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On Tuesday, November 7th the American public sent a powerful, unmistakable message to their elected leaders in Washington -- they want change.  They are fed up with the corruption and sick of the infighting.  But most importantly voters, with a strong and decisive voice, demanded a change in our government’s Iraq policy.

Americans did not give my party a mandate simply to “work with the President,” or to wait for cues from a blue-ribbon committee.  No, the people told us to correct the President, challenge the President, and to confront the President on the moral challenge of our times.

The message is clear - the American public has directed the Democratic Party to be bold, to change course on Iraq, with the main goal of bringing our troops home.

Yet there remains a debate within the Democratic Party on what it means to “oppose the war.”  There are some who claim to oppose it, even while arguing that we cannot bring our troops home right away, that to do so would be “catastrophic.”

But how could it get more catastrophic than fueling a devastating homegrown insurgency in Iraq?  The catastrophe is continuing to foment a civil war that is tearing a proud nation apart at the seams.  This current policy is the catastrophe.  Staying the course at this point will only plunge Iraq further into the abyss, costing thousands more American and Iraqi lives.

There are others who claim that while they oppose the war, they support the troops and, they say, supporting a withdrawal would dishonor them.  But is it honoring these brave men and women, some of the best America has to offer, to leave them in a dangerous, un-winnable situation?  No, honoring them means bringing them home to their families and strengthening a VA health care system that has been all but laid to waste by the Bush Administration in recent years.

Every day that we remain in Iraq is a day that we shortchange our priorities here at home.  This war has already cost us over $300 billion, approximately $11 million every hour of every day.  The total cost is now projected to surpass the cost of the entire Vietnam War.  This is an astronomical, irresponsible sum, which would be better used here at home -- to improve our schools, provide quality health care, put Americans back to work, and help Iraq rebuild its economy and infrastructure.

In January of 2005 I took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives and was the first Member of Congress to demand that we bring our troops home.  Since then, I have followed that up with public forums, resolutions, forced votes, and nightly speeches on the House floor -- all designed to build support for a movement to end the occupation.  

Many times along the way, and going as far back as 2002 when we first debated the Iraq invasion, the right wing and their media mouthpieces greeted me and other anti-war leaders with the usual smears and jeers.  But who will history judge as calling this one correctly?  Everyone but the blindest Bush-Cheney loyalist recognizes that Iraq has been an unmitigated debacle, a strategic blunder and moral failing of historic proportions.  

Today, because of the pressure applied by those of us in the anti-war camp, I stand with the majority of the American public and with a growing number of elected leaders from both parties in opposing this occupation.  I was right in 2002, and we’re still right -- withdrawing our troops is the only humane, sensible option we have left.

Congress has the power to end this occupation.  We must stand up to our responsibility and bring every pressure to bear on this Administration.  We must use every lever and pursue any avenue  to hold them accountable for their immeasurable failures in Iraq.  This isn’t just another priority for the new Congress. According to the voters who have elected us, this is the 110th Congress’ most solemn duty.

Originally posted to Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:05 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you. nt (23+ / 0-)

    "get him gone, get him gone, get him gone!! and bring all the thieves to trial" - Dry Drunk Emperor by TV on the Radio

    by god less force on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:06:42 PM PST

  •  We are with you (36+ / 0-)

    Bravo for speaking out against the war, Congresswoman. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We need to get out of Iraq now. People need services that are cut by war spending. Let's make it so people don't go to bed hungry and get the healthcare and education they need.

    "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi

    by yogishan on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:08:54 PM PST

  •  There will never be a better time to get out. (20+ / 0-)

    There will only be worse times to get out. That's been true for a long time. It still is.

  •  As much as I laud your goals... (0+ / 0-)

    ...particularly your goal to end the war in Mesopotamia, I cannot help but to wonder what political victory in history was so narrow as to not be called by the victors a "powerful, unmistakable message"?

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:13:06 PM PST

    •  I don't know, but I do know... (26+ / 0-)

      ...that not a single Democratic incumbent for the House, Senate or governor lost. On Nov. 7, the American people made their views crystal clear.

      •  Those incumbents... (4+ / 0-)

        ...include a lot of Democrats who supported the war, however.  It is hard for me to see the return of those representatives as a vote for the kind of sea change we desire.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:25:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those incumbents don't want to get saddled (10+ / 0-)

          with this war and it is definitely taking its toll on their ability to deliver to their constituents.  This war is George Bush's war and no matter how gung ho some may have been every single one of them knows that if you take the troops out of Iraq Americans won't notice what happens once we leave.  My points reflect the most cynical political view of this conflict, but don't underestimate those cynic's having a new-found desire to get out either.

          •  I remember when Viet-Nam (6+ / 0-)

            was Johnson's war.  Nixon made it his by not getting out.  The only way we will make it ours is by foolishly instituting a draft and giving the tools to the goopers on a bi-partisan basis.

            "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

            by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:40:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Rangel is not going to re-institute the draft. (9+ / 0-)

              He is making an important point to Bush/GOP calls for "more troops" and to stay indefinitely in Iraq.  He is right to make the point.

              Personally, my question to Americans who want to stay is going to be to ask if they are willing to effectively adopt/annex Iraq as the 51st and most expensive state in the Union.  That is what BushCo is proposing.  They want to annex Iraq.  Whether or not they sit around and use the term "annex" is irrelevant.  All of the things they propose lead to one conclusion which is that Colin Powell's "you break it, you own it" really means you own this broken screwed up thing.

              I am glad that people like Rangel are talking about what "Full steam ahead" really means - what the real sacrafices will be if we remain in Iraq.

              •  I always admire your heart (6+ / 0-)

                and almost always agree with your thoughts, but as one who was subject to a draft that fueled a war that was very unpopular and watched the terrible toll it took on those subjected to it, I can't agree that it is a proper thing for us to bring up.  We should not propose bills that we do not support.  This is folly, and unworthy of your support.

                "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 03:15:12 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I understand your position. (5+ / 0-)

                  But all I am trying to say is that I don't think you have to worry about this idea actually coming to pass.  I know based on hearing what Rangel had to say that the Dem Leadership do not support the idea and that he is not in the least bit upset with them.  He said, "This is Charlie Rangel's issue - not the Democrats."  My father has been a supporter of the draft since about the late 80's for all of the same reasons that Rangel talks about with regard to a real shared burden.  Rangel is not screwing around with his proposal.  There are no deferments or exceptions except for concientous objectors.  There are a lot of Americans who blythely go around insulting peace activists as unpatriotic but who won't take a hit on their taxes or join up.  Rangel is just telling people what they are getting themselves into.  If Republicans would really be honest about what they plan to do, re-instating the draft would be out front and center on their agenda.  Someone needs to tell people what BushCo is really asking of them.  I believe the President still has the right to invoke the draft by Executive Order.  Did it ever occur to you that this may be a political end run to avoid that solemn moment?  We have to talk about this issue in order to stop it and the indefinite extension of the War in Iraq.

                  •  This is precisely why I don't think we should do (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    inclusiveheart, vox humana

                    this:  

                    If Republicans would really be honest about what they plan to do, re-instating the draft would be out front and center on their agenda.

                    .  The draft is necessary for them to do what they wish.  Why would we give them bi-partisan cover, actually, more than cover.

                    My real objection to this is the absolute unfairness of taking out the frustrations of war policy on 18 yr old boys and maybe girls, cause you know that is what it always gets down to; the young and the naive.

                    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                    by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:07:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am banking on most people in this country (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      NearlyNormal, vox humana

                      feeling the way you do about American kids and young adults.  I feel the way you do.  America has become a much more selfish nation than we were in the '60s.  I am pretty sure that sacrafice is not that appealing to them because if it was people would be signing up like they were after 9/11 and voting against candidates who propose lower taxes.

                      I think the other key thing that is different in our collective conciousness is that there really is NO love for the Iraqi people themselves.  BushCo themselves set that up.  By making people fear and hate arabs and muslims they have undercut the political will they would need to have to "save" Iraq and the people by sacraficing Americans who have not volunteered.

                      It is a dead end for BushCo.

                      There is no real "bi-partisan cover" to capitalize on as a result.  But the fact that it is a dead end has to be clearly stated for Americans so that they can't get romanticized into believing that Iraq is a noble cause again.  That is the side I am looking at here.  I understand and agree with your POV, but I was felt that I put too much faith in Americans divining the real consequences on the last go round.  I am not opposed to extreme rhetoric from our side now because I fear if it isn't out there, it won't be factored in as Americans weigh the odds.

                    •  A draft would shut this country down. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      DaleA, Catrina

                      And that's the point.

                      Not so bad if it's the kid across the tracks who fights for a bonus at recruitment time but when it hits home and it's your kid or not your choice, it's a whole different wargame.

                    •  The point is, if there is talk of a draft this (0+ / 0-)

                      country will go wild and this war would end over-night. That's why Rep. Rangel suggested it now, and before the war in 2003. He had tried everything else back then, and proposed the draft as a last resort, knowing that would rouse the American people out of their apathy. The problem was, Rightwingers knew it also and had no interest in his proposal.

        •  That's what Joe is for! to cover for them (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MO Blue, Aaa T Tudeattack

          Not a victory for our Party -but an Opportunity for our Country. - Pelosi

          by annefrank on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:03:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The people ARE always trying to send (5+ / 0-)

      a "powerful, unmistakable message".

      The victors get the privilege of telling them what that message was -- and if they fail to do that, they loose the initiative.

      Popularity comes from conviction, not the other way around.

      <div style="color: gray; font-size: 80%">(-7.88, -8.97)</div>

      by Abou Ben Adhem on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:06:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it wasn't a narrow victory (16+ / 0-)

      it was a blow out for democrats.  The only reasom the democrats didn't get more seat in congress is wide spread election fraud and redistricting.  
      But even with that we took more state houses, more governorships, the senate the congress by huge numbers.  The american people were clear about what they want and it doesn't matter that some democrats voted for the war.  The people want this administration checked.
      The truth is that it took the democratic party 40 years to wear out their welcome and it only took republicans 12.

    •  Is yours a rhetorical comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GN1927, kestrel9000

      or a question?  The scope of the Democratic political victories, across the country in both houses of Congress and the Governor chairs, could hardly be called "narrow."  So how is your comment relevant?  It seems fairly clear from the election results that people did not go to the polls for sort-of-change-the-course-but-not-too-much. The message they sent seems powerful in its magnitude and unmistakable in its intent.

    •  It is entirely possibly (0+ / 0-)

      that had there not been voter id confusion, addition to create barriers to voting, that had there been enough machines in democratic territories, that had there been WORKING machines in democratic territories that the mandate would have been much higher!

      My question to you is, what will you do to make sure YOUR vote counts?

  •  Thanks (10+ / 0-)

    Here in Sonoma County, I'm proud to be represented by a Democratic Congresswoman and a Democratic Senator (well one out of two isn't bad, I guess) who had the wisdom and courage to oppose Bush's disastrous, murderous war.

    I would agree that getting out of there is job one for the new Congress, and that investigating how we got in there is job six or seven, after things like the minimum wage, lobbying reform, electoral reform, and universal health insurance are taken care of.

  •  Out of Iraq NOW (18+ / 0-)

    Congresswoman Woolsey,

    I've watched you on CSPAN several times tirelessly making your case to an empty House, but On Record.  Thank you for all you do.  There is no other option other than pulling our troops out now--before the chaos becomes so dangerous we can't get them out safely.  I can't understand the lack of understanding from those who think that the killing of more troops honors our brave men and women in uniform.  These are the same ridiculous flawed rationalizations we heard when the neocons kept saying we needed to stay in Vietnam.  Please please keep up your vigilance.   You are appreciated!

    ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

    by rlharry on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:20:43 PM PST

  •  Thank you for posting! (21+ / 0-)

    Let us have a bold agenda that clearly differentiates us from the Grody Other Party... things that we can all get behind...

    1. No Spying on Americans Without Warrants
    1. Increased Minimum Wage
    1. Guaranteed Right to Have Prescriptions Filled
    1. The Right to Buy Pharmaceuticals from Canada
    1. Affording Basic Human Rights to All Detainees
    1. Restoring the Guarantee of Habeus Corpus
    1. Reining in Executive Overreaching

    We have a mandate!  LET'S GO!

    -9.50;-6.62. But it don't mean nuttin if you don't put your money where your mouth is

    by ultrageek on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:21:17 PM PST

  •  Thanks for everything Congresswoman (9+ / 0-)

    You are a shining example of what Americans are looking forward to seeing in the majority party.  

    If the Republicans promise to stop telling lies about us, maybe we'll stop telling the truth about them..

    by Romaniac on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:22:59 PM PST

  •  I remember when you stood up in Jan. 2005 (10+ / 0-)

    and said bring our troops home now. I thank you for this stand and I will certainly continue to tell my representatives I, too want the troops home. There is no answer to Bush's Folly except to bring our troops home.

  •  Thank You (10+ / 0-)

    We must use every lever and pursue any avenue  to hold them accountable for their immeasurable failures in Iraq.  

    I agree.  And I hope that you will, in addition to using every other lever, pursue articles of impeachment against the President and Vice President.

  •  Bush vs mandate of the American people (7+ / 0-)

    Bush has shown himself to be implacable, intractable and just plain an assh*t since November 7th. As a Marin Co. voter that has you has a rep I appreciate your strong stand against the war. And I really appreciated your actively campaigning for Jerry McNerney!

    I just don't see it as happening soon with Bushco standing in the way...and they'll try to blame any problems on the Dems. So I'll pose a couple of questions:

    1. What do you plan to do about Bush be incooperative?
    1. What do you plan to do to get the media to tell the truth instead of the wingnut spin?

    Thanks for the diary and for standing strong.

    All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. Pat Paulsen

    by SallyCat on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:38:37 PM PST

  •  do bombs work in afghanistan? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/...

    The US air force has carried out 2,000 air strikes in Afghanistan since June compared with 88 in Iraq. Commanders will redouble requests for more combat troops at the annual Nato summit later this month.

    •  Do they work anywhere? (0+ / 0-)

      Are invaders bayoneting our troops in a bloody wave emanating from Tijuana?  Are hordes of vicious killers pouring in from Calgary?

      Then put the bombs away.  One time, just once, was I sure they had done some limited good, and that was in Bosnia.  All the rest has been an utter disaster.

  •  So glad you called it what it is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hummingbird, NearlyNormal

    An occupation of Iraq.  An occupation in the midst of a civil war.  Complete and utter craziness.

    And while I'm here, may I suggest (I know you are busy) as a reminder, that Rahm Emanuel in the House, and Ron Wyden (Oregon) both introduced legislation almost a year ago for a "Fair Flat Tax".  I'd love to see that plan get more support.  If nothing else, a full debate on the issue would be nice.

    Another thing to add to your to-do list.  :o)

  •  Please don't touch the lever marked ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... "Cut off funding for the war". That's one you shouldn't even mention. We have an opportunity here to pry off the GOP's fingers from the military for the first time in 30 years. Don't do anything that would undrcut the soldiers themselves. Find another way.

    Some things should be off the table.

    •  Bull! That's the first to pull (5+ / 0-)

      How much more money must we give to the war profiteers as a thinly disguised support for the troops?

      NOTHING!!!

      What is undercutting the soldiers is not a lack of military funding, it is contract fraud committed by the war profiteers.

      Here's a good compromise, no more funding until the war profiteers give back all of their stolen loot! So far, the amount that has been stolen is in the hundreds of billions of dollars, possibly over a trillion dollars since Bush/Cheney selected themselves to run the country (into the ground).

      The war profiteers are the ones who do not respect the troops and who are truly traitors to the U.S.

      It is time to break the back of the Military Industrial Congressional K Street Complex.  I say no more funding until the war profiteers give back all that they stole and they are permanently stopped from destroying our military.

      •  I agree about the profiteering (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        But cutting off the funding doesn't fix that. The whole military has been restructured. Much of the base support functions and logistics are now carried out private contractors. It would simply be impossible at this point make a shift over night or even over a month or two to cover their absence. The whole military needs to be nationalized again, and that will take a much more delicate process than whacking at it with a budget axe.

        Stories about how the soldiers went a week without resupply or lost their transports home or god forbid got killed from the lack of resupply would undo all of the inroads that we have made these past 5 years under Rumsfeld.

      •  On the other hand (4+ / 0-)

        We could tax the war profiteers at 99%? :)  That was an idea I heard the other day.

        Or, how about this?  Make war profiteering a crime.  

        Either answer would make those profiteers leave Iraq immediately.

        After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

        by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:46:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree. Cut off the funding. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shaking the Tree, NearlyNormal

      And do so by  only funding for one more Friedman Unit. They get 6 months to get every soldier out of harms way.

      It is also a matter of threat; a reverse Overton window perhaps.

      Everything is on the table; including the biggest threat we have.

      •  It would be seen as an attack on the soldiers (0+ / 0-)

        There is no easy solution gimmick that will solve this responsibly. It has to be done carefully and in a way that doesn't endanger the people serving over there more. We don't have another three decades to deal with a new "stabbed in the back" meme to work its way out of the system. Right now, the opinion in the military is turning against the GOP. A funding cut off with soldiers in the warzone would probably kill off a Democratic majority for decades.

        And its probably a non-starter for getting passed anyway. All bringing it up could do is cut the legs out from under the party.

        •  or, refusing to take it off the table (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catrina

          could scare the beejeezus out of folks so they might actually set a timetable.

          I'm not saying do it. I'm saying threaten. And I'm saying give them time to get the soldiers out of harms way by refusing to fund any longer than it takes to do exactly that. Get the soldiers out within 6 months or no more $.

          Are you saying that if that threat were made good, they wouldn't quick as a bunny get plans in order for evacuation and implementation asap?

          Hell, they better have the plans in order now. They just need to implement.

    •  I somehow feel you have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlharry, Catrina

      a misconception of what it means to cut off funding for the war.  Congress holds the pursestrings.  That is the only way they can effectively remove us from a personal war orchestrated by a president who is out of touch with reality and refuses to respect the lives of those he is sacrificing to a war the whole world recognizes as a colossal debacle.  Bush is the President, therefore, he is Commander in Chief.  But he is only 1 element of our government.  To safeguard against Commander in Chief abuses, the founders wisely placed the funding of wars in the hands of another branch of government.  Splitting the responsibility was intentional.  It is not irresponsible to cut off funding.  It is perhaps the height of responsibility.

      Your fears that this would undercut the soldiers themselves projects an image of suddenly cutting off support and abandoning our sons, daughters, fathers, etc., in the middle of a hostile field to fend for themselves and somehow make it back here to us as best they can.  This is not what cutting off Bush's bottomless war credit card means.  It simply means Congress will not continue to fund his war.  All the funds necessary would be made available to support the safe return of the troops.  It's our Commander in Chief who has thrown our sons and daughters into Iraq with absolutely no planning for their safe return, let alone for their protection while they're there in the middle of undefined chaos.  

      Our daughter and her husband are both in the military.  I've met many of their friends who are also in the military.  I strongly support cutting off funding for the war.  I think at this point it's the most responsible action Congress can take--it's the best thing we can do to support the troops.  The promise of continued funding allows Bush to ignore the meaningless slaughter of our troops.  We must face and deal with reality, even though he will not.

      •  I think you have misconceptions aboutthe response (0+ / 0-)

        "All the funds necessary would be made available to support the safe return of the troops. "

        Or maybe to make another big push. Or maybe they would simply pull money from other departments to try to keep going, and blame the fall out on the congress.

        In the incredibly unlikely event they immediately began pulling out, every single problem that occured in the pull out would be blamed on the democrats no providing enough money, of undercutting the strategies of the generals who's advice was ignored.

        No matter what happened after that point, the Democrats would be responsible for the failures. It would effectively turn every military voter against the democratic party. Right now, a lot of the military vote is turning towards the democratic party.

        It is not a smart way to proceed on many levels, both political and practical.

  •  Congresswoman, help us believe that change (11+ / 0-)

    is really going to happen, there are about 10,000 Cold War veterans of Fort Detricks Biological weapons experimenst 1955 thru 1972 and 7120 veterans who were used in Edgewood Arsenal's chemical weapon and drug experiments from 1955 thru 1975 that Congress has never forced the VA or DOD to deal with in the past three decades, both Canada and Britain are dealing with their "test vets"  what about the super power of America, do not our veterans deserve the same  justice after 30+ years?
    http://www.epluribusmedia.org/... and http://www.myleftwing.com/...

    Isn't it time for true oversight?

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with but one step"

    by testvet6778 on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:50:57 PM PST

  •  Exactly!!!!!!!!!!! (11+ / 0-)

    Americans did not give my party a mandate simply to “work with the President,” or to wait for cues from a blue-ribbon committee.  No, the people told us to correct the President, challenge the President, and to confront the President on the moral challenge of our times.

    With the speed of disintegration in Iraq, it is not just individual soldiers at risk.  It is our ENTIRE military!  If any country or group of countries decides to jump in, they could decimate our military strength -- which is already waning from the incompetency of the White House.

    I guess that doesn't mean much to an administration that thinks there are plenty of poor black people that can be enticed to give their lives for the (broken) promises of security for their families.

    But it means a hell of a lot to the rest of us!

    Bush inherited the greatest economy and the greatest military that the world had ever experienced -- then he proceeded to flush both down into the septic tank that he dug in Iraq.

    Get Bush out of the way so that we can stop the madness!

    Investigate! Impeach! Indict! Incarcerate!

    by Cato come back on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 01:51:31 PM PST

  •  Just keep saying it for us (7+ / 0-)

    Bring them all home.

    while we're at it, can we scrap those permanent Halliburton/KBR protection military bases that we're building in Iraq, also?

  •  We had an "accountability moment" on election day (8+ / 0-)

    And it's over for the ever-dwindling "stay the course" crowd.  The Dems Progressive Caucus must lead in putting forth an exit strategy.  Lead the way, Lynn Woolsey!

  •  Well said .. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, NearlyNormal, TPaine

    now you guys and gals need to repeal the AUMF!

  •  What is the mission (13+ / 0-)

    Juan Cole in his blog today suggests that the question be asked continuously of all who would have us stay in Iraq WHAT IS THE MISSION . It is immoral for us to continue to leave our men and women in harms way without a clear cut statement of WHAT IS THE MISSION
    and how and when it will be accomplished.
    Bring the troops home now. Start bringing them home for Christmas and then New Years and have them all out of Iraq by spring.

  •  There is also an ongoing war against public (4+ / 0-)

    education that you need to look into ending.

    Save public education from corporatisation: Educator Roundtable

    by DeweyCounts on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:12:15 PM PST

  •  Solutions to Iraq are Political (4+ / 0-)

    There is no military solution to the situation in Iraq. It's a waste of resources and very damaging to the troops.

    Bush thinks that the only thing he needs to do is remove Rumsfield, and all is going to be fine. Well, he has another think coming!

    This President is in a league of his own. The BUSH league!

    by Tuba Les on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:12:49 PM PST

  •  Bravo! (8+ / 0-)

    My proposals

    1.  All troops home within a few months
    1.  Repeal the stolen freedom act (aka the Patriot Act)
    1.  Repeal the Bush tax cuts that affect those with incomes over 100 K
    1.  Institute a seriously progressive income tax, esp. on the 'super rich'.  Income over $1 million (from ANY source, including capital gains) is taxed at 90% Income over $5 million at 95%
    1.  Reform the drug patenting laws so that only drugs that are significantly BETTER than existing ones can be patented.

    For starters :-)

    Then, after we get the troops home, maybe we can Impeach Bush and send him home too.

    Thanks for coming to daily Kos!

    What are you reading? on Friday mornings
    stats_geeks_of_daily_kos

    by plf515 on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:15:21 PM PST

  •  Rangel draft proposal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine, zeke7237, txlosthorn

    As opposed as I am to the war, and a draft, I would like to see Rep. Rangel's proposal to reinstitute the draft debated.

    It's a perfect rebuttal to the "Well, do want to win the war?" chickenhawks, and a debate on reinstituting the draft (along with tax increases to fund a mobilization) sets the proper tone for the meaning of going to war and shared-sacrafice.

    Is there a way to have this debate without it being used against the Dems for bringing the draft up for debate? If the Repubs want to win this war, they need to vote for what it will take to have any chance of winning this war.

    •  Nope (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GayHillbilly, DSPS owl, kurt, JeremyA

      Is there a way to have this debate without it being used against the Dems for bringing the draft up for debate

      .

      This is an unwise act that will rightfully blow up in our faces.  Do we really want to put people to the choice of having to go fight in this war or go to prison just so we can pat ourselves on the back for forcing chickenhawks to look bad?

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:45:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The perfect rebuttal (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, TPaine, kurt, Catrina, Matt Z, txlosthorn

      to the "'Well, do you want to win the war?' chickenhawks" is, "Define 'win.'"

      There have never been any clearly stated objectives of this occupation. No one has ever defined "victory." Hell, Bush even already declared victory once. There is no goal here. It's just people killing and being killed for no reason, but no one wants to say it because everyone's playing politics.

      •  The goal (6+ / 0-)

        is permanent bases in Iraq among other things. Any rational true american looks at the bush administration and sees the most incompetant bunch of idiots ever assembled in one place in the history of the world. A neocon looks and sees a devastated middle class. An all volunteer army doing the dirty work for peanuts while private firms rake in billions in war profits. An enormous tax burden on the masses while the elites pay a pittance. Corporations from every field and expertise making record profits while real wages plummet. Trying to analyze what they are doing from a rational point of view will always lead to being perplexed by just how fucked up things have gotten. Looking at the world through a neocons eyes you will see what they see, mission accomplished.

        Investigate, Impeach, Imprison! -9.13/-7.59

        by FireCrow on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 03:10:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Amen, Congresswoman! And thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine, txlosthorn

    for taking a stand.  Withdrawal must start immediately, if possible. The alternative is only more chaos and the death of more American troops.  Please keep the pressure on the Administration and the party to implement a withdrawal plan as soon as possible.

    Thank you again!

  •  Congress Woolsey! (9+ / 0-)

    First let me say thank you for posting here and continuing your efforts to bring our brave soldiers home from Iraq!

    I do, however, take exception with one point.

    On Tuesday, November 7th the American public sent a powerful, unmistakable message to their elected leaders in Washington -- they want change.  They are fed up with the corruption and sick of the infighting.  But most importantly voters, with a strong and decisive voice, demanded a change in our government’s Iraq policy.

    I can't speak for others here, but, Iraq is merely a symptom of the real problem our country has faced for the past 6 years. Unfortunately, it is such a grave and disasterous symptom that it must be the first item to deal with. Nothing less than complete and immediate withdrawl is acceptable in my mind.

    The reason I worked so hard, wrote so many letters, made so many phone calls and donated to so many campaigns was to, once again, give Democrats control of our government. Not just to bring our troops home from Iraq, but to put a stop to the President and the Republican congress that enabled him to conduct this war of choice, based on lies, while at the same time stripping us of our civil rights.

    I worked to give the new Democratic majority the tools they need to investigate the numerous crimes that have occurred over the past 6 years and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. I worked to give you subpoena power! I trust you and your colleagues will use it wisely and use it often, until we rid our government of the cancer that has infected it.

    Iraq is a tragic symptom, but the problem goes much deeper!!

    Happy days are here again!!!!!

    by reflectionsv37 on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:20:39 PM PST

  •  As a constituent of yours (12+ / 0-)

    I'm very happy to read this.  In fact I would say that my only regret is that you haven't taken it far enough: I ask you to hold themn accountable for Iraq, the Katrina failure, the energy ripoffs, and the assault on the Constitution.  I am sickened by the notion that we should stoop to bi-partisanship.  We should be non-partisan in the pursuit of the best possible solutions to these devilish problems that the Republican party has gotten us into, with little meaningful oppositon many times, since the election of Ronald Reagan.  There is no bi-partisan solution to the corporate state run amok, there is only the non-partisan solution of proper regulation.  The
    Gulf coast does not care that we are chummy with Republicans, they want us to make a plan that encourages a successful rebuilding of the jewels of the South.

    I hope that you are able to stiffen the backbone of your fellow Congressional Democrats.  God knows that we are desperately counting on you.  We want you to know that you can count on us.

    "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

    by NearlyNormal on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:37:10 PM PST

    •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NearlyNormal, TPaine

      I hope that you are able to stiffen the backbone of your fellow Congressional Democrats.

      May I add an amen to that?  There's no better time to stiffen those backbones then RIGHT NOW when the majority of the country has all of your backs and won't fall anymore for BS spewing from the republicans about Dems being weak on terror, Pelosi is nothing but a flaming progressive radical LIBERAL from SF, blah, blah, blah.  Now is NOT the time to play nice.  Yeah, it would be great if you could come to terms on a few issues, but NOT if it compromises what the voters put you there to do this time around.  BRING OUR TROOPS HOME

  •  Have to agree (6+ / 0-)

    this business has gone on way longer than it should have. The longer we keep are men and women there the more of them will be killed and maimed and their presence is obviously not going to lead to any kind of political solution whether they're there or not. This is not dishonor for the troops--it is more dishonor for the administration that sent them into an impossible and increasingly untenable situation. We need to get them out now.

  •  Impeach the Criminals (7+ / 0-)

    If investigations warrant it! It's justice and it's the law. It's not rocket science! Remember, you can walk and chew gum, multi-task, etc. Doing all the other things doesn't preclude impeachment! The American people will respect a party, this Dem party, for having some balls!

  •  thank you, rep. woolsey! (7+ / 0-)

    i fully support your efforts to bring our troops home - and the sooner the better!

    we (the voters) DID send a message, not only to congress, but to the entire world!  we want this ended and we want YOU to act as our protection against politicians who have lost their understanding of the jobs they hold - to represent the people of this nation.

    the majority of americans do not support this fiasco - the majority of americans do not support torture.
    the majority of americans do not support plunging this nation into massive debt.
    the majority of americans want some affordable healthcare.
    the majority of americans want to be able to breathe and to see our environment strong.
    the majority of americans expect our politicians to protect OUR interests instead of those of the corporations.
    the majority of americans do NOT want our factories, companies, jobs to move overseas where workers are paid a pittance compared to the good jobs destroyed here at home.

    and finally, the MAJORITY of americans expect YOU and your COLLEAGUES who were voted into office to take steps to protect us from i just referenced.

    until recently, the "grassroots" was sniggered at, ridiculed and written off.  after november, that is no longer the case.

    when our media ignores us, tells us distortions, propaganda and flat out lies, is partisan and biased, they fail to realize that we have other options to find the truth.  we have and will continue to use those options as the american media becomes more corporatized and irrelevant and we will continue to rally and support, both in spirit, votes and finances, those candidates who will represent AMERICANS in our elections.

    thank you for coming here - thank you for reading what we have to say, and, most of all, thank you for listening.  that is why we elected you!

    good luck in taking on the greatest challenge this nation and the congress is facing, perhaps in all her history: that is, stopping an administration that is putting our very democracy in peril - one that evaded the very process that is proscribed by our constitution, a fair election where every vote is counted.  

    Kent Conrad is my NEW hero!!!

    by edrie on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:50:36 PM PST

  •  I am so proud (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, TPaine, kurt

    to have you as my congresswoman! Keep the heat on till we bring our neighbors, children friends and sometimes parents home. David Skibbins, The Sea Ranch

  •  Bravo Congresswoman, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine, Catrina, txlosthorn

    We do want change, especially in Iraq.  And although we are a majority, I have learned not to trust the president. Be careful.
    I'm sure there are many here on DailyKos that agree and support you fully. I am one of them.
    Please continue to challenge this administration on everything they try to pull. And, know that I am with you to the end. Let's get our boys home and put the blame where it belongs.
    They have been so wrong for so long, how can anyone still listen?
    Lynn Woolsey, make yourself heard. Thanks for coming.

  •  Murtha warned our nation of the Iraq war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, Catrina

    following the same track as the Vietnam war, with the largest number of fatalities occurring after is was apparent that a "win" was impossible.  The possibility grieves me and fuels my anger of the lies that brought us to where we are today.

    George Bush should not be allowed to pass this fiasco onto the next president's back. We need to force him to pull our troops out now.  Cut off the funding, rally for peace. Leaving Iraq immediately will be our only salvation.

  •  Rep. Woolsey, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, DSPS owl, kurt

    I have respected your courage for many years, you are a true Representative of the people and you do a good job.  

    Please respond to some of these other issues that are brought up in the comments, it would mean a lot to us.

    And Ma'am, we will hold you to your promises! :)

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 02:56:49 PM PST

  •  Redeploy Troops Now & Demand Accountability (5+ / 0-)

    for those that put troops in Iraq, whether that decision was based on incorrect intelligence or based on lies.  If we don't learn from history (and apparently we didn't learn from Vietnam's lessons) --we are indeed doomed to repeat it.  Also, when this country's top-level leaders violate the Constitution, they must pay the consequences.  

    In a country whose laws are based on the Constitiution, there must be no tolerance for violations such as: a. Ignoring the 4th Amendment with a program of warrantless wiretapping or: b. Unilaterally rewriting portions of a treaty, ("...This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding...") etc,etc.

    One reason I voted for a Democratic Congress was that I expect them to let this administration and future administrations know that they are not above the law, and to prevent a further slide toward a "unitary presidency".  If we value our Democracy there must be a clear line of demarcation that prevents one person from neutralizing the legislative branch by rewriting laws passed by congress with "signing statements".   The President's duty is to "execute" the laws of the US, or to veto said laws, not to make up his own laws.  The Congress will set a dangerous precedent for democracy in this country if they refuse to set boundaries for this President and those that will follow.  

  •  I live in her district (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine, kurt, Catrina

    Marin County.  We are very proud of our represenation in Congress.

    Thank you.

    •  Also a Constituent (0+ / 0-)

      San Rafael here, also very pleased to send Representative Woolsey to the 110th Congress.

      "What's in the name of lord, that I should fear; To bring my grievance to the public ear?" - The Crisis, January 13, 1777

      by TPaine on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 10:12:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  2 things (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, KiaRioGrl79, Catrina

    secure the vote from private interests, and divest the media corporations of the public broadcast frequencies.

    or just work to get congress to issue the call for an article v convention.

  •  Thank you Congresswoman Woosley! (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff, rlharry, DSPS owl, TPaine, Catrina, txlosthorn

    I have felt very unsafe with people who put profits ahead of people's lives in charge of our country for the  last six years. I hope that this insanity will stop soon and I hope you are one of the driving forces. It means a lot to me that you stopped by here tonight. You keep doing what needs to be done to hold the Bush Administration accountable for it's crimes.

  •  Eh? (7+ / 0-)

    sick of the infighting.

    I really hope this does not foreshadow a conciliatory note on investigations.

    I won't call for impeachment right off the bat, but I will be...disappointed if you guys don't vigorously start calling these criminals on the carpet, and putting them in jail.

    'Kay?

    'Kay.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 03:14:15 PM PST

  •  thanks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hyperstation, TPaine, kurt, Catrina

    why this is so hard for Democrats to say is beyond me.  The people voted for this.  The experts agree with this.  The Democrats should work to deliver this.  Get our troops out of harm's way.

    D-Day, the newest blog on the internet (at the moment of its launch)

    by dday on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 03:16:09 PM PST

  •  Stay the course (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, rlharry, DSPS owl, Cato come back

    Open up investigations into:

    1)misuse and deceptive use of intelligence in order to scam the American people into supporting this war
    stay the course on following that up.

    1. Rescind or declare moot executive orders that conflict with established laws forbidding war profiteering and corruption, as was done after WW2 by the Truman Commissions.

    Stay the course on that one too.

    Establish Richard Cheney's and George Walker Bush's culpability in approving and directing deceptive acts and plans to be played in Congress to put this cointo war and undermine the Constitution.

    Oh, yeaah... on that one you definitely need to "stay the course".

    Bush isn't using that expression any more, it fits him to an orange jumpsuit, yeah let's "stay the course" and see where that investigation ends up.

    Thank you for reminding everyone what the D Party needs to do.

    "Genius is the recovery of childhood at will" Rimbaud (thanks to Harlan Ellison for reminder)

    by Pete Rock on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 03:26:17 PM PST

  •  Start now... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, TPaine, kurt

    after the Thanksgiving day massacres, both the Shia and Sunni political leaders were united in one idea - that American troops must leave because they are part of the target when they fail to protect Sadr city or similar Sunni neighborhoods.

    The Democrats need to win over sufficient Republican colleagues to make some headway in the face of ideological rigidity of this White House. In the senate Chuck Hagel and John Warner can help win some more moderate colleagues (Snowe?). I don't know who in the Congress can be recruited from the other side of the aisle - some like Chris Shays have vacillated during the elections. At least the Democrats must be solidly behind any plan that is debated on the floor.

    Thanks for providing leadership on this issue. There is a lot of work to do.

  •  Thank you Ma'am (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine

    for all the times you have stood up for us. Please have someone on your staff, (or you), read McGovern's proposal for leaving Iraq in 6  months. It reads like a practical outline and includes budget guidelines. Good luck with the fight and thanks again.

    "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

    by johnmorris on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 03:56:09 PM PST

  •  Tell Pelosi she'll be out of a job... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, theyrereal

    if she doesn't do some radical changin'.

    FREE TRADE ISN'T FREE!

    by Intercaust on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:01:45 PM PST

  •  Thank you Rep. Woosley! a powerful diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catrina

    Not a victory for our Party -but an Opportunity for our Country. - Pelosi

    by annefrank on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:02:09 PM PST

  •  Thank You, Rep. Woolsey (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine, Catrina, LightningMan

    I've always appreciated your willingness to speak the truth about Iraq. I hope that you, Rep. McGovern, and the other progressives in Congress who are committed to ending this illegal and immoral war can win over enough colleagues to succeed in ending this war.

    http://atdnext.blogspot.com I'm keeping California blue... How about you? www.precinctcaptains.org

    by atdnext on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:03:55 PM PST

  •  "Support the Troops, Support the Mission!" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, rlharry

    Hello Representative Woolsey,

    You have perhaps heard the slogan "Support the troops, support the  mission."  So let's talk about the mission.  The PRIMARY MISSION of our Armed Forces is to protect and defend our democratic republic and the foundation upon which it stands, i.e. the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Because the situation of war creates extreme phyiscal and psychological demands, the individual soldier must trust that the mission of the moment and the orders given by his/her chain of command are consistent with that primary mission.  

    As Commander-in-Chief, the President has a reponsibility to insure that the specific missions undertaken by our miliary are consistent with the primary mission.  The President is at the top of the chain of command to which the serving soldier is subordinate.  

    We the People, however, are not subordinate to this chain of command.  We are sovereign.  Because we are sovereign, the ultimate responsibility for insuring that our Armed Forces act in ways consistent with their primary  mission lies with Us.

    The President of the United States is NOT the Commander-in-Chief of We the People. His job is to faithfully execute the laws of the land as specified in the Consitution and in legislation enacted by the elected representatives of We the People in Congress.

    It is thus the responsbility of We the People to determine when our military forces are being diverted from their primary mission, and to take corrective action as needed via the ballot box and via petition.  When We the People have spoken with our votes and voices, it is the responsibility of our Congress to hear us and to represent us.

    In the United States of America, this is how we support the troops.  For in the final analysis, their mission is to support our mission -- and that is the source and font of their honor.

    Homeland: as in Bantustan, or as in home of the brave and land of the free?

    by homeland observer on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:06:01 PM PST

  •  Thank You Representative Woolsey! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, TPaine

    Enthusiastically supported your lastest campaign and thrilled to see you taking the lead on this critial issue.  You make everyone here in the North Bay proud!

  •  I'm sure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, TPaine

    that the huge majority of troops in that hellhole are ready to get the eff out. Three and four tours of duty? They know better than any that this occupation is a fiasco and is harming, rather than helping, our country and our cause. The Iraqis want us out, the Americans want us out, the troops want out. Why are we still there?

    "I belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat. -LightningMan

    by LightningMan on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 04:41:20 PM PST

  •  Thanks, Lynn, for standing firm (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, rlharry, CarterDulka, TPaine

    on this.  You're absolutely correct--the power was handed to the Democrats to make a difference.  They were not asking for more of the same.  I cringe when I hear the Dems throwing out comments suggesting withdrawal over the next 1 1/2 to 2 years.  What are they thinking!!!  This reminds me of BushCo speak.  If this is the "change" people voted for, they would have re-elected Repubs.  Anyone who believes this should (and even can) be played out for another 1 1/2 to 2 years is not in touch with reality.  The reality requires a timeframe of days or weeks.  

    This is not a time for timidity.  We called out for strong voices.  You're my representative, and as you know, we love you here.  You speak for us, and you're not afraid to speak strongly.  

    I believe we must be civil about our victory, but we know the nature of BushCo.  It's fine to make nice with Repubs, but not to the point of abandoning what makes us different from them and their policies that have proven destructive to the American public.  

    Keep up your stand, Lynn.  We're behind you.  

  •  Will you cut off funds? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarterDulka

    It seems to me that a good way to bring the troops home quickly is to cut off funding for anything but bringing the troops home.

    Would you be willing to do that?

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CarterDulka, Catrina

    You WERE right in 2002. I wish you were President.

  •  Thank you Rep. Woolsey (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, rlharry, CarterDulka, TPaine

    Bring the troops home. Now.

    We said on November 7, "Enough!" We want our country back. We want our Constitution back. We demand, and deserve nothing less than, transparency and accountability from our government.

    Tell your dithering colleagues that the eyes of the world are watching. We are paying attention. We care and we vote. We want to be spoken to honestly by our leaders and we want them to stand up for what is Right, not what is expedient or politically advantageous or otherwise self-serving.

  •  The Democratic leadership has to understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry

    that we cannot afford to wait until 2008 on the threat that the Republicans will blame us for "losing" Iraq. They will try to lay this mess, and more, at our feet. But the American people will not be so easily fooled next time.

    The Democratic leadership must know, and we must let them know, that Americans want them to end the illegal invasion and bring the troops home, immediately.

    Then we can get to prosecuting these criminals for war crimes.

  •  Iraq war = worst blunder in American history (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    godislove

    In the long run, it will make Vietnam look like a minor skirmish ... university students, with Iraq shaping their perspective, will wonder why Vietnam caused so much upheaval.

    Whether we get out now, or a decade from now, Iraq is going to collapse. So, we should get out now, and marshal our resources to deal with the consequences.

    I am further of the opinion that the President must be impeached and removed from office!

    by UntimelyRippd on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 05:45:37 PM PST

  •  Thank you Congresswoman Woolsey (0+ / 0-)

    The Sunni and Shia religious leaders in Iraq and that region and around the world, should be on the tv and radio and on the ground in Iraq and Baghdad denouncing violence and revenge and killing.

    If a Iranian religious leader promises to do that, let him in, or from Syria or Saudi Arabia or Lebanon.

    Talk to the folks in Northern Ireland for clues, desperately needed clues of how to stop inter-religion killings and revenge.

    If our troops can help, keep them there, if not, get them out, fast....

    House and the Senate? Lordy! Lordy! Lordy!

    by Lew2006 on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 06:39:39 PM PST

  •  Iraq and a hard place (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, RosyFinch

    Iraq is an artificial country created within a vacuum left by the Ottoman Empire's collapse in WWI, less than 100 years ago.  It was set up as a puppet kingdom by the English, to be ruled by a Hashemite Prince hiding from the Saud clan.  Eastern Palestine was redefined as Jordan and given to a foreign Hashemi prince in a similar arrangement, setting placemarkers for today's Palestinian tragedy.

    Oil has changed everything, and nothing.  Oil brings what has long simmered to a boil.  The softness and artificiality of the mideast's WWI borders leaves them ripe for redrawing.  Saddam Hussein's rush into Kuwait was the first of such moves, not the last.  

    No doubt the US and England went into Iraq for oil, made sweeter by strategic military positioning.  As we leave, a bloodied and wound Iraq will be up for grabs.

    It's good to think that phase through, because it could well be the start of WWIII.  Turkey will most certainly find a reason to take the northern oil in the Kurdish zone.  Iran will take at least Basra, cutting off Iraq's only port, unless opposed by Kuwait.  Syria is disadvantaged by distance from the oil but needs it badly, as does Jordan.  If they should try to cross Western Iraq their flank will be vulnerable and invite Israeli attack.  Should that happen Egypt would find attack through the Sinai attractive.

    The Saudis remain a wild card, but they can ill-afford to have Iran's tanks face off against them across an imaginary line in the sand.  Should they, or Israel, or our good ally Turkey, call on the US for help, there is little prospect of Congress denying it.

    Democrats will be blamed mercilessly for all downside consequences of withdrawal, including economy-breaking surges in the cost of gasoline, daily images of slaughter, and much much more.

    To say that we should leave Iraq is commendable and laudable.  But the consequence is likely to be that Iraq is eaten alive by a circling pack of wolves, never to be seen again.  Downside scenarios need to be thought through and addresses effectively, or the chaos will explode beyond imagining.

    Prudence would suggest that the UN convene a conference of states neighboring Iraq, dedicated to negotiating terms by which the borders will be guaranteed, ahead of US withdrawal. Without such a contract we will not be out of war in Iraq for long, and our enemies will quickly swell from ad hoc militias to states with dedicated professional militaries.

    For those who know history, think about the geographic parallel between Iraq and France.  Think about how France has been invaded by its neighbors, countless times, in centuries of bloodletting.  This is the hazard of the middle.  The 'meso' in Mesopotamia means 'middle' or 'between'.  Iraq and a hard place -- that's what we should be thinking about now.

    •  Conference (0+ / 0-)

      That's right. The U.S. alone isn't going to determine success or failure in Iraq, that's going to be determined primarily by the people in Iraq and the international community, especially Iraq's neighbors. Where's the conference?

      And we have to look out for the consequences of what we've done. While it's laudable to get the troops out quickly, if we do it in a way that further destabilizes the region, then we will have to put them back in at some point.

      The situation in Iraq is very complex and the solution is not a simple yes/no decision. Just because we made a huge mistake going there in the first place doesn't mean we can just pull out and things will go back to status quo ante. For example, shutting down Iraqi oil exports in the middle of the winter is going to kill people.

      I don't think the consensus in the country, let alone in the Democratic Party, is instant and total withdrawal. Let’s put some pressure on the Iraqis to damp down the violence by making total withdrawal contingent on reduction in the violence and participation in the political process. This puts pressure on all sides to stop killing people, which immediately protects our troops, as well as countless Iraqis who aren’t going anywhere, except to the grave, when we leave.

      The first goal of withdrawal should be to reposition our troops out of the main populated areas of Iraq to safer areas and use air power to destroy large concentrations of militia. Why has this become an either/or proposition: Either you stay and sink or you cut and run?

      The real question is whether you are smart or not. Smart beats strong every time. Find a smart solution to the problem and get off the rhetoric.

      Liberal Thinking

      Think, liberally.

      by Liberal Thinking on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:14:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stop funding the war, after you explain (0+ / 0-)

    to the public that this is the only way you have the power to bring the troops home.  Then hold these people accountable. See that they are convicted and sent to jail so none of them can sneak back up on us in, say, 35 years or so.  BushCo caused all of this death and destruction.  Killing one more soldier or civilian for a lie will not help solve anything.

    Those things that hurt, instruct-Benjamin Franklin

    by godislove on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:23:58 PM PST

  •  Bravo Lynn!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine

    Thanks for calling it straight.

    Yes, people like you are today prescient. When many Dems fell for the neocon and BushCo propaganda you saw through it all. You had the common sense and judgement to recognize the quagmire and strategic disaster invading and occupying Iraq would be.

    The American people want our troops out of the anarchy in Iraq. The Administration can't even define who the enemy is? Yet, the "centrists" who have no credibility today, who were completely wrong about the threat and the outcome of an Iraqi occupation want to use the last refuge of cowards to say that Iraq would get worse if we get our troops out of harms way.  Like we should be so stupid to even bother listening to these folks who have not got one thing right in the last several years.

    No. We should be listening and supporting the Lynn Woolsey's who were right when it mattered. Who had the courage of conviction, common sense and judgement when it was most needed.

  •  First step - block Harman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sally in SF, TPaine

    Thanks for your stand congresswoman. But with the election of Hoyer and the Dem senators embrace of war enabler Lieberman, we really need to see some concrete evidence of a new direction. Getting the speaker to stop  Jane Harman who parroted Bush's lies about Al Qaeda and WMD, from assuming the intelligence committee chair would be a good start.

    Ye that dare oppose not only tyranny but the tyrant stand forth! - Thomas Paine

    by Lcohen on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:42:48 PM PST

  •  The Slow Swing of the Pendulum (0+ / 0-)

    Please remind those in Congress that the last election shows the pendulum swinging slowly back to the left. There are those of us who can't wait for it to come back this way.

    Every Democrat who won was more liberal than their Republican challenger. Our moderates beat their extremists and our liberals beat their moderates.

    Why?

    Because the American people are much more liberal than the people running Congress. They are out ahead on most issues. Iraq is just one of them.

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 07:55:15 PM PST

  •  Yes, it's your most solemn duty (0+ / 0-)

    to hold this administration accountable and it is also your solemn duty to bring our troops home.  And it's likely that won't happen if Jane Harman chairs the intelligence committee.  Please do all you can to make sure Pelosi does not give that committee to Harman!    I believe if Congress wants to show it's going to work to implement some checks and balances again and work to bring our troops home, Pelosi should appoint someone else to chair the intelligence committee and send a message that she does not intend to conduct business as usual anymore.

    I want to thank you for all your work and tireless effort to end the horrors in Iraq.  I hope you and congressional members will put pressure on Pelosi (I am one of her constituents) about the intelligence committee and how wrong it would be to give the chair to Harman.  She may have the seniority or whatever it is that dictates she should be chair, but she DOES NOT speak the correct language when it comes to Iraq - BRING OUR TROOPS HOME.  

  •  Thank you, Congresswoman... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine

    There appears to be no other better answer.  It's a debacle.  Time to end it.

    "We're all working for the Pharoah" - Richard Thompson

    by mayan on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:17:59 PM PST

  •  Man. (0+ / 0-)

    Can we stop this "mandate" bullshit. It's more played-out than Mark Foley's use of "a/s/l".

    "When we are all guilty that will be democracy." -Albert Camus.

    by BrianL on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 08:59:32 PM PST

  •  Keep saying it, keep saying it, keep saying it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox

    Americans did not give my party a mandate simply to “work with the President,” or to wait for cues from a blue-ribbon committee.  No, the people told us to correct the President, challenge the President, and to confront the President on the moral challenge of our times.

    Never forget this.

  •  Have to start somewhere (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks Congresswoman Woolsey for taking the time to write.

    I think we're missing an important facet to an exit plan in this situation that will help the plight to exit more quickly, and more "righteously" for lack of a better word.

    The economics of this war--not the oil, but the profiteering--is an important factor as to why we went in.  I'm not going to go into great detail; many who've read my comments know how I feel about this point; as a matter of fact, before the last session ended, I faxed a breakdown of the Carlyle Group and the Bush family/friends profiteering to every Democratic Senator, but with not one response or one mention on any news show.

    United Defense; Northrop Grumman; some $20 billion in government contracts to companies like these two which are owned by Carlyle are why we got in.  Their $759 million office in N. Korea is why we have no leverage in the nuclear arms negotiations.  Its public knowledge that Bush, Sr. sent a memo to Jr. through Rice to treat them nice back in 2000.

    Once we get through investigating the profiteering and the Bush wealth tied to the war, the people will have a lot more desire to pull out and let the Iraqis fight over how they want their country's politics to play out.

    Knowledge is knowing why you're doing something; wisdom is knowing why you're not doing something else. Me

    by Eric Klein on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 09:31:33 PM PST

  •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

    It's time to label the current policy as it is - nonsense. Thank you for being an able and progressive leader on Iraq, Representative Woolsey - my own Congresswoman - and I couldn't be more proud of your agenda and vision.

    Please keep up the pressure - the voters have demanded a shift in Iraq policy, and it's time to closely examine the goals, the cost and possibility of achieveing those goals, and most importantly, how to bring home the troops asap.

    Every time I hear a commentator attach the meaningless 'it'll be a catastrophe...' it's clear that the speaker is not listening to the myriad sensible voices from the military, bloggers, journos calling for change... it's a shameful policy - thanks for reigning in this wreckless adventure.

    When anyone comments that "we have to win in Iraq", please ask them to define what winning looks like - it's hard to see how 150,000 troops caught up in a out-of-control sectarian civil war makes that happen. We have to win; but it's going to be through diplomacy and multi-lateral thinking.

    Perhaps your stand is already pushing the Bush administration to shift policy as reported late tonight in comments from Stephen Hadley by the AP.

    It's clear that an administration which insists that

    "We're not at the point where the president is going to be in a position to lay out a comprehensive plan,"

    does not understand how American democracy is meant to operate. It's high time to remind the executive branch that "elections have consequences".

    Tpaine, San Rafael, CA

    "What's in the name of lord, that I should fear; To bring my grievance to the public ear?" - The Crisis, January 13, 1777

    by TPaine on Mon Nov 27, 2006 at 09:59:53 PM PST

  •  Repudiate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine

    I've said it before, and others are beginning to say it louder.

    The American people are expecting the Democratic Party to repudiate the actions and policies of the Bush Adminstration.

    This starts with the Iraq War.

    If you can't get quick action on that, then I highly recommend some other area be addressed, with wholescale repudiation ASAP.

    The American people expect nothing less.

  •  Thanks for your leadership on Iraq (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TPaine

    I completely agree with what you've posted here and appreciate your taking the time to share your views with us.

  •  What exactly is the threat to USA (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not even sure what is the terrorist threat to the US is at this point.  I doubt the 9-11 type terrorists are even in Iraq.  So why stay in Iraq?  It is a HUGE waste of money and a TERRIBLE cost in lives.  Democrat politians may just be worried about losing the next election.  Have some balls for heavens sake.

  •  Respectfully, you’re wrong (0+ / 0-)

    Congresswoman thank you for posting here.

    If you opposed authorizing use of force, you were right. Bush couldn’t answer good questions (Like; Q - “what is your model for success, or don’t you have one?” A –We didn’t have one because history doesn’t provide one...do you think that’s important?), but Americans didn’t know that invading Iraq would likely destabilize the entire region. It is, after all, the most religiously and politically fractious region of the world.

    But supporting unconditional troop withdrawal is irresponsible. Legal, legitimate forces must be in place to fill the power vacuum left by the departure of Saddam and the U.S. Leaving a power vacuum upon our departure has the absolute best chance of producing the absolute worst result; the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan and regional warfare between Shia and Sunni.

    I opposed this war from the day of Bush’s State of the Union speech in which he promised the world to get Iraq “with or without” anyones help. Perhaps Bush is still wondering why France and Germany didn’t line up to share this pain. Children know you should not take something stable and make it unstable unless you’re ready to take a fall. When the stability in question is that of the political stability of the most fractious but strategically vital region of the world, common sense agrees with history in saying “DO NOT DESTABILIZE”.

    Minimizing the terrorism “reverberations” that our Iraq policy fuels absolutely requires that there be no gap in protection by legitimate authority. We tried that after the invasion and the country was looted, most notably by professional thieves who stole everything from priceless works of the national museum to 380 tons of explosives from one of the ammo dumps thought to be a likely hiding place for WMD’s...yet was left wide open. Any absence of a force that can legitimately represent the Unity Government will absolutely ensure that illegitimate forces (like Sadr and  the Mehdi Army) take over.

    I absolutely agree with your assessment that,

    “Everyone but the blindest Bush-Cheney loyalist recognizes that Iraq has been an unmitigated debacle, a strategic blunder and moral failing of historic proportions.“

    I think what you should be recommending is that a pan-Islamic force, (including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Malaysia, Iran and Syria), REPLACE the American presence and provide security without fueling the insurgency. As soon as forces that aren’t viewed as invaders can be trained, we can leave. It could probably happen in under twelve months if the desired participant commit.

    Finally, I don’t think Bush has enough respect from the global community to put together a “Pan-Islamic Force”. But if Bush Jr. was forced to seek it by a Democrat Congress, and Bush Sr. or James Baker went as the envoy, it could happen. Delicate though...but could produce multiple benefits even beyond protecting regional stability and ending the insurgency.

    Who am I? I rant at VeteransForTruth.com, but nobody reads it ;)

    "Everything passes the sniff test when you've got your head up your a**" - B12love

    by B12love on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 12:24:53 AM PST

  •  Proud that your my Congresswoman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84

    Thank you for your work, I appreciate your courage and voice.

  •  to hell with the obama / hillary chickens (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkmich

    they should get the hell outta the way.

    rmm.

    http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by seabos84 on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 01:16:09 AM PST

  •  I am so afraid that too many (0+ / 0-)

    Dems totally missed the message and will still stay Republican lite and inside the beltway.  Please continue to fight them like hell because we plan to.  We aren't going away. If you can help this group get access, it would be great.  They are organizing to monitor all of the Senate and House committees. We intend to hold the Democrats accountable like no one has ever been held accountable before.  We are sick and tired of bubble people defying the will of the american people.  If the message from this past election didn't ring enough bells, there is 08; and we are already working on it.  We want:

    *out of Iraq - now.
    *Cheney and Haliburton held accountable for all the theft and war profiteering in Iraq and on clandestine energy policy meetings; and we want financial restitution made to the tax payers by the perpetrators.
    *We want NAFTA, CAFTA, SHAFTA stopped.  You are destroying the middle class by giving away all of our jobs; and you are destroying our national security with trade deficits and the destruction of our manufacturing infrastructures.
    *We want universal, single payer health care - NOW. Let the insurance typcoons retrain for a service job.  I hear W. need brush at his ranch cut.
    *We want alternative fuels and vehicles - NOW.  Tired of wars for oil and paying for Exxons explorations and adventures.
    *We want CLEAN ELECTIONS.  No more corporate/lobbyist owned politicians.  I am sick and tired of business as usual.

    You want a definition of corruption?  All of the above.  DC bubble people are greedy, smug, arrogant and ignorant.  I don't pay them to tell me what to do.  I pay them to do as I tell them.  No more of Hillary, Obama or the DLC Republican lites in office for me.  I want to know where the Truman/Roosevelt wing of the Democratic Party went because I want it back. The key to victory and real progress is populism and the middle/working class - not the rich and not the poor, not the poverty stricken, and not the homeless.  If we have a thriving middle class with equal and fair opportunities for all - that is as good as it gets.

    Please help the message get out.   The more people like you that we help to elect, the more service we give to our country.  We want our country back, and we are coming to take it.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

    by dkmich on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 02:59:51 AM PST

  •  Congresswoman Woolsey, (0+ / 0-)

    I think the reason Bush/Cheney are absolutely determined to stay in Iraq has to do with solidifying and supporting gas and oil industry business dealings (see this excellent article by Tom Englehardt on Alternet) which are to be protected by several permanent U.S. military bases. This is what the U.S. is doing for the privately-owned petroleum industry.

    No one ever seriously talks about this as part of the equation in Iraq. This is one big reason why some people are so insistent on staying, against all seeming reason.

    Although I have hated the invasion and occupation from the beginning, I don't think we can just leave, like that. I think we have to give up claims to Iraq's
    resources, we have to give up plans to have a permanent footprint there, we have to negotiate with the insurgent leaders who are Iraqis, and we have to have a regional conference to bring in other countries as we plan to leave.

  •  No, No. NOT "Sick of the Infighting" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradox, wrights

    As I mentioned earlier, I really hope you guys are NOT planning to back off on vigorous, thorough investigations and punitive remedies.

    America is NOT "Sick of the infighting," simply because THERE HAS BEEN NONE.

    The Dems rolled over and let the GOP rubber-stamp our nation to the brink of a historical meltdown that would make the fall of the Roman Empire look like a morning hangover.

    We need MORE "infighting."

    We need to see PROSECUTIONS.

    SERIOUS, SERIOUS CRIMES have been committed. Many of them the SAME EXACT CRIMES for which we hanged dozens of people after World War II.

    I can't speak for the rest of America, but I will be EXPECTING more "infighting," and SOON.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 03:17:20 AM PST

  •  Use my idea: Pull Haliburton, et al, out now (0+ / 0-)

    and leave the troops in for a while onger.

    All due respect ( and I like you)but enough talk already. The argument is not pull or not pull the troops out.  If the dems, of any stripe, think they will be returned in the next election, if they continue to half step both the Iraqi quagmire and the reform in our government, they may be surprised.  

    the phoney excuse the  US used to wage this war is now apparent ( or to my anyway).  The US government and its treasury was used for the economic gain of a few cronies companies  of the administration.  

    So pull the plug in this obcene spending down of our treasury.  Pull the amiercan compnaies out now and begin a criminal investigation of the contracts that put them there in the first place.

    Pull the american firms out of Iraq today ( TODAY)  and turn the economic development of Iraq over to the Iraqis.  

    Give all factions a piece of the economic pie and the violence will lessen.  Have an international team to oversee this reconstructiona and have iraqi firms a major player in the reconstruction.

  •  Pull Halliburton out now!-pass it on n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  What about the phases!? The precious phases! (0+ / 0-)

    All will not work without a "phased" withdrawl.

    You know, half-assedness to the extreme--we'll lose another 500 dead for no reason, no big!

    We'll lose at least half our equipment because we told the insurgents when and where we'll leave.  Isn't that brilliant?

    Phases look Democrats look weak and indecisive.  Perfect, just what the party needs to herald the new era of change.

    You'll have to forgive me, Congresswoman, but I think phased withdrawal is a stupid, offensive idea and because Democrats can't think before they flap their lips our party has already been tagged with such an idiotic idea.  God it offends me.

    If you can do anything, please get all our troops home now.  How anyone speaks of phases while consigning soldiers to their fourth or fifth tour for lies is beyond me. Simply beyond me.

    Thank you for fighting for real values that makes sense, Congresswoman.

  •  I feel promise (0+ / 0-)

    I feel promise in your statements Congresswoman, and I thank you for that.

    But the cynic inside me still wreathes.  Please kill off that cynic in January.

  •  Thank You Congresswoman Woolsey... (0+ / 0-)

    for speaking for the majority of voters who voted not to "change the course" -- but to END THE COURSE so our troops can come home!  I will not give one dime or support any Democratic candidate until I know for sure this is their purpose!

    "Spying on the populace is a giant step toward totalitarianism." -- Bob Herbert

    by hws on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 05:41:08 AM PST

  •  Thank you for your stand on Iraq (0+ / 0-)

    It dishonors our troops leaving them there.  Please fight to get hard cold figures too and how able and capable our military is after the abuse it has taken over the Iraq occupation.  What I'm seeing from end on the ground here in the states is that the Army is horribly manpower depleted and hurting!  Just for the record I'm not sick of infighting.  I'm mad as hell because the Dems didn't fight at all.  The Senate Republicans threatened the Democrats with the nukular option and they just took it, and they folded more than once skeered of the nukular option and totally lost touch with those of us that they serve who can't afford to be bullied by people like these New Republicans.  Look at the credibility we have lost in the world now, and my Dems did not fight!  I had better start seeing some fighting.  I had better start seeing some open debate or I'll vote again and incumbents won't like it.

    In the Pajamahadeen I'm Scooby-Doo!

    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 28, 2006 at 06:35:48 AM PST

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