetable for withdrawal; and last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she sees very little support for the war. The tide is turning and as Obama contemplates next steps, now is the time to take action!
Eight years ago today, Barbara Lee spoke up with courage against the war in Afghanistan. Will you do the same today?