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At the Peace & Justice Resource Center, Tom Hayden writes:
Peace forces have accomplished more these past four years than many are able to comprehend, due to their understandable bitterness over the proliferation of drones and civil liberty issues. The achievements made possible should not be forgotten, but instead built upon. As the Peace and Justice Resource Center and Congresswoman Barbara Lee advocated, President Barack Obama's re-election platform included ending two quagmires and reinvesting the revenues in rebuilding America, though a withdrawal from Afghanistan is scheduled more slowly than progressives would have preferred.
The application of massive US ground forces to implement the Long War doctrine has been ended for the reasons we predicted: it is unwinnable, unaffordable and therefore unpopular with a majority of Americans.
The PJRC never promised that ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would end the militarized thrust of US foreign policy in defense of global strategic interests like oil and natural resources. But the military withdrawals, combined with the budget crunch, can only make future interventions harder and diplomacy more necessary.
A vital focus of the PJRC in the coming year will be on revising the War Powers Act in order to prevent the return of the Imperial Presidency. The broad outline of the proposals will include:
• Continued pressure to cut funding for military operations in Afghanistan;
• A diplomatic settlement involving Afghanistan and Pakistan;
• Radical reduction of the use of drones as part of the diplomatic settlement;
• Reinvigoration of Congressional war powers to cover drones, cyber war, CIA secret armies, and arbitrary detentions, which now are under secret executive control.
Obama has felt the pressure from civil liberties, peace and media groups, and said to Jon Stewart on October 18 that he would welcome Congressional help “to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in,” by designing new “legal architecture” to cover the new nature of warfare.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007—NM-Sen: Udall trying to give Chavez face-saving way out:
There's no doubt that Democrats are hoping to clear the primary field for Tom Udall, who by all indications has decided to run for Senate (he's started hiring campaign staff). Some worry that Udall will stay out unless the field is cleared, a sentiment Marty Chavez is exploiting by threatening to go nuclear on Udall in case he enters the race.
But just as likely is that Udall is actually trying to be kind to Chavez.
A Santa Fe source: “What I think will probably happen is that Udall polling will come out showing him way ahead. He’s not reconsidering, he’s in. The reason he’s reconsidering—Tom’s unusual, he’s kind and gentle—and tenacious, too. He’s trying to give Marty a face-saving way to get out, but if he doesn’t I fully believe he’s prepared to get in and crush him. I think some other heavy hitters in the Democratic Party in New Mexico are telling Marty that the numbers aren’t there for him, why doesn’t he run for the Heather Wilson seat, which he can win?”
Republicans continued with The Crazy, so the Kagro in the Morning show had to keep covering it. Greg Dworkin joined us with exit polling analysis, and pointed us to Mary Matalin's over-the-top whinefest on CNN. Armando also chimed in to discuss post-election reactions, and a little bit about the future of Daily Kos Radio. We wrapped up with more unhinged "conservative" reaction, how gerrymandering left the Republicans with a rump majority in the House, and how filibuster reform in the Senate can help us deal with it.