I believe that the Bush-Cheney invasion of Iraq is the greatest foreign policy disaster in U.S. history. Maryland’s peace community worked hard to get our delegation to vote against the resolution allowing Bush-Cheney to invade Iraq. However, on October 10, 2002, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted 296 to 133 to affirm the resolution, and the following day the Senate voted for affirmation 77 to 23.
Our two Democratic senators, Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes voted against war, as did three House members from Maryland—Democrats Ben Cardin and Elijah Cummings and Republican Connie Morella. Voting for this still ongoing fiasco were these House members from Maryland--Republicans Roscoe Bartlett, Robert Ehrlich and Wayne Gilchrest, and Democrats Steny Hoyer and Albert Wynn. The effects of allowing Bush and Cheney to invade Iraq in March 2003 are still with us today. For example, the devastating assault on the Iraqi people led to the creation of ISIS.
During our annual Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration, we decided to form an ad hoc anti-nuclear group. It can be argued that we are facing the gravest nuclear crisis since October 1962.
With Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility taking the lead, we have decided to do as much lobbying as possible in the State of Maryland to challenge the Trump Administration’s rancorous and threatening talk about using nuclear weapons. Also greatly involved in the lobbying efforts is Peace Action.
We have engaged in several meetings with various legislative aides, and plan to do more. We would encourage all of you to consider doing lobbying, calling and emailing your legislators during this time of crisis. Below are the asks we have presented to the legislative aides:
Ask #1 – If it is a senator’s office, inform the aide that the senator should co-sponsor S200 introduced by Sen. Markey, and if the aide is with a representative co-sponsor HR669 introduced by Rep. Lieu.
#2 – Support the Iran deal.
#3 – Speak out for Diplomacy with North Korea
#4 – Speak out against the wasteful “modernization” of the nuclear arsenal.
#5 – Show support for the UN declaration making nuclear weapons illegal.
#6 – Stop the Saudi assault on Yemen. If you are lobbying a representative, s/he should sign on to H Con Res 81, https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/81 ), title "Directing the President pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution to remove United States Armed Forces from unauthorized hostilities in the Republic of Yemen." If you are lobbying a senator, inform her/him to introduce similar legislation in the Senate.
It is very important to place pressure on senators and representatives as first the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will be debating the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force on October 30; and second in the House, four Members of Congress — Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna (Calif.) and Mark Pocan (Wis.) and Republican Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Walter Jones (N.C.) — have introduced legislation in the House to require the removal of U.S. forces from the ongoing conflict in Yemen, unless Congress votes to authorize the American involvement. The measure should be simple common sense: Under the War Powers Act of 1973, direct U.S. military involvement in an overseas conflict is supposed to require explicit congressional consent. A vote is expected in early November.
Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] comcast.net. Go to http://baltimorenonviolencecenter.blogspot.com/
"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