Published on Thursday, March 11, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
Yesterday, at long last, there was a vigorous debate about the war in
This is the debate that should have been held - at least - last fall when the Administration was considering sending more
But it is much better for the House to debate now than not to debate at all, or to fail to debate the policy until the question of money is on the floor, a point emphasized by Rep. Howard Berman, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who vigorously opposed the resolution but vigorously supported the debate. Pro-war views are hardly lacking venues for making their case, meeting in church basements, passing out flyers on the sidewalk. Pro-war views dominate the mainstream media. It's dissent against the war that has to fight to be heard. Yesterday, dissent was heard.
Of course, the House debate on Afghanistan didn't get the media play yesterday that the Eric Massa soap opera did, as Representative Kennedy passionately noted  (ironically, arguably garnering more press attention for the Afghanistan debate with his jeremiad than any other intervention on the House floor.)
But compare the press coverage of the
Julian Barnes of the Los Angeles Times got the story exactly right :
The measure ended up losing, 356 to 65 [roll call here ], a margin that had been expected. Nonetheless, antiwar lawmakers welcomed the debate as a chance to express pent-up frustration with the continued troop buildup in
Barnes specifically noted the dissents of Donna Edwards[MD-4], Alan Grayson[FL-8], and Ron Paul[TX-14].
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) said she supported the resolution because the
Rep. Alan Grayson (D- Florida)/(D- Orlando), wearing a tie festooned with peace symbols, called the Afghanistan war a "foreign occupation" that was unconstitutional, and would leave thousands of more young people with brain damage. "We won and now we could go home a long time. in fact we could have gone home a long time ago," Grayson said. "We simply can't afford these wars any more in price of money or the price of blood."
"The country is totally bankrupt and we are spending trillions of dollars on these useless wars," said Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a libertarian and also a former presidential candidate. "History shows all empires end because they expand too far and bankrupt the country, just as the Soviet system came down."
The New York Times noted the dissent of Rep. Chellie Pingree [ME-1]:
"Is the cost of this war worth it?" asked Representative Chellie Pingree, Democrat of
And National Public Radio noted the dissent of the gentleman from Ohio .
Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich, one of the more liberal members of Congress, brought up a resolution Wednesday to pull
Kucinich said he wrote this bill because he wants Congress to take responsibility for the war in
As the sponsor of the resolution, the gentleman from
Robert Naiman is Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy 
URL to article: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/11-11
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs