Skip to main content

U.S. Mayors To Push For First Anti-War Resolution Since Vietnam by Sam Stein in Huffington Post


1. WHEREAS, the severity of the ongoing economic crisis has created budget shortfalls at all levels of government and requires us to re-examine our national spending priorities; and
2. WHEREAS, the people of the United States are collectively paying approximately $126 billion dollars per year to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan; and

3. WHEREAS, 6,024 members of the US armed forces have died in these wars; and at least 120,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the coalition attacks began.

4. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors supports efforts to speed up the ending of these wars; and

5. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on the U.S. Congress to bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy.

WASHINGTON -- As the Obama administration readies plans for U.S. offices in Afghanistan, it's not just national office-holders who are demanding an expedited drawdown.

On Friday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will introduce a resolution calling for a quicker end to the war and a speedier withdrawal of troops. If it passes -- a vote will come on Monday -- it will be the first time the body has formally called for an end to an military engagement since Vietnam.

The mayors' formal address of the conflict -- which is still being debated, politically, at the federal level -- illustrates how widespread skepticism about Afghanistan has become.

Please call your mayor
Handy Look Up Tool -Mayors at a Glance  

The basis of the mayors' objections is not strictly the morality or strategic basis of the war, but the price tag. The resolution's first clause references the "severity of the ongoing economic crisis" and "budget shortfalls at all levels of government" as reasons to "re-examine our national spending priorities." The second clause notes that Iraq and Afghanistan are costing the country approximately $126 billion dollars per year. It is not until the third clause that the authors point to the wars' casualties. They conclude with a plea for Congress to "bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs."

"As mayors, we recognize there is an absurdly false choice being put to Americans that we somehow have to pick between all the priorities we care deeply about but can't touch massive spending on the military," said Rybak. "There is this rationale that defense spending trickles down to domestic priorities. That is true. I'm happy that the space program developed Tang but that does not mean that's the end result we should be going for."

There is only a limited sense about the resolution's prospects for success. But its supporters suggest that many members will be influenced by the overt national trends.

"I've been active in politics for many years in a number of different roles," Joseph C. O'Brien, the Mayor of Worcester and a co-sponsor of the resolution, told The Huffington Post. "Nationally, the tide is turning on support for interventions abroad, whether Afghanistan or Iraq. ... We are spending a billion a month after Osama bin Laden has been killed. And while I appreciate the effort to rebuild nations around the world, we have tremendous needs in communities like mine."

In order to pass, the resolution would have to go through the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Metro Economies Policy Committee first before heading to the full body for a vote.

That process is similar to what happened in front of the conference 40 years ago. Then meeting in Philadelphia, a group of mayors urged colleagues to go on record as supporting the federal amendment calling for President Nixon to withdraw all American forces from Vietnam in a matter of months. New York City mayor John Lindsay requested that the group invite a veteran of the war, one John Kerry, to speak before the plenary session. Nixon insisted that Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace's John O'Neill be invited to argue the other side. The debate and subsequent passage of the resolution earned a photo on the first page of The New York Times the following day.

It would be a Christmas-come-early gift for war protesters to get that type of press this go-around. Popular dissatisfaction with Afghanistan hasn't registered as it did with Vietnam. And while there are a determined number of mayors who feel committed to seeing the resolution through, even they aren't certain about its chances for success.

"I couldn't tell you whether it will pass or not," said Rybak. "Sometimes issues that start small in our group make a great deal of difference globally."

National Priorities - Tradeoffs - What Could Have Been Done with That Military Dollar

Metro Economies Policy Committee
Sam Adams, Portland, OR, Chair
John Dickert, Racine, WI, Vice Chair

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Beelzebud, kevinpdx, Edger

    We don't live in a democracy . . . we live in a capitalist oligarchy, with some democratic representation…Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage, or labor unions?… The capitalist oligarchy …were forced to accept them…Howard Zinn

    by jim d on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 09:00:02 AM PDT

  •  Well, we're sorta "between" now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim d

    here in Dallas.  The runoff election is tomorrow, but I doubt either candidate would endorse the US Conference of Mayors in this.

    But once we know who wins (it's too close to call), I could try.

    Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 09:49:34 AM PDT

  •  Boy, the silence in here is deafening (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim d

    Then again, if this was an anti-war leaning site there might be more comments in here.


    Antemedius | Liberally Critical Thinking

    by Edger on Fri Jun 17, 2011 at 03:26:02 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site