Ok ok, I know. California overwhelmingly doesn't support the war in Iraq. What about the rest of the country? Do I care? Not really... if people are happy throwing their money away on keeping soldiers in Iraq, then maybe THEY should go over there. I certainly don't want any more of MY tax money spent on fighting an unwinnable war, and I certainly don't want any more Iraqis or American's killed in my name. Evidently my elected offical (Lynn Woolsey) agrees with me.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) led 61 bipartisan Congressional Colleagues in sending a letter to President Bush today calling for U.S. policy in Iraq to change course by engaging in greater multilateral cooperation with our allies; pursuing diplomatic/non-military initiatives; preparing for a robust post-conflict reconciliation process; and withdrawing the U.S. Armed Forces.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey was the first Member of Congress to call for U.S. troops to return from Iraq and has led a series of important activities aimed at ending the war:
1. On January 12, 2005 she led 15 Members of Congress in writing a letter to President Bush calling for the troops to be brought home.
2. On January 26, 2005 Woolsey introduced H.Con.Res. 35, calling for the President to immediately develop a plan for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq.
3. On May 28, 2005 Woolsey led the first debate on the U.S. House floor around her amendment calling for the President to develop a plan as soon as is practicable to bring our troops home, and that he submit this plan to the appropriate committees in Congress. The Woolsey Amendment received 128 votes - including the votes of five Republicans making it the first bipartisan effort to end American military involvement in Iraq.
4. In June 2005, Woolsey was an original co-sponsor of H.J.Res. 55, “Homeward Bound” - the first legislation to set a timeline on troop withdrawal from Iraq.
5. Called an informal bipartisan Congressional hearing on September 15, 2005 on how to bring the troops home from Iraq. Over 30 bipartisan Members of Congress participated in the event and heard testimony from Senator Max Cleland, General Joseph Hoar (Ret. USMC), Dr. Ken Katzman, Ambassador David Mack, Anas Shallal, and Dr. Antonia Chayes.
6. October 2005, Woolsey traveled to Iraq as part of a Congressional delegation to meet with U.S. Armed Forces.
7. Since April 20, 2004, Woolsey has given more than 120 speeches on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives calling for an end of military engagement in Iraq and discussing her legislation, H.Con.Res. 158, SMART Security, a “Smart Multilateral, American Response to Terrorism” - an alternative to war.
The following is a copy of the letter sent to President Bush today:
U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey letter to the President:
November 10, 2005
The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
Despite two and a half years of warfare, including the deaths of over 2,000 American soldiers and injuries to 15,000 others, Iraq remains as unstable as it was when you declared an end to major combat operations in May 2003. We need to face the fact that the situation in Iraq is not improving - nor will it improve as long as our troops remain there, because the presence of over 160,000 American soldiers on Iraqi soil is the main catalyst fueling Iraq’s insurgency.
The time is long overdue for the U.S. to change course in Iraq and bring our troops home. To transition from war to peace, we recommend that your administration immediately make four pivotal policy changes in Iraq: 1) engage in greater multilateral cooperation with our allies; 2) pursue diplomatic/non-military initiatives; 3) prepare for a robust post-conflict reconciliation process; and 4) withdraw the U.S. Armed Forces.
The U.S. must engage the international community, including the UN and NATO, to establish a multinational interim security force for Iraq. The Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations, for example, is well suited to this task.
The U.S. must pursue a “diplomatic offensive,” shifting its role from that of Iraq’s military occupier to its reconstruction partner. This means giving Iraq back to the Iraqi people, working with them to rebuild their economic and physical infrastructure, and creating Iraqi jobs. The U.S. must also engage the United Nations to oversee Iraq’s economic and humanitarian needs, renounce any desire to control Iraqi oil, and ensure that the U.S. does not maintain lasting military bases in Iraq.
An international peace commission must be established to oversee Iraq’s post-war reconciliation. This group would include members of the global community who have experience in international peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and would be tasked with coordinating peace talks between Iraq’s various factions.
Withdrawal of the U.S. Armed Forces
The cost of the war in Iraq - both human and financial - has been staggering. Tragically, the American and Iraqi lives lost, and the billions of dollars spent, have failed to actually make our country safer from the threat of international terrorism. To end the war in Iraq, save lives, and prevent the U.S. from spiraling even further into debt, the U.S. must withdraw its Armed Forces from Iraq.
Mr. President, after Iraq holds its December parliamentary elections, the country’s leaders will be responsible for charting Iraq’s course. The international community, including the U.S., can then provide non-militaristic support to ensure a self-sufficient Iraq. We look forward to your response to our recommendations and would welcome the opportunity to discuss them with you.
U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey
The following Members of Congress and Delegates joined Rep. Woolsey in signing her letter: U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie (HI), Joe Baca (CA), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Robert Brady (PA), Sherrod Brown (OH), Lois Capps (CA), Julia Carson (IN), William Lacy Clay (MO), Emanuel Cleaver (MO), James Clyburn (SC), John Conyers (MI), Jerry Costello (IL), Elijah Cummings (MD), Danny Davis (IL), William Delahunt (MA), Mike Doyle (PA), Lane Evans (IL), Sam Farr (CA), Bob Filner (CA), Raúl Grijalva (AZ), Maurice Hinchey (NY), Rush Holt (NJ), Michael Honda (CA), Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), Marcy Kaptur (OH), Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI), Dennis Kucinich (OH), John Larson (CT), Barbara Lee (CA), John Lewis (GA), Jim McDermott (WA), James McGovern (MA), Cynthia McKinney (GA), Michael McNulty (NY), Carolyn Maloney (NY), Martin Meehan (MA), Gregory Meeks (NY), Gwen Moore (WI), James Moran (VA), Grace Napolitano (CA), James Oberstar (MN), John Olver (MA), Major Owens (NY), Frank Pallone (NJ), Ed Pastor (AZ), Ron Paul (TX), Donald Payne (NJ), Charles Rangel (NY), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sánchez (CA), Janice Schakowsky (IL), David Scott (GA), José Serrano (NY), Hilda Solis (CA), Pete Stark (CA), Edolphus Towns (NY), Nydia Velázquez (NY), Maxine Waters (CA), Diane Watson (CA) and Congressional Delegates Donna Christensen (VI), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC).