Lee speaks out on troops’ tour extension

Here’s what Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, had to say about the Bush Administration’s announcement that all active-duty Army personnel in Iraq will see their tours extended by three months, from 12 to 15 months:

lee3.jpg“The news that the tours of all active duty troops in Iraq will be extended by three months is further evidence of how unsustainable the administration’s policy of open ended occupation of Iraq is. The President is threatening to veto legislation that would put a clear end date on the occupation. He is literally asking us to accept, without question, an open ended commitment to occupying Iraq. The American people oppose this, the Democratic Congress opposes this and its time to bring a responsible end to this failed policy. If the Bush administration won’t do it, Congress understands that we must.

“We must honor the sacrifice of our brave men and women and their families and recognize the unsustainable toll this war is taking on them. On average, 27 troops are killed and another 500 are wounded each month in Iraq. Leaving them in the position of refereeing an Iraqi civil war, without a clear mission, benchmarks, strategy or end date, as President Bush wants to do, is just unacceptable. We need to end the occupation of Iraq and bring our troops home.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • How is this news? Who cares about Barbara Lee’s daily denunciations of the war in Iraq? She can’t do anything about it.

    It’s really a shame that this entire blog is just an outlet for our congressional delegation’s press releases. Why not cover our local government in detail? So many interesting things that actually matter happen in the East Bay. Ideolgical posturings from DC are not among those things.

  • Karla

    The extension of tours of duty is affecting many families here in the Bay Area.
    Many families are suffering. Rest assured there will be more crosses in Lafayette at the symbolic war remembrance site of those who are sacrificing themselves for us all, for those whose families have already made extraordinary sacrifices in the number of tours of duty they’ve already put in under terrible conditions.
    Some soldiers have already served four tours of duty. Not only is this war unwinnable as Obama states, but the generals themselves are saying it can no longer be sustained with the present troop levels and because it is a civil war. It’s bleeding our country financially and impacting every single community and small town across the country. What’s worse is if a true threat ever faced our country,our soldiers would be exhausted and our government coffers empty. Let us pray and give thanks daily that the Congresswoman is working to protect our nation’s security interests for the long term.

  • Let’s pray and give thanks daily to Barbara Lee? I’d rather not. Only anti-war activists and Lee’s staff want to read her constant press releases against the war. When she proposes anything that would help Oakland she’ll be worthy of press attention. Don’t hold your breath.

  • Oaktowner

    To dto 5l0, there are other Trib East Bay blogs and other nonTrib East Bay blogs as well where you can participate. But obviously something draws you here like a moth to a light. Maybe cause it’s great to have a place where individuals actually can criticize East Bay officials regardless of race of political persuasion? Where we don’t have to go with the prevalent in vogue status quo or liberal thinking du jour? Where you don’t have to worry about being race-baited or having malevolent intentions ascribed to your words and beliefs if you do happen to disagree with leading political icons and institutions and just happen to think they are wrong-headed? Where you can safely say things like “Gee, why is McNerney’s health advisory committee loaded with corporate CEO’S? These aren’t the folks fighting for single payer?” Or, “California citizens want to control immigration just like citizens in other countries have the same rights to do”. We want to have a say in immigration policy. Not all of us believe California and other American border states with Mexico should be a safety valve for Mexican population problems, lack of any effective national birth control policies, or economic problems? That the Mexican people are the ones responsible for tackling their own political and economic problems, not the citizens of the United States. We have enough on our hands with our own out of control national and state political elites.