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Barbara Lee, Ron Paul aim to end Afghanistan war

By Josh Richman
Thursday, February 17th, 2011 at 8:36 am in Afghanistan, Barbara Lee, Ron Paul, U.S. House.

Rep. Barbara Lee joined with two House Republicans this morning to introduce a bill that they say would end the war in Afghanistan.

The bill that Lee, D-Oakland, co-authored with Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Rep. Walter Jones, R-NC, would require that any money appropriated for the war in Afghanistan “shall be obligated and expended only for purposes of providing for the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan of all members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense contractor personnel.”

“It sends, really, a strong message that we’ve come together today to speak with one voice on this issue,” Lee said on a teleconference with reporters.

Barbara Lee (Dec-2010)Lee noted her lone vote against authorizing the use of force after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and said her concern that it was a blank check for war hasn’t abated since. Had Americans known we’d still be in Afghanistan almost a decade later, she said, perhaps there would’ve been a more robust debate. “It’s costing us $100 billion a year and countless American lives.”

Lee said the bill already has about 46 co-sponsors, on both sides of the aisle.

Jones, whose district is home to military installations including the Marine Corps’ Camp LeJeune, has seen service members deployed repeatedly to Afghanistan, to little avail. He said he has been in touch with a retired general – whom he declined to name, although he said reporters would recognize the name if he did – who has advised him that the situation in Afghanistan is untenable, and won’t lead to a stable, democratic government there.

“It’s time to bring them home, the American people are fed up and tired of seeking the broken bodies,” he said.

Paul thanked Lee for “leading the charge” and said the war is a consequence of policy dating back at least to the Persian Gulf War, an American interventionist attitude intent on remaking the Middle East and South Asia. We should persuade and lead by example, not by gunpoint, he said.

Asked whether yesterday’s vote on defunding the development of an alternative engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter indicated House members are becoming more willing to cross party lines, Paul replied he found it “a bit encouraging” but said it wasn’t a great test vote because there were “a lot of parochial interests involved.” Although the new crop of GOP freshmen seem more inclined to vote independently, he said, “we still have a way to go.”

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  • ralph hoffmann

    Ron Paul for President, Barbara Lee for VP in 2012! or
    Barbara Lee for President, Ron Paul for VP in 2012!
    WINNERS!!

  • David LaTour

    Josh, what is the bill number for this proposal? Are any other Bay Area reps co-sponsoring? Thanks for posting this…

  • https://twitter.com/WalterViceChair Walter, Livermore

    I’m really hoping Ron Paul will announce his 2012 Campaign for President soon!

  • Josh Richman

    David: It’s HR 780. Among the 47 cosponsors are George Miller, John Garamendi, Pete Stark, Jackie Speier, Zoe Lofgren, Mike Honda and Lynn Woolsey.

  • Pingback: Lee leads letter urging Afghanistan withdrawal | Political Blotter