ACTION ALERT: Capital Teach-In-- Vote No on Funding Escalation
May 3, 2010 Defend War & After Downing Street
Funding an escalation of war in Afghanistan with $33 billion is: illegal, immoral, against the public will, economically catastrophic, counterproductive on its own terms, and a cynically motivated intentional failure. Call Congress at (202) 224-3121 and tell your representatives that you will vote against them if they vote to fund an escalation in Afghanistan.
WASHINGTON (May 1, 2010) -- On Thursday, April 29, 2010, a "Teach-In on Capitol Hill," was held in Room 2168 of the Rayburn House Building, in Washington, DC, dealing with the question of what the US Congress must do to end the US Wars and secure a peaceful Middle East. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) served as the moderator. On the panel were: David Swanson, Chris Hedges, Ann Wright, Jeremy Scahill and Josh Stieber.
Funding an escalation of war in Afghanistan with $33 billion is:
• against the public will,
• economically catastrophic,
• counterproductive on its own terms, and
• a cynically motivated intentional failure
Call Your Congress Member at (202) 224-3121 and tell them that you will vote against them if they vote to fund an escalation in Afghanistan.
Sure, their opponent could be worse, but not much, and decent representation will only be possible if representatives fear the public more than they fear the funders, media, and parties.
If they tell you they want to vote for aid to Haiti or some other lipstick included in the bill, tell them those things can pass separately and constitute no excuse. You want a commitment now to vote No no matter what.
If they tell you it's the very last supplemental, tell them you didn't believe that BS last June and won't believe it now.
If they tell you they want to obey the president, ask them to read the US Constitution and see what's in Article I. Ask them why they think the framers put the war power in the Congress.
If they tell you they want to "support duh troops," tell them that a No vote merely avoids or undoes an escalation, thus preventing troops from being sent to risk their lives under illegal orders.
If they tell you they're voting for a toothless non-binding request for an exit time-table, tell them a growing causus opposing the funding sends a stronger message and builds toward the ability to actually end the war. Tell them the exit strategy approach, last summer, was rightly delayed until after the funding vote, and then garnered 138 votes, to which the president merely gave a one-finger salute. Let them know that ineffective rhetoric is no substitute for action.
Ask them to commit now to whipping their colleagues to vote No. And report on what they tell you here: http://defundwar.org Teach-In on Capitol Hill:
What Congress Must Do to End US Wars and
Help Secure a Peaceful Middle East David Swanson / After Downing Street
DESCRIPTION: Educational briefing on the US agenda in the Middle East, its consequences and development of a strategy/plan to withdraw. Emphasis will be on constructive, interactive dialogue among panelists and attendees.
MODERATOR: Representative Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) PANELISTS: Chris Hedges, Jeremy Scahill, David Swanson, Ann Wright DATE: Thursday, April 29, 2010 TIME: 1:45 PM – 4:00 PM PLACE: Gold Room (2168), Rayburn House Office Building, Independence Ave and C Street SW, Washington, D.C.
Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. He spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News, and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, and Princeton University. He left the Times after being issued a formal reprimand for denouncing the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. He has written nine books, including "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle," and "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning."
Jeremy Scahill is the author of the international best-seller "Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army." He is a frequent contributor to The Nation magazine and a correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now! He is currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute. Scahill has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the prestigious George Polk Award, which he won twice. While a correspondent for Democracy Now!, Scahill reported extensively from Iraq through both the Clinton and Bush administrations. He has appeared on ABC World News, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, CNN, MSNBC, PBS’s The NewsHour, Bill Moyers Journal and is a frequent guest on other radio and TV programs nationwide.
David Swanson is the author of "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including press secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, media coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as communications coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson is Co-Founder of AfterDowningStreet.org, creator of ProsecuteBushCheney.org, and Washington Director of Democrats.com, a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, the Backbone Campaign, Voters for Peace, and the Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution, and chair of the Robert Jackson Steering Committee. AfterDowningStreet was named Most Valuable Progressive by the Nation Magazine in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Ann Wright spent thirteen years in the US Army and sixteen additional years in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Colonel. In 1987, she joined the Foreign Service and served as US Deputy Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan, and Mongolia. She received the State Department’s Award for Heroism for her actions during the evacuation of 2,500 people from the civil war in Sierra Leone, the largest evacuation since Saigon. She was on the first State Department team to go to Afghanistan and helped reopen the Embassy there in December 2001. On March 19, 2003, the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Wright cabled a letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell, stating that without the authorization of the UN Security Council, the invasion and occupation of a Muslim, Arab, oil-rich country would be a disaster. She is a member of Veterans for Peace and is the co-author of "Dissent: Voices of Conscience."
SPONSORS: EndUSWars.org, AfterDowningStreet.org, Code Pink: Women for Peace, Democrats.com, Progressive Democrats of America, the Nation, Gray Panthers of Metro Washington, Washington Peace Center, United for Peace and Justice, Office & Professional Employees International Union Local 2, US Labor Against the War, Civilian Soldier Alliance, Seacoast Peace Response, Veterans for Peace, The Humanist, Voters for Peace, Rethink Afghanistan, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Peace of the Action, Jobs for Afghans, WeThePeopleNow.org, ProsecuteOfficials.org.
CONTACT: Herb Hoffman, 207-646-5431 or pala at maine.rr.com
Josh Stieber to Join Teach-In on War. Josh Stieber served in the company shown in the video from Iraq recently released by Wikileaks. He and Ethan McCord have published an apology to the Iraqi people:
And the widow of an Iraqi killed in the video has accepted the apology: