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  Everywhere I walk in the 15th Congressional District in New York, I can see places where the people need, and deserve, an investment of money. Roads with gaping holes, schools where teachers will be laid off, homeless people who need housing, and people in virtually every neighborhood who need good paying jobs. That is why I have joined a new coalition to cut off all funding for offensive action in Afghanistan.

  We have wasted close to 3 trillion dollars on two immoral wars. Let me repeat that number: three trillion dollars. I have been a consistent opponent of both wars and have worked, with thousands of activists around the country, to prevent those wars from starting and to end our tragic involvement in those wars.

  Today, 46 candidates for Congress and the Senate have joined together in a new coalition: the Coalition Against War Spending. The statement that we all signed on to is very simple:

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost Americans over $1 trillion in direct costs, and over $3 trillion altogether. At a time when our national debt exceeds $13 trillion, we can no longer afford these wars. It's time for Congress to reject any funding except to bring all our troops safely home."

  Three trillion dollars. Think about all the state budgets that could be helped with that money. The teachers, firemen, police officers whose jobs could be preserved. The millions of people we could put back to work during the greatest economic crisis we have faced in generations. Not to mention the lives that could be spared--American, Iraqi and Afghani--and the different view of our country that many people, particularly in the Muslim world, would have of us.

  Here is a short video to explain my position:

Originally posted to Jonathan Tasini on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:30 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (22+ / 0-)

    Follow the campaign on Twitter. This DK account is for the sole purpose of discussing my House campaign.

    by Jonathan Tasini on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:30:47 AM PDT

  •  I think some results in Afghan might be immoral, (0+ / 0-)

    but I don't think the cause is, at all. Much different than Iraq, imo.

  •  Peanut Butter PAC supports you against Rangel. (7+ / 0-)

    We need a honest progressive in NY-15.  

    Tipped and rec'd

    Founding Member of Peanut Butter PAC- A People-Powered PAC

    by pistolSO on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:46:07 AM PDT

  •  Good luck with that. Since (5+ / 0-)

    the change in administrations, visible opposition to the wars has all but vanished.

    When an old man dies, a library burns down. --African proverb

    by Wom Bat on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:49:15 AM PDT

    •  But it is coming back,.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wom Bat

      we have to end these wars.

      Borrowing 43 cents for every dollar spent to fight in these wars makes it ridiculous. But even if we had the extra cash sitting around to pay, no less ridiculous.

      9 years now in Afghanistan, 9 years!

      9.2 billion in one year to train Afghan security forces? How much is that per "soldier?"

      Just unbelievable!

      Anne Frank, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to change the world."

      by allenjo on Mon May 24, 2010 at 02:09:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unless I'm mistaken, BW does at least (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        allenjo

        some of that "training." That borrowed money? It winds up in the right people's pockets. The wars are a money-sucking machine. They won't ever give that up. It's clear now no matter who's president, what the people think or want re the wars isn't even part of the rulers' equation. This is our country now--the great majority of us, who do not matter, get kicked thru life by the ones who do. We hold no stake in anything. Just to emphasize the point, shortly our Democratic president, the guy we elected to reverse all that, will begin the final dismantling of the safety net. Hiding behind his "presidential deficit commission," Obama will propose deep cuts to Medicare and Social Security. True to form, he'll adopt that insipid professorial tone of his and lecture us that it's for our own good. Last 16 months I've gotten too fed up with it to say much other than Screw all of them.

        When an old man dies, a library burns down. --African proverb

        by Wom Bat on Tue May 25, 2010 at 04:07:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's war. (7+ / 0-)

    It's beyond depressing.

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:51:49 AM PDT

    •  Two comments (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, corvo, esquimaux, allenjo, Sunspots, judyms9

      On the one hand, it's truly astonishing that the president--who I believe was largely elected because of the Iraq War (despite his other political skills, I contend Hillary Clinton would have won but for her vote for the war which alienated enough of the activist base)--does not see the incredible peril and immorality of the war.

      On the other hand, he was quite clear in the campaign that he believed Iraq was a "distraction" from the "right" war in Afghanistan. This is a tragic mistake.

      Follow the campaign on Twitter. This DK account is for the sole purpose of discussing my House campaign.

      by Jonathan Tasini on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:55:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree with both points. Afraid Obama will not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Sunspots

        walk back from any wars because they seem to be the only part of his agenda that the right and center approve of and because the hardware of war is one of our remaining manufacturing areas.  Because the M4 rifles currently used in Afghanistan are not getting the job done because of the terrain and the methods of the Taliban in attacking, there will likely be a huge order for modified rifles.  The military-industrial complex just lives on and on whether we can afford it or not and whether we can actually win wars or not.
        Predictions:  We will not win in Afghanistan but will be forced to leave when the worldwide economy problems have China calling in our debt.  And when we leave Iraq the Iranians will launch an incursion there in an effort to unify the ME and its resources against the West.  We should be done with Iraq and get out.  Securing them while we have SW states yelling for securing our own borders makes no sense.

      •  This is a tragic mistake. (0+ / 0-)

        So tragic!

        Anne Frank, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to change the world."

        by allenjo on Mon May 24, 2010 at 02:10:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Rep. Grayson (7+ / 0-)

    The war is making you poor act.

    Next year's budget allocates $159,000,000,000 to "contingency operations," to perpetuate the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s enough money to eliminate federal income taxes for the first $35,000 of every American's income each year, and beyond that, leave over $15 billion that would cut the deficit.

    The folded coffin flag is nothing but a receipt from the Masters of War to the pawns in their game.

    by BOHICA on Mon May 24, 2010 at 07:52:56 AM PDT

  •  Funding will be cut off soon enough... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wom Bat, jacey

    ...to divert to the Korean peninsula.

    Patience, grasshopper.

  •  Go Jonathan! (6+ / 0-)

    List is still growing at
    http://warisacrime.org/...

    http://www.davidswanson.org

    by David Swanson on Mon May 24, 2010 at 08:07:04 AM PDT

  •  Opposition to wasteful wars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    airmarc, Sunspots

    Visible opposition to the wars has not vanished.
    Many groups oppose funding the Afghan war escalation like Florida Veterans for Common Sense.
    http://www.floridaveteransforcommons...

    Candidates will win elections by opposing wasteful, counterproductive war spending.

    Do those of you who support the wars propose paying for them by borrowing more money or raising taxes?

    How do those of you who support the wars rest easy knowing our brave soldiers are serving in counterproductive occupations?

    What is the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  •  If a hammer won't fix it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots

    then don't use a hammer.

    If there is no military solution then don't use the military.

    We shall overcome, someday. Yes we can.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 09:55:59 AM PDT

  •  My political instincts (0+ / 0-)

    tell me that we are stuck with the War in Afghanistan until 2013.

    Obama will not risk his reelection on a withdrawal from Afghanistan before the next presidential election.

    Laugh or cry, that's the reality.

    The Republicans will not a make an issue of the wars because they started them.

    The Democrats will not press Obama enough to make him act against his political interests in part because most Dems share his interests.

    We shall overcome, someday. Yes we can.

    by Sam Wise Gingy on Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:02:59 AM PDT

  •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

    Then we'll use quarters. -- Sarah Palin

    No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a suit, `less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it.

    by dov12348 on Mon May 24, 2010 at 10:07:12 AM PDT

  •  billions down the war toilet (0+ / 0-)

    $9.2 billion to train Afghan security forces?
    I find that figure unbelievable.......

    from huffpo:

    So far, the report notes, the surge has not exactly been a roaring success: "The first operation using the additional U.S. troops was the re-taking of Marjah, a town of 85,000, in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan launched on February 13, 2010. While DOD considers Marjah to be free of Taliban, recent press reports suggest a mixed picture."

    The CRS report breaks down the $30 billion the Pentagon wants for Afghanistan this way: $19 billion would go to "operations" -- amounting to a whopping $875,000 per troop; $3.3 billion would be for "force protection"; $2.6 billion would go to the training of Afghan security forces; $2 billion would pay for higher fuel costs; $1.3 billion would fund for military intelligence; and $1.2 billion would be spent on what the Pentagon labels "Non-DOD Classified," but which the CRS identifies as "national intelligence." There's also another $1.7 billion to replace worn-out equipment; another $500 million for military construction; and another $400 million to "defeat" improvised explosive devices.

    If the $875,000-per-troop figure sounds high, that's because it probably is. CRS concludes that the Pentagon may be inflating that figure by a factor of two -- and notes that Congress might, if it wished, choose to put aside some of the $19 billion for operations into a contingency fund until the Pentagon can better explain why it's needed.

    As for the $2.6 billion extra to train Afghan security forces -- which would bring total spending for training up to a whopping $9.2 billion this fiscal year, up 63 percent from last year -- CRS questions whether the Pentagon really needs all those additional funds and what it could accomplish with them. Specifically, there's the matter of "whether there is sufficient oversight given persistent training problems, recent contracting disputes, and possible shortages in trainers".

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Anne Frank, "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to change the world."

    by allenjo on Mon May 24, 2010 at 02:03:50 PM PDT

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