Call Now To Stop War Funding
The Obama administration asked Congress for another $83.4 billion from for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That funding was then increased to $94.2 billion by the House Appropriations Committee and is about to go before Congress for a vote as early as this Thursday.
Members of Congress need to hear from as many of their constituents as possible that this war funding bill is unacceptable! Please call your Congress person today and tell them to oppose the bill.
Call your Representative at 1-800-517-5696 and ask to speak to their Foreign Policy staffer, if available. Click here to look up your Representative’s name.
Let them know that you want your Representative to:
~ Vote against the supplemental war funding;
Ask them (or thank them if they already cosponsored) also to demonstrate leadership to end the occupation in Afghanistan by joining over 40 other Representatives and co-sponsor Representative Jim McGovern’s (D-MA) bill that would require President Obama to provide an exit plan for Afghanistan no later than December 2009.
~ Support amendments that:
1. Provide timelines for bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq
2. Promote Afghan- and Iraqi-led aid and development
3. Increase funding for refugees
4. Support women’s rights
Now, if you’re feeling like a super activist, pick up the phone again and call both of your Senators and follow the same script above except ask them to introduce an amendment like McGovern’s. The Senate will most likely vote for war funding next week.
The answers congressional staff tell you is very important intelligence for the coalition of groups working to change policy in the Afghanistan region. Please go to our blog and post your Rep.’s name, who you talked to and what they said.
I am writing/calling to urge you not to approve more funds for war, as proposed by President Obama. As the mother of an Iraq War veteran, I am concerned about the long-term effects, trauma and death, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (see article below from the NY Times). As a human being, I am concerned about the civilian deaths and displacements in the millions. As a citizen, I am concerned about the inordinate waste of money and resources that could be put to better use in these difficult times. To sum it up:
* At a time of economic crisis and multiplying domestic needs, the 2009 Supplemental is an appalling waste of our money and of lives.
* The Supplemental funds the increase of troops to Afghanistan, escalating the war rather than ending it.
* The Supplemental places no restrictions on American bombings in either Afghanistan or Pakistan , despite the disproportionate harm to civilian inhabitants.
* The Supplemental maintains a high level of American troops in Iraq for the duration of FY 2009.
May 12, 2009
U.S. Soldier Kills 5 of His Comrades in Iraq
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
BAGHDAD — Five American service members were killed at a counseling center on an American military base in Baghdad on Monday, gunned down by a fellow soldier who was later taken into custody, military officials said.
The shooting took place at Camp Liberty, which is part of a sprawling complex of American military bases where thousands of soldiers are stationed and is near Baghdad International Airport.
The killings appear to be the single deadliest episode of soldier-on-soldier violence among American forces since the United States-led invasion six years ago.
“Anytime we lose one of our own, it affects us all,” Col. John Robinson, a United States military spokesman in Iraq, said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this terrible tragedy.”
The names of the soldiers have not yet been released pending notification of their relatives.
The center where the shootings occurred offered counseling services to soldiers seeking help. It was not immediately clear, however, why the shooter or the victims were at the center at the time, or whether some of the victims had been staff members.
About one in six soldiers returning from Iraq show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or other emotional difficulties, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2004.
At a Pentagon news conference on Monday, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the shootings occurred “in a place where individuals were seeking help” for combat stress.
The violence, he said, was a tragic reminder of the need for greater “concern in terms of dealing with the stress” and also “speaks to the issue of multiple deployments” as well the need for finding ways of “increasing dwell time,” so that military personnel spend more months at home between deployments.
President Obama said in a statement that he was “shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news from Camp Victory this morning.” The Camp Victory base complex includes Camp Liberty.
“I will press to ensure that we fully understand what led to this tragedy, and that we are doing everything we can to ensure that our men and women in uniform are protected as they serve our country so capably and courageously in harm’s way,” he said.
Typically, soldiers not on duty are required to remove the ammunition from their weapons while at American military facilities in Iraq. It was not known why the shooter had a loaded weapon. The base is heavily fortified with blast walls and razor wire.
The killing of Americans by their fellow soldiers has been uncommon in Iraq, but not unheard of.
Most recently, in September 2008, an American soldier was arrested after the shooting deaths of two comrades at their patrol base near Iskandariya, about 25 miles south of Baghdad. The soldiers had been assigned to a unit based at Fort Stewart, Ga. The case is currently in military court.
In June 2005, two officers serving with the New York Army National Guard at a base near Tikrit died after an antipersonnel mine was placed next to a window, and a supply specialist was charged in the deaths. The supply specialist was acquitted in military court last year.
In April 2005, Sgt. Hasan Akbar, of the 101st Airborne Division, was sentenced to death for a grenade attack on fellow soldiers in March 2003 in Kuwait, at the beginning of the American-led war in Iraq.
Sergeant Akbar, who was the first American since the Vietnam era to be prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier in wartime, was convicted of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder after he threw grenades into tents and then opened fired on soldiers. He killed two officers and wounded 14 soldiers at Camp Pennsylvania.
The death toll from Monday’s shooting was the highest for American service members in a single attack since April 10, when a suicide truck bombing killed five near the police headquarters in the northern city of Mosul.
This month, two American soldiers died after being shot by a man wearing an Iraqi Army uniform at an Iraqi military training center south of Mosul.
In April, 18 American military personnel members were killed in Iraq — double the number in March and the highest since September 2008, when 25 were killed.
During the past two years, violence has dropped sharply in Iraq, but a recent rash of bombings has raised questions about security before the United States is scheduled to withdraw combat troops from Iraq’s cities by June 30.
Camp Liberty will not be among the bases closing June 30, however, because Iraqi officials have agreed to consider the Camp Victory base complex as outside Baghdad’s city limits, even though it actually straddles the line.
The Camp Victory base complex houses about 20,000 troops on four bases. It is where Mr. Obama gave a speech to American troops in April, and where an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at President George W. Bush during a press conference in December.
The American military also announced on Monday that an unidentified United States soldier died on May 10 in Basra Province, in southern Iraq, after his vehicle was struck by an explosive device. No other details were given.
Also on Monday, Brig. Gen. Abdul Husain Muhsen al-Kadhumi, a high-ranking Iraqi police official in charge of traffic operations, was fatally shot while driving to work in Baghdad, said an Iraqi police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington, and Sharon Otterman from New York
Rep mike Michaud’s staffer said they would pass it to the Rep.
I called Rep. Schrader’s office and talked to an aide. I told the aide that we did not need the extra money for Afghanistan since we had no clear goals and we did not know what we were fighting for. All we were doing is using our weapons to kill civilians. I asskked him to urge for our withdrawal from Afghanisytan and leave Pipelineistan alone.
Zoe Lofgren’s staff person said they would pass it along. instead of passing it along, I just wish my rep. had the gonads to say ‘enough is enough’…maybe oneday, she will…
I called Mike Thompson’s office and spoke to his aide. I cited the talking points and some of my own viewpoints of why the wars are straining our world economy, not to mention the millions of lives lost.
I was thanked.
I called Mark Schauer’s office and said that I didn’t see my representative’s name on the list of other members of the House who were supporting Jim McGovern’s bill to get the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq or wherever else we’re not wanted.
I said I DO NOT want any additional funds appropriated for this futile conflict where the collateral damage is causing more grief, pain, and hardship on a people who do not want us there.
She said she’d pass the word along.
The trouble with Mark (bright and great guy that he is) is that he’s so concerned with Michigan’s economical issues that he doesn’t seem to realize that he must become more aware of how his decisions play out globally. It used to be that we small-time politicians would be instructed to take care of business on the lower end and work our way up. It doesn’t seem to work that way now. Because of the impact our actions play out in the world, we must work from the top down.
I called Rep Jane Harman’s office, the staff member said she had not yet taken a position and he would pass along constituent comments.
I called Rep Neil Abercrombie’s office in DC and left a voice mail message for his foreign policy staffer that I expected Mr. Abercrombie to vote against the increase of war efforts in the middle east and for efforts to rebuild the devestation in the area.
It was a waste of time calling Debbie Wassermann Schultz’s office. Her staffer acted bored, breathing deeply into the phone constantly. Any comment he made to me was his effort to try and belittle anything I said.
Let’s face it. Ninety-five percent of oliticians only respond to large corporations that contribute to their campaign coffers. We, the people are never represented on the big issues.
This really does surprise me. I think this calls for a personal letter to Debbie, telling her of your impression of the guy at the other end of the line. I assume she would benefit from a critical evaluation and it sounds like the results of your call should definitely be reported.
Here in Colorado: Rep Jared Polis, Sen. Mark Udall, Sen. Mike Bennet are all undecided. Anyways….it’s become clear to me that none of these folks care. Obama himself is requesting just about as much as George Bush would be right now, were he still in office. The whole charade of American ‘democracy’ has finally revealed itself to me as nothing more than a very very well orchestrated sham.
Called Hawaii’s 2nd district rep. Mazie Hirono. Her phone answerer didn’t know how she stands on it but took down in writing my message that Maui Peace Action’s Maui organization wants no more blank checks for war and that’s not what we elected a Democrat majority for.
I called Rep. McGovern’s office and spoke to an aide. I explained that I am totally opposed to any more funding for such a disasterous war, that there are no clear goals in sight and that more innocent civilians are being killed daily. I was told that she (the aide) would indeed, pass on the information to Rep. McGovern and that he himself, is opposed to any supplemental funding.
Called Jared Polis’ office (CO-2). Staffer said he had not yet given any indications on how he will vote on the supplemental. Would pass on message. I also asked about co-sponsoring McGovern amendment. Said, “Oh, right.” Would pass that on as well.
called Rep. X. Becerra’s office and left voicemail with staffer.
IS THIS DONNA CASSYD , FROM THE LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT? YOU WERE A PRINCIPLE AT DEL REY HIGH ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL ? IF IT IS PLEASE ONTACT ME AT MACIASI@HOTMAIL.COM, I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO MEET WITH YOU I WAS ONE OF YOUR STUDENTS YOU HELPED A GREAT DEAL
Left message of opposition to more war funding , and message graciously received: “I’ll make sure she knows how you feel about war funding.”
Called Rep. David Price’s office and left message with staffer of opposition to the War, continued funding, and support for withdrawal. Staffer will pass the message on.
Senator Akaka’s sec. wanted a bill # which I did not have.
I called Rep. Olson’s office, spoke with staffer who answered the phone, said I opposed any additional funding for warfare. She thanked me for my call and said she would pass my opinion on. I decided to email an elaboration of my opinion, and sent the following to Rep. Olson:
Dear Representative Olson,
Re: additional funding for warfare
As a nation we need to rethink the whole idea of using warfare as a means of advancing policy.
What has become evident, in this 21st century, is that we live in a closed and very finite system. We are now learning that we cannot continue to dump toxic byproducts of our industrial activities into our atmosphere and hydrosphere as if these were infinite trash sinks. The reality seems to be that in a closed system such activity eventually results in changes in the system itself which are increasingly deleterious to our quality of life, health, and well-being.
This is not a new idea, but widespread awareness that we are actually tripping over such change thresholds is new. A new way of thinking is called for. We need to move from open-ended linear thinking in our problem solving, which does not concern itself with where the raw materials for the input side of the equation come from nor with where the byproducts of the process on the output side of the equation go, to the circular thinking that is required for sustainable activity inside a closed system.
What does this have to do with funding the wars we are engaged in? I submit that war is the ultimate unkindness, and that actions of unkindness create toxic byproducts in the social sphere of our closed system in the same way that certain industrial processes leave byproducts which negatively impact health in the biosphere. The outrage over perceived injustice, the increases in polarization and hostility, that result from policies of unkindness, do not just go away. Like industrial pollutants, they linger, build up, and eventually create problems that outweigh the intended benefits of the original processes or procedures.
As we struggle to come to grips with the reality of living in a closed and very finite system, reassessing the value of violence should take a prominent place among the pressing issues facing us. Violence may seem like a quick and easy way to advance an agenda, but in the long run it is a loser as policy. These wars are killing us: they are counterproductive with regards to ‘winning hearts and minds’ abroad, they are ruining our principles, they are ruining our standing in the world, they are corrupting our democracy and our economy, they are damaging the social and environmental world we leave for future generations, they are bankrupting our nation. I happen to think they are also illegal and immoral, but if you feel differently on these last two items, don’t let that stop you from giving the issue an objective reconsideration in light of the other items that are coming back around, from our military actions, to deleteriously affect us.
It is time to stop these wars, and only Congress can do it by cutting off the money for them. No more funding for warfare.
The person who answered the phone at Elijah Cumming’s (MD) office was very receptive to what I was saying, including asking me to go back to repeat Rep. McGovern’s name and the list of amendments because he had not gotten them all down. He then added that this message would get to Mr. Cummings by the end of the day. I felt that I and the message were treated with respect.
I too called Rep Mike Thompson, talked to a staff member, and told him I was against the increased funding, the war, and anything that would prolong the war. He said he would pass on the info.
Called offices of both Pallone and Menendez, and left voice messages for their Foreign Policy Staffer, Tuli and Mark Lopez respectively. Pallone has not cosponsored the bill and I do not think he would unless Palosi supports it. Left the message for Lauthenberg with Spencer, a general staff. Pallone has not cosponsored the bill and I do not think he would unless Palosi supports it.
I meant to add (to my above message) that Schauer’s office receptionist said she’d certainly pass on my concerns. But because so much probably gets lost in the national offices, I decided to call his large branch office in Jackson, MI. I told his receptionist how very concerned I was that Mark’s name was not included in the list of 40 names on McGovern’s bill and how I wish Mark would take the message of this bill very seriously.
After a 2-3 minute conversation with a very understanding lady at the other end of the line, I felt much better about my message probably getting through in its entirety.
It is often good to do this, contact both the DC office and the local district office. The DC office hears from the distirct office every day about the concerns raised in the district.
The receptionist gave me the aide’s voice mail. I left a message and asked for a return call which never came.
Oh, I forgot to tell you my Congressperson is Steven La Tourette.
The person in Rep Kurt Schrader’s office said she would share the info and thanks for calling as did the person in Senator Ron Wyden’s office. More interesting was the call to Senator Jeff Merkley’s office. The person there was more interactive and he said that Senator Merkley agrees on all four points regarding Afghanistan.
I spoke to feinsteins, boxer, and pelosi’s office (California-SF). feinstein and pelosi supposedly haven’t issued statements on their positions yet. I asked them to reject any new funding and to support bills that will end the war. I left a message for boxer- wasn’t able to speak with a live representative from her office.
spoke w/Steve Rothman’s ofc. the person picking up the phone listened respectfully, verified my identity, and said his staff is having a meeting tomorrow about it, and she would register my comments.
Lautenberg’s ofc was not as responsive, nor did the rep tell me if he was even considering opposing the add’l funding.
Asked to speak with foreign policy staffer at Rep. Chris Smith’s(R_NJ) office He said there are several and asked what I had in mind. He didn’t refer me to that person, but just said he would pass the message on.
I called and left message with, Rep. Issa, Sen. Boxer and Sen. Feinstein staff. They said they will pass message on. I always have a better chance of talking to a staff person when I call local office.
I spoke with Rep. Dave Obey’s staffer just now(Foreign Policy staffer not available). She politely took down all 4 points and my request to have Mr. Obey join in Co-Sponsoring Rep Jim McGovern’s Afghanistan Exit Strategy Bill. She asked for the number, but it did not seem a problem that I didn’t have it. I stressed there are already 42 cosponsors at least. Thanks Peace Action for the very informative site! (I tried reaching Senator Feingold to encourage a similar bill- he may be already working in that direction…but could not get through yet. Will try again.
I left a message with and then received a call back from Jan Schakowsky’s foreign policy staffer. She confirmed that the amendment was not allowed and that McGovern’s proposal had been dropped this morning as a standalone bill. I thanked her for co-sponsoring the McGovern bill and said that, in the absence of an amendment, we’d like to see a vote against the supplemental. I was told that Schakowsky does not like the supplemental overall, and the calls the office is getting are running heavily against, but the congresswoman wants to support the President, and is not opposed to everything in the bill, and the supplemental will probably pass anyway, so it is a “tough vote.” The vote is due in about an hour (approx 2:30 EDT).
I left a message with aids at Jim McDermott, Patty Murry and Maria Cantwell’s offices(Washington State). Aids took message, no response.
talked to staff member at dodd’s office. he said dodd thinks there is a military solution for afghanistan, that he wants to cut the supplemental funding somewhat, but that funding in general is necessary.
did not call lieberman, that is a lost cause.
i spoke with congressman thornberry seceruity, and he was in session and his security would give him my message and thank me for calling about this issue and would take care of this matter
I called both Sen. Levin and Stabenow’s offices. A receptionist answered at Levin’s and there was only a recording available at Stabenow’s. But that’s alright, I left a piece of my mind on that voice mail and to the receptionist.
I had pleaded with Rep. Mark Schauer to vote NO on Rep. McGovern’s bill last week. I called his D.C. office as well as his sattelite office in Jackson. But then I saw him at our Saturday night JFK annual dinner and he said he supported Obama’s call for more war appropriations. His explanation was that Obama needed more money to “help end the war that Bush started”. I was livid.
Frankly, I’m so damned tired of that same explanation that I hear over and over as a logical rationale for continuing to feed into constant requests for more money. Who is listening to us?
Get the h*** out of Iraq and Afghanistan–sooner than later. That’s one of the reasons we put Obama in the White House.
I called Sen Bingaman & Udall’s offices. Talked to their phone answerers who thanked me and said they would pass the message along. I told Udall’s office about Seymour Hersch’s information of US troops sodomizing children in front of their mothers at Abu Grahib (sp?). She said she hadn’t heard anything about that. I told her I was distressed that “prosecution is off the table” and “single-payer healthcare is off the table” according to Obama whose campaign I worked hard for. I feel that our government no longer represents any but corporate interests. She heard me out and was, I think, a bit shocked by the information. I told her to look up “Seymour Hersch child sodomy” on line. She said she would.
Really great work. Congrats to everyone who are involved with this project. The website layout and graphics are really cool.
I really love this kind of peace activism. How to stop a small war: