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By Reps. Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, and Sam Farr

At a time when the media is concentrating on what divides us as Democrats -- our preferences for whom our party should nominate for president -- we think that it is important to speak out on matters that unite us. The debacle in Iraq and the failed foreign policy that led us there is of grave concern to the American people. It also offers a clear contrast between the Democratic and Republican parties, regardless of who our presidential nominee is.

On the issues of Iraq and foreign policy, Democrats can’t be vague or fuzzy. We need to be clear, strong and unequivocal: the war must end; we must reach out to all parties in the region in a diplomatic effort; and we must rebuild our standing in the world by ending the use of torture and closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Regardless of when the nomination is decided, the Democratic Platform that will be ratified at the Convention in Denver will form our core statement of principles as a party for the next four years, principles that we will unite around in both the general election and beyond. With only months remaining before we unite as a party in August, it is critical that we take action now to ensure that a clear statement is made in our platform: we will end the war in Iraq; the Republican Party will not.

That is why we are coming together -- as supporters of Barack Obama, supporters of Hillary Clinton, and those who are still undecided in the nominating contest -- to press for the inclusion of strong language in the platform that addresses the war in Iraq, the need for a fundamental change in our foreign policy, and the need to end the use of torture including the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

These are positions that unite the vast majority of Democrats -- and, we would argue, the American people as a whole, who are ahead of their government on this issue -- and it is long past time that we made them a firm plank in the platform that defines what we stand for as a party.

Today we have begun to circulate this statement among our fellow super delegates encouraging the Democratic Party to incorporate clear language about the war in Iraq into the 2008 party platform:

We, Super delegates to the Democratic National Convention, support the incorporation of language into the Democratic Party platform that calls for:

  • An end to the war in Iraq by initiating the safe and secure withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces, leaving no permanent military bases behind;

  • A robust diplomatic surge in the Middle East and beyond that includes negotiations with the Iranian government without preconditions that make sitting down to talk impossible; and

  • An end to the use of torture and the closure of our prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Over the coming weeks, we will be working to convince our fellow superdelegates of the importance of including this language in our party's platform. We invite you to join us in this effort by signing on to an open letter to the Democratic superdelegates that is being hosted by one of our important allies in this effort, Win Without War. You can click here to sign on to this letter today!

The online community has consistently been at the forefront of the debate as we work to fix our failed foreign policy, and we sincerely thank you for your work in this effort. While the nominating process has clearly stirred passions throughout our party, we feel that the unity among Democrats on the issue of Iraq overwhelms our current disagreements and should not be overlooked. And with your help, it won't be.

Sincerely,

Rep. Barbara Lee
Barack Obama Supporter

Rep. Jim McGovern
Hillary Clinton Supporter

Rep. Sam Farr
Undecided Superdelegate

Originally posted to Rep Barbara Lee on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:14 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be back shortly (27+ / 0-)

    It's a busy day with this being the 5 year anniversary of "Mission Accomplished," but I'll be back soon to answer some of your comments!

  •  hey guys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cometman

    thanks for your thoughts, but has it ever occured toany of you that it is time the nation comes together on the authority of the constitution?

    http://www.foavc.org
    http://www.articlev.org

    please take a moment to review the information.

    Billion dollar presidential campaigns are for losers.

    by john de herrera on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:17:20 PM PDT

  •  Thanks to all of you for this (11+ / 0-)

    Both for the reminder that we are all on the same page when it comes to the most critical issues, and for your unceasing efforts to end this war.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -- Ben Franklin

    by Joan McCarter on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:17:40 PM PDT

  •  If we can't get this language (5+ / 0-)

    in the Democratic Party Platform, I may just give up.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. Jerry Garcia

    by OrdinaryGal on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:21:09 PM PDT

  •  Barbara Lee Speaks For Me (3+ / 0-)

    I've been trying to leave Oakland for years.  It's expensive here, and I've got a little baby to feed.  But one thing that keeps me from packing up like so many of my old friends is that I have the best representation in Washington that money can't buy.  Thank you for all you do.

  •  The Dem. Party Destroys its best leader. (0+ / 0-)

    The decision by the Dem. party to crucify its most gifted leader in a generation means the end of the party and a victory for the Republican party. I'm finished with you. And so will all the Obama supporters, especially the young and the African American community. You reap what you sew.

  •  commend the sentiment, but... (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the diary.  As a lifelong Democrat, I fully agree with your sentiments about Iraq. The problem is that is very difficult to imagine having Hillary Clinton lead our party after the convention when

    1)she simply can't admit that voting to authorize the use of force was wrong, and

    2)she so carelessly talks about using force in Iran.

    Is this what the Democratic Party is going to stand for?

  •  Rep. Lee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    Why can't you make the oil companies pay for our services that we perform in protecting their Iraqi oil?  If they refuse to pay, we are out of there.  It is as simple as that.

    Give the oil companies a choice.  They don't give us one.

    Republicans are not a national party anymore.

    by jalapeno on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:26:56 PM PDT

  •  Inspiring words and admirable sentiments, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cometman, john de herrera

    but we all know we'll never leave Iraq, no matter who's elected President in November.
    Does anyone really believe that the corporate and other special interests on whose behalf we invaded Iraq to begin with and are still occupying it would ever permit it? I certainly wouldn't sell life insurance to any President who actually tried doing so - unless, of course, he had the unanimous backing of practically the entire Congress. But hey, look at how many in Congress are now clamoring for "Shock and Awe. The Sequel" to be played in Iran...

    Nonetheless, I sincerely wish you well, thank you and respect you for your efforts, and pray that they will indeed produce results.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:27:17 PM PDT

  •  There is one thing you could do (6+ / 0-)

    to make it clear that illegal invasions by out of control executives will not be tolerated---impeachment.

    We were told in 2006 that elections have consequences.  So far we haven't seen many consequences.

    The best I can think of is that congress hasn't passed new FISA legislation yet.  However that doesn't mean some spook isn't still reading our emails and listening to our calls.

    Circulating statements and strongly worded letters aren't going to cut it.

    "The meek shall inherit nothing" - F. Zappa

    by cometman on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:27:55 PM PDT

    •  I've been an advocate of impeachment (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, cometman, 3goldens, voila

      since the run up to the Iraqi misadventure invasion.  I hate to admit defeat, but with the campaigning in full swing, I don't see Democrats even mentioning impeachment, let alone actually getting it before Congress.  The party leadership in Congress is weak and complicit with Bushco, imo.  I wish it weren't true, but the evidence is right in front of my lying eyes.

      "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." John Lennon

      by trashablanca on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:36:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats don't have time for impeachment (0+ / 0-)

        they're too busy with flagpins and the ravings and ratings of pastors.

        We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

        by Lepanto on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:41:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can't disagree with that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trashablanca

        Before the 2006 elections I was much more impressed by those elected officials who came here to keep us informed on what they were doing.

        Now I'm pretty sick and tired of them coming here to tell us about the letters they plan to write, which will be ignored just like the first 5,246 or so letters they've told us about.

        "The meek shall inherit nothing" - F. Zappa

        by cometman on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:44:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's A Start (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    symptomORdisease

    Though I don't really see any likelihood that Senator Clinton would agree to either of the first two proposed planks, and I have real questions about whether she would support criminal prosecutions for those who are currently implicated in the continuing acts that run counter to the third.

    I also believe you should add a fourth: a plank conveying the sense of the party that the next President should instruct the next Attorney General to vigorously prosecute any and all current government or military personnel who approved or supervised the commission of torture, war crimes, or crimes against humanity, all the way up to the top of the chain of command.

  •  Rep Lee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, trashablanca, OrdinaryGal

    The one glaring ommission I see in your wonderful statement is a date.

    An end to the war in Iraq by initiating the safe and secure withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces, leaving no permanent military bases behind;

    This needs to be edited to include a No Later Than Date.

    Such as..... An end to the war in Iraq by initiating the safe and secure withdrawal of ALL U.S. combat forces to conclude as early as possible but NO Later Than (insert date such as 5/31/2010).

  •  So, sorry but right now the DEMs don't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, cometman, jnhobbs

    have a candidate that is speaking as strongly as the platform that you suggest. Also, I do NOT believe that Iraq and Iran are the only players in this international free-for-all.

    Any platform that does not address the need to rebuild our military to a realistic defensive readiness level and really care for our troops and vets is just a decade or two late and billions short.

    Although I have not had the opportunity to attend a national convention, I have served on a state platform committee. I foresee Denver coming out with the usual DLC-triangulation porridge.

    I would be pleased to see you prove me wrong.

    PS: The Health Care Plans of both candidates are just another patch on an old innertube. Its time to get Health Care for the People. One seamless system that is not based on corporation profit.

    "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

    by deMemedeMedia on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:35:25 PM PDT

  •  How about a timetable? Isn't that the point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto, trashablanca

    that without a timetable it could go on for years?

    Otherwise, this is fine. Now if Congress would just vote to not fund ANYTHING but a safe, responsible withdrawal, we'd get started this year.

  •  Spine, anyone? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    get fuzzy

  •  Hillary Clinton- "Obliterate Iran!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lepanto

    That says everything about the Dem. Party. Forget your platform.

  •  Rep. Lee, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cometman

    You have a record of voting right essentially 100% of the time.  As your constituent, I am very grateful for that.

    I don't understand, however, how statements can help.  It's not that I won't sign them - I just did sign the one you offer above.  But the thoughts expressed in this statement have been forcefully voiced by the progressive community - a good chunk of the rank-and-file of the Democratic party - for YEARS now.  Why does nothing happen?  How did the liberal Nancy Pelosi turn into a timid ghost of her former self?

    Sincerely,

    Silvio Levy
    Berkeley, CA

  •  The comments and lack of support for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn

    Representative Lee's diary is appalling.

    First off, this isn't about voting, impeachment, or the primaries. It's about a platform to get out of Iraq.

    If we can't support the officials who come here to ask for our help in moving crucial legislation forward, if we can't stop spamming our own Congressional officials with tangential points, then what is the point of anyone in Washington coming here to try to engage us.

    Sign the damn petition, rec this diary, and stick to the issue of Iraq.

    SMH.

    "I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her. " -- Zora Neale Hurston

    by blueintheface on Thu May 01, 2008 at 01:47:36 PM PDT

    •  respectfully... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      meghna

      ...if one cares about Iraq, one should care about who will eventually lead the party, as they will be the primary driver of all policy and legislation relating to the matter moving forward.  

      So, I would argue, talking about the primary is fair game.

      •  There are about 150 diaries that one could use (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn

        to talk about the primary. Ignoring the issue at hand to hijack this diary and turn it into another primary diary is disrespectful.

        "I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her. " -- Zora Neale Hurston

        by blueintheface on Thu May 01, 2008 at 02:04:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you're overstating my claim (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          meghna

          I'm not saying this should become a primary diary... I'm saying that the Iraq and foreign policy platform adopted and acted upon by the Democratic Party will no doubt be heavily influenced by who the nominee is.  

          To think that there isn't a difference on foreign policy and Iraq between Obama and Clinton is wishful thinking.  

          •  It's still hijacking (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not saying there isn't a tangential link between the primaries and Iraq. But it doesn't bear talking about in this thread.

            I had been trying to get people focused on devising a real plan for Iraq rather than spout platitudes over a year ago. And now that the Democratic Party is doing so, we need to do what we can to support that cause. Not use it as an excuse to hijack the diary to talk about something else.

            "I will fight for my country, but I will not lie for her. " -- Zora Neale Hurston

            by blueintheface on Thu May 01, 2008 at 02:21:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  The lack of support by Representatives (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cometman

      for the platform that brought Democrats victory in 2006 is even more appalling - they have repeatedly  bent over backwards for this criminal Administration.

      We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

      by Lepanto on Thu May 01, 2008 at 02:00:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aren't Democrats humanitarians? (0+ / 0-)

    What about including something about humanitarian assistance in post-war Iraq?  Freeing Iraq of Saddam Hussein may have fulfilled a Bush family objective, but it certainly resulted in the destruction of the a fairly good social and public health services system in Iraq.  

    And I might add, whatever humanitarian assistance we do provide would likely be a very small fraction of the cost of the war.

  •  This just an observation of what is happening (0+ / 0-)

    that has been ignored by the snews and the polls. And is just offered for your consideration.

    THE RON PAUL factor. His supporters continue to support him and wrecked havoc in Reno at the GOP State Convention. Since there is not much coverage, I am relying on a few comments that I have heard from those who are still supporting him. "He'll get us out of the war." Those limited contacts that I had were clueless about what Ron Paul really is, but they were convinced by that one statement.

    My guess is that given the on-line support that he continues to get many of his supporters are not 'land-line' phone users and would not be polled.

    "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

    by deMemedeMedia on Thu May 01, 2008 at 02:07:48 PM PDT

  •  Thankyou Rep Barbara Lee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    I just wanted to show my support for you and your efforts by commenting and signing,

    Thank you so much for calling on the Democratic Party to make ending the war in Iraq part of the Democratic party platform!

    Thankyou once again Rep Barbara Lee.

    With respect,

    WR

    She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

    by Winter Rabbit on Thu May 01, 2008 at 02:14:20 PM PDT

  •  Why isn't this on the rec list yet? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, symptomORdisease

    She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us. Big Thunder

    by Winter Rabbit on Thu May 01, 2008 at 02:18:30 PM PDT

  •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca, Winter Rabbit

    I'm sorry I could not stay longer -- but I hope to return at some point to update you on our efforts to insert this language into our party platform. And I will certainly continue to do all I can to end our occupation of Iraq and change our country's failed foreign policy stance!

  •  late to the diary, but thanks for posting, thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    trashablanca

    for your good votes in Congress, re: Iraq and other issues, and thanks for sticking around to answer comments in the thread. Thanks to Rep. McGovern and Rep. Farr, too, for working toward getting this language into the Dem platform at the convention.

    I just signed on to your letter, thanks for the opportunity.

    Things are pretty chaotic around here right now, lots going on, and I hope you'll be back to give us an update on your efforts at some later date, when I hope it will get the kind of notice that it deserves. Thanks yet again.

  •  I have one other question.... (0+ / 0-)

    WHERE is HR 676 and what is happening with it?

    If we want peace, why do we give weapons and call it "aid"?

    by gdwtch52 on Fri May 02, 2008 at 07:10:27 AM PDT

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