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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Progressive Democrat Issue 112: GETTING OUT OF IRAQ

    Two of the latest examples of a Democratic circular firing squad have been many progressives who complain that Congress is doing nothing to get us out of Iraq, and some Hillary supporters who claim progressives in general, and Daily Kos in particular, are a bunch of atheist, anti-religion nut jobs.

    Both accusations are untrue and here is one item that counters BOTH. This comes from a DAILY KOS diary by someone with the screen name PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIAN who is pushing progressives (and Christians, we can assume) to support HR 455, one of SEVERAL bills in Congress designed to block the McCain/Bush/Lieberman escalation and to bring our soldiers home from the Iraq quagmire. I sure hope those who have been denegrating congress for not acting to end the war and those who accuse progressives of being anti-religion will take note and help Progressive Christian in getting HR 455 passed.

    On January 12, my congressman, Jerrold Nadler (NY-8), introduced H.R. 455, the Protect the Troops and Bring Them Home Act of 2007, a simple bill that limits the use of funding in Iraq for force protection, troop withdrawal and Iraq reconstruction. We spoke with Congressman Nadler's office last week and verified that he is still quite actively promoting this legislation.

    Although the bill is not currently the most well-known of the numerous congressional war proposals, H.R. 455 has a number of attributes that make it a distinctive and politically viable option for bringing the Iraq conflict to a reasonable conclusion...

    # H.R. 455 is tied to war funding. It would be attached to the appropriations bill so, if it is not removed in conference, the Senate would have to pass it and the President would have to sign it in order to continue funding for the war. Funding is "the only real way to force a change of direction in Iraq."

    # Because it maintains funding for the troops (albeit for their removal) it cannot be tarred with the Republican talking point that it "cuts off funding for the troops."

    # Because it maintains funding for Iraqi reconstruction, it avoids the argument that we are abandoning the Iraqi people in the same way Congress supposedly "abandoned" the people of South Vietnam.

    # The bill establishes a firm and reasonable deadline for troop withdrawal (12/31/07) that will provide an incentive for the Iraqi government to take control of their own political and military destiny. The deadline is well after the "Friedman Unit" that General Petreaus has specified as critical for establishing security.

    ...DFNYC (the local coalition group of DFA) is soliciting the help of individuals and groups around the country to put grassroots pressure on their congressional representatives to support and cosponsor H.R. 455. Even if H.R. 455 is not their preferred bill, they may be more likely to respond to a focused request rather than the amorphous anti-war sentiments that have resulted in nothing more than nonbinding resolutions. And even if this effort is unsuccessful in getting H.R. 455 passed, it helps build "momentum" that will encourage support of other legislation that will directly keep the President from sending more brave soldiers to die in an unnecessary conflict that will be even harder for his successor to end.

    Please contact your congressperson by phone or e-mail and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 455. You can get contact info for your congressperson (and/or find out who he/she is) at http://www.house.gov/...


    And I would add that we all should contact the media regarding this. Help Jerrold Nadler get Congress doing the right thing and help build momentum to get us out of the illegal and stupid war in Iraq.

    Click here to go back to THOUGHTS section and Table of Contents for this issue.

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