THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DID NOT VOTE TO ESCALATE THE WAR IN IRAQ: WRITE CONGRESS NOW
By Brent Budowsky
December 22, 2006
Let's have instant replay of the day before the Congressional elections when Republican and Democratic candidates were asking the country for their votes in their final summation:
How many candidates for the House or Senate said: "Vote for me, and I will escalate the war in Iraq"?
How many candidates said: "Vote for me and I will vote to intervene on the site of the Shi'ites in their sectarian war against Sunnis in Iraq?"
How many candidates said: "Vote for me and I will vote to support one group of Shi'ites who are warring against another group of Shi'ites"?
How many candidates said: "Vote for me and I will oppose negotiations with Iraq's neighbors that could end this conflict?"
How many candidates said: "Vote for me and I will support the President if he disrespects our Joint Chief of Staff and commanders because he is hell bent on escalating the Iraq war over their objection"?
How many candidates said, when they were virtually unanimously applauding the bipartisan Baker Hamilton group before the election: "Vote for me and I will throw out the Baker Hamilton Group 48 hours after the election and support a new miltary escalation after the election, instead"?
How many candidates said, on the day before our election, that what America needs after the election is a debate about whether Republican President Bush will escalate the war and whether Democrats in Congress will support this escalation?
Looking at our debate in Washington, watching the carnage on the evening news, listening to the so-called national security experts, enduring the latest battle between the neocons who want to escalate and the generals who do not, lets ask this question:
Did the election actually happen?
Does it matter what the voters voted for?
Does anybody remember what the candidates said the day before the vote, whether they were incumbents seeking re-election or challengers seeking to defeat them?
Does anybody care?
Here is the optimistic note: the American people do care.
Here is what will happen when the new Congress convenes in January, and take it from someone who has worked for senior Democratic Senators and the House Democratic Leaders in the good old days:
At this moment, as you read these words, every incoming Senator and Congressman and woman will be hearing from their voters back home, and their voters are not happy campers.
They will be telling the incoming members of the House and Senate that they did not vote for permanent war, endless war, escalated war, rejecting negotiations, escalation over the objection of the generals, supporting the Shi'ite side of the civil war against the Sunnis, supporting a war between one group of Shi'ites against another, or starting a new war against Iran.
Trust me, when members of the Senate and House gather on the Floor of the new Congress in January, they will be telling their colleagues this: "Wow, did I hear it from the folks back home, they are not happy campers."
So I propose: take a minute to send a message to your Senators and Representative, by letter, email or in person and the sum total of these messages will have a powerful impact.
In America elections matter.
The people have spoken.
It is the duty of our Congress to listen.
Enough is enough.