Omnibus Peace Bill Needs House Sponsors to "Bring Our Troops Home"
It's time for Congress to exercise their oversight authority and pass BINDING legislation to deal with the costly and deadly situation in Iraq. After last week's pros-and-cons marathon in the House, they finally passed the "non-binding" resolution opposing the troop surge by a vote of 246 to 182. Now it's time to get serious. We must urge, no demand, that our Representatives co-sponsor H.R. 508, introduced by Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), a comprehensive plan to disengage from Iraq within 6 months after enactment and make reparations for the damages that our invasion and occupation have caused to Iraq's people and infrastructure.
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NOW members and millions of others have voiced their opposition to the war and the occupation of Iraq, both in the streets and at the ballot box. Yet President Bush affirmed his plans to send over 20,000 additional troops to Iraq in his State of the Union address. Last month, Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus fought back by introducing the binding Bring Our Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Act, H.R. 508. Others have introduced similar bills, including Reps. McGovern and Nadler and Senator Feingold, but NOW supports H.R. 508, the most comprehensive of these measures.
Our cumulative voices and support must be heard in order to win our women's "surge for peace".
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This comprehensive bill not only ends the occupation of Iraq and repeals the now infamous vote that allowed us to invade Iraq, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. It also puts U.S.-trained security forces and military operations into the hands of the elected Iraqi government within 6 months of the date of enactment. H.R. 508 supports U.S. soldiers by funding health care commitments to returning veterans. To prevent future abuses of power by the president, this bill prohibits funding for any more troops in Iraq, and bans permanent U.S. bases there.
So far the Iraq invasion and occupation has cost U.S. taxpayers almost 400 billion dollars, plus the unknown cost of rebuilding Iraq and the future physical and mental health services needed for returning troops. This enormous outlay of public funds not only racks up debt for future generations, but also re-allocates money that should be used for domestic human needs programs, including expanding education, healthcare, and support for Katrina victims to name a few.
By continuing his ill-advised war, Bush is prolonging the physical, psychological and economic suffering of women and their families. Tens if not hundreds of thousands of women, men and children -- both soldiers and civilians -- have been killed, injured, and sexually abused in Iraq. Rape and abduction of women and girls increases significantly under military occupation and perpetrators are rarely apprehended and prosecuted in such a violent and hostile environment. Families are destroyed, and women and children are left as refugees.
Bring Them Home and Help Rebuild Iraq: Take Action NOW
I was one of the supporters of the war before it was started, in my bedroom watching my little TV. I was hoping for democracy in this area and punshing Saddam for crimes against humanity. President Bush and the Neocons had good intentions when they launched the war. However, they did not predict how tough it could be. Though many in the Arab and Muslims world doubted the intentions of Americans given the chronic wrong policies in the area I trusted their intentions at least some of them. To know how much it is complicated the Saudi and other regimes who secretly supported the war or was helping anyway did not want it to be an easy walk. The Muslim and Arab world should have taken the lead to stop this sectarian violence. Going out of Iraq although has its problems it looks a must do now. I think we made it a part of war in terror and it was not and should not be. I do think the war on terror should not be personalized. I think we should not negotiate with jihadis/terrorists and meantime we should drastically change our policies in the area. I was watching a conference recently about Jihahdis we are playing into their plans. They want the major part of Islamic pyramid to engage in the war against the west through provocation of the west to conduct unjust and disgusting acts against Muslims. In my country we have a proverb "pull the rug from under their feet". Violence creates counter violence and hardliners invite hardliners. Playing nice and calling for peace is not embarrassing it is the message of Jesus if we to read the bible. It is like a good and strong cop, bad guys fear him and he keeps peace while smiling to the children in the streets.