Sen. Feingold and other Congressmen Trying to End "Operation Enduring War" | Wis.Community

Sen. Feingold and other Congressmen Trying to End "Operation Enduring War"

Speaking of a proper Democratic response to corporate greed and war,  NY Times columnist , the best part of which is the finale:

"So where does that leave the president and his party? Mr. Obama wanted to transcend partisanship. Instead, however, he finds himself very much in the position Franklin Roosevelt described in a famous 1936 speech, struggling with 'the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.'

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Roosevelt turned corporate opposition into a badge of honor: 'I welcome their hatred,' he declared. It’s time for President Obama to find his inner F.D.R., and do the same."

No one welcomes hatred, but sometimes principle and morality require we suffer it, even in the political sphere where much is made of bipartisanship and popularity is nearly everything.  to Republicans in Congress hoping, I assume, for some change of heart.

And yet President Obama himself has become "an enemy of peace" despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize last October. Having escalated "Operation Enduring War", to borrow, Obama is seeking support on a new Senate bill that would direct another $33.5 billion to finance a war that a growing number of Americans oppose (now 49% according to a recent CNN/Opinion Research poll).

Perhaps Republican anger toward everything Obama will extend even to the denial of war funding, the one form of government spending they have so far heartily approved.  One may hope.

In the meantime, the most hopeful sign of bipartisan sanity came in a little reported bill introduced by Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold and Reps. Jim McGovern and Walter Jones, the latter a Republican from North Carolina. The put out by Feingold's office in April stated, in part, that

"The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would require the president to provide a plan for drawing down our forces in Afghanistan.  The legislation also increases oversight by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) over work done by private contractors with records of waste, fraud and abuse in order to safeguard U.S. taxpayer dollars."

McGovern said,

“After 8 long years, hundreds of billions of dollars and – most importantly – thousands of our brave soldiers killed or wounded, it is past time to re-examine this strategy.  Instead of nation-building in Afghanistan, I believe we should be doing some more nation-building here at home."

Jones said,

"As recent as yesterday I visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Bethesda Naval Academy.  Being there and seeing the true cost of war only strengthens my belief that it is time to change our strategy and reduce the number of troops in Afghanistan.  It is time to put an end to the tremendous stress we are placing on our military and their families."

he would offer his legislation as an amendment to the supplemental spending bill to be sent to the Senate.

True peace is not a mere cessation of violent conduct; it is a way of life that honors all other life, human and non-human. To say that we have constructed a war economy, both at home and abroad, is not hyperbole. To change it, real political courage is required, as is the non-violent and conservative (as in "conservation") courage of all Americans.


May 26, 2010 - 11:24am