UPDATE: It passed! See below.
The California Democratic Party took an important step yesterday towards ending the war in Afghanistan at its Executive Board meeting in San Diego.
The Party's Resolutions Committee approved a resolution put forward by the Party's Progressive Caucus calling for an end to the U.S. war in Afghanistan, following an appeal by Marine veteran Rick Reyes. Reyes, who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, told the committee: "There is no military solution in Afghanistan. The problems in Afghanistan are social problems that a military cannot fix."
"We dishonor the patriotism and the sense of justice of our brave men and women by sending them to fight, proclaiming that they sacrifice for democracy and national security when really they struggle and die in support of nothing more than a proven criminal regime," Reyes said.
The resolution is scheduled be considered today at 10:00 am in the general session of the Executive Board.
This summer, California Democrats voted to support Representative Jim McGovern's bill, HR 2404, which would require the Pentagon to present Congress with an exit strategy from our military occupation of Afghanistan by the end of the year. In an appeal in support of McGovern's bill, John Burton, Chair of the California Democratic Party, wrote: "Enough is enough…It’s time for American troops to come home – not only from Iraq, but from Afghanistan too. And the first step is an exit strategy."
Here's Rick Reyes testifying before Congress:
UPDATE: The resolution has been passed by the California Democratic Party Executive Board, Rick Reyes reports.
Here is the text of the resolultion:
End the U.S. Occupation & Air War in Afghanistan
WHEREAS the California Democratic Party, concerned citizens and lawmakers are calling for a U.S. exit strategy from Afghanistan that will end the occupation and air war while ensuring the safety and security of our troops, our nation, and the region; while even the U.S. Ambassador General Karl Eikenberry expresses concern about corruption in the Afghan government and our inability to stabilize the situation; and
WHEREAS the plight of women in Afghanistan is such that they continue to bear an esxpecially heavy price under an eight-year occupation, and that far from eradicating the Taliban and other insurgencies, the presence of foriegn troops has instead strengthened them, creating greater insecurity, death and impoverishment of the Afghan, people; and
WHEREAS a majority of Americans are increasingly distrubed about the toll the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is taking on the honorable young men and women who have been killed and wounded, on the families of the these young men and women, as our involvement there continues to cost billions each month while the United States and particularly the state of California are in an economic crisis without money to fund domestic needs;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party, in adiition to reiterating its support for a time-table for withdrawal of our miltary personnel, calls for an end ot the use of mercenary contractors, as well as an end to air strikes that cause heavy civilian casualties, and urges our President to oversee a redirection of our funding and resources and to include an increase in humanitarian and developmental aid, multi-party talks aimed at ensuring a democratic and legitimate representation of the people of Afghanistan, as well as multi-party regional diplomacy for the safety and stability of neighboring countries; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the California Democratic Party Congressional delegation, as well as to President Obama.