All posts by Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey

Today is our opportunity to bring our troops home

(You bet it is! – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

Crossposted at DailyKos


Over four years ago President Bush misled our country into a bloody and costly occupation of Iraq.  Four years later, you have the power to end it.

For four years those of us in the progressive movement, in Congress, online, and in the streets, have stood firm in our opposition to the President’s failed occupation.  We have been called traitors; we have been accused of not supporting the troops; and some have even questioned our patriotism.  But four years later our voices have now become part of the mainstream position held by the majority of Americans.

And most importantly, today, we have the power to bring them home.

This afternoon the Congress will bring up H.R. 2237, a bill, which would ensure that the only money this Congress approves for Iraq would be used to fully-fund the safe and orderly withdrawal of our soldiers.  The Progressive Caucus has been for fighting for months to advance such a bill, both behind the scenes (link to relevant article -check Roll Call from March), and right in the open (link to floor speech), and finally we have our opportunity.  Back in February we even made it part of our official platform (link to CPC site).

So please, stop whatever you are doing, take two minutes, and call your Representative right away.  Tell them to support a fully funded withdrawal of our soldiers from Iraq, and to vote for H.R. 2237.

We must fully-fund the withdrawal

We must fully fund the reconstruction

But we cannot fund this President’s occupation any longer.

Thank you for your help



The case for a fully funded withdrawal from Iraq

(Thank you, Congresswoman, for your leadership on this issue!! – promoted by Todd Beeton)


A couple of weeks ago I wrote, regarding the House vote against the escalation, that to “oppose the escalation is an important first step, but it must be the beginning of our debate, not the end.”  Today, I wanted to take a moment to follow up on that post, and make my position clear – the only money I will support for Iraq is funding that is used for the withdrawal of every last US soldier and military contractor from Iraq.

Our soldiers are dying in Iraq because President Bush refuses to recognize that it’s time to bring our troops home, his is a position that has been overwhelmingly rejected by the American public.  Democrats were elected in November in conservative districts across the country so that we could find an end to the war, and now the majority of the American public supports a time-bound withdrawal plan that ensures that our troops return home in a safe and orderly fashion [link to poll].  It’s time to end our military occupation of Iraq, and it’s time to fully fund our withdrawal.

Conservatives have tried to portray the progressive position as one of cutting off funding for our troops in the field, and many have questioned our patriotism.  Others have gone so far as to claim that we are working against our men and women in harm’s way.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and we must stand up and confront their lies.

A fully funded withdrawal would ensure that our military commanders have any and all resources available to them to bring our troops home, while providing for their security during the process.  This isn’t about cutting funding, this about providing the resources for an orderly withdrawal, allowing our troops to come home to their families, and for our military to regroup, and stand prepared to defend our country if, and when, we are truly faced with a threat to our national security.



(I hope so. – promoted by atdleft)


Starting this morning the House will begin to debate the moral issue of our times – our continued military occupation of Iraq.  My colleagues and I will have the opportunity to vote on President Bush’s escalation – a failed policy from the start, which will only deepen our engagement in the Iraq, and increase the cost to our country in lives, limb and treasury.  The American public has already overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to the President’s plan, and now it is our turn, and our responsibility to have our voices heard.

I will support this week’s effort, and will cast my vote against the President’s proposed escalation, but you all know that I will not stop there, and neither should my colleagues. 

To oppose the escalation is an important first step, but it must be the beginning of our debate, not the end.  Even if we succeeded in preventing President Bush’s escalation we would be left with an unacceptable status quo – over one hundred thousand of our brave men and women still in harm’s way, and a continued military occupation that is fueling the insurgency.  Let me be clear, we must do more than oppose the President’s escalation, we must bring our troops home.

As many of you know I have proposed legislation that would do just that.  H.R. 508 would bring our troops home within six months, provide economic, humanitarian and diplomatic aid to help the Iraqis rebuild their country, and care for those who have sacrificed themselves for their country by funding the VA as an entitlement, not another program to be funded at the whim of this President.  Others in Congress have put forth their own legislation, and after we have debated and voted on the President’s plan, it’s time that the Congress debate and voted on a plan, and H.R. 508 is the comprehensive plan we need.

You have been with me since the beginning, and your phone calls and letters have helped to move this debate.  Your actions have held your representatives accountable, and you continue to hold President Bush accountable for his disaster in Iraq. 

Thank you – keep it up.


Congressional forum on the cost of Iraq

( – promoted by SFBrianCL)


Over 2,650 lives, and more than $300 billion later, the occupation of Iraq remains one of the greatest leadership failures of our time. President Bush failed to find any WMD’s, failed to be honest about the invasion, failed to use a sound military strategy, failed the people of Iraq, and perhaps most importantly, failed us, the American public.

His vendetta in Iraq has cost our country our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. While children struggle to learn in crumbling schools, and families are forced to find a way to put food on their tables, this occupation has cost our country the ability to address our real national priorities.

$300 billion could have fixed our schools, secured our ports and provided health care to millions in need. 2,650 people could have supported their families and enriched our great country.  Intelligence experts and other Pentagon officials could have concentrated on finding Osama bin Laden.

On Tuesday, September 26th, I will be holding a Congressional forum on the cost of the continuing occupation of Iraq. This is the third such forum that I have held on the subject of Iraq over the past year.  Each time bringing our troops home has been a focal point.

When I spoke up in January of 2005, I was the first member of Congress to call for withdrawal, but I was certainly not alone. While the politicians in Washington were too afraid, or too blind, to support a call for a withdrawal, I was joined by many of you throughout the country, who were leading the grassroots effort against this unjust war.

On Tuesday I will be joined by a number of my colleagues, and expert witnesses will speak to the different costs of this war, including Lt. General William Odom (who served as the Director of the NSA under President Reagan) and Dr. Paul Pillar (a 30 year veteran of the CIA).

So far the mainstream media has failed to seriously cover these forums, preventing the American public from participating in an honest debate on this crucial subject, that’s why I need you to help me reach out, and I urge all of you to join in this debate. will be providing coverage of our hearing, starting later in the afternoon on Tuesday. We are hoping that C-Span will cover the event live. And you can read the full testimony of all of our experts on my website at afterwards. While we will have limited space in the room for members of the public, I would like to extend an invitation to any bloggers in the DC area who would like to attend. You can contact my office at 202-225-6101 for information on getting there and getting in, and to reserve a space.

As the American public, and those here in Congress, realize just how costly a mistake the occupation has been, it is more important than ever that we keep up the pressure.  Please join me in this important debate.


An August Recess for our troops in Iraq?

( – promoted by SFBrianCL)

A short time from now the House will adjourn for several weeks, as we put unfinished legislative business aside and head home for the rest of the summer. 

Tragically, but not surprisingly, we’re leaving Washington today without taking any meaningful steps toward reversing the Bush Administration’s disastrous Iraq policy.

There is no August recess for the young men and women who are deployed in Iraq, risking their lives for an ideological pipe dream hatched by people who haven’t sacrificed a single thing. 

Our soldiers will continue to do their jobs valiantly — even though they have been failed by their civilian superiors…even though they have been asked to occupy a nation that doesn’t want them there…even though they haven’t been properly trained or outfitted for their mission…even though they are caught in the crossfire of a brutal civil war that they are virtually powerless to stop. 

To date, 2,571 Americans have died in Iraq.  Thousands more have been wounded, physically or psychologically, such that their lives will never be the same.  And then there is the collateral damage — thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, who have given their lives for their own so-called liberation.

This November, American troops will have been in Iraq for as long as their grandfathers fought the Axis powers in World War II.  And there’s no end in sight.  The President has made it perfectly clear that he intends to occupy Iraq until the day he leaves the White House.  And now comes the announcement that we’re sending thousands more troops into Baghdad, many of whom were scheduled to go home.  But there’s little evidence that an increased military presence will quell the violence in the capital.  If anything, it will make it worse, like pouring gasoline on a fire.

I have been an outspoken opponent of the President’s Iraq policy from day one.  I voted against the war resolution.  A year and a half ago, I was one of the first to say it was time for the troops to come home, and I forced the first House vote to that effect.  When the oversight committees wouldn’t shine a spotlight on Iraq…I did, convening forums that explored exit strategies and highlighted the living conditions on the ground in Iraq.  When I first spoke up, mine was not a popular position.  But gradually, the American people and their elected representatives in this body have come to realize the folly of this war – the immorality of the doctrine that supports it…the lies that were told to sell it…and the incompetence that has characterized it. 

Polls consistently show that Americans want a timetable for withdrawal; don’t think the war was worth the cost; don’t think it’s stabilized the Middle East; and don’t think it’s made us safer from terrorism. 

But the President continues to hunker down, staying his own course of ignoring the writing on the wall and hiding behind platitudes and talking points.

I hesitate to even call Iraq a war.  The “war” — the effort to depose Saddam Hussein — ended in the spring of 2003 with the President’s showy announcement of “Mission Accomplished.” 

Everything since then has been an occupation, an occupation that we can’t win, an occupation that the American people never would have approved of and the Congress never voted on.

Given the false pretenses under which this body authorized force in Iraq, I believe it’s time to turn back the clock.  I think we deserve, with the benefit of hindsight, another crack at that vote. 

So, along with 20 of my colleagues, I have introduced legislation, H.R. 5875, called “The Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006.”

It would reverse the fateful decision of nearly four years ago and allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority on matters of war and peace.  It would strip from the President the powers he has so shamelessly abused.

Passage of my bill would be the initial step toward ending the occupation. 

I don’t believe we should abandon Iraq, but the military option has failed spectacularly. 

We can and we should use diplomacy, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping tools to help Iraq on the road to long-term security and stability.  It’s time for us to be a reconstruction partner and not an occupying power. 

For the benefit of Iraqis and Americans…in the name of moral decency and national security…it’s time to bring our troops home.

It’s time to repeal the President’s Iraq War Powers

(Not strictly California politics, but Lynn Woolsey’s definitely a Progressive Californian. Plus, she’s got a good point. – promoted by SFBrianCL)

It’s time to repeal the President’s Iraq War Powers

On October 11, 2002, the Congress, over the objections of many Members of the House and Senate, passed legislation giving the President the authority to use force in Iraq.  At the time I was a vocal critic of the war, but unfortunately my voice, as well as thousands of others, was drowned out by misinformation from the administration. 

In making its case, the administration threatened us that if we didn’t act fast, the proof of Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction would “come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”  We were also told that the case against the war, and the evidence of a weapons’ program was, “a slam dunk.”  Now, three and a half years later, the American public knows what many of us believed all along, that this administration, and our president, misled us about the case to go to war.

Six months after we invaded Iraq, President Bush stood aboard an aircraft carrier before a banner that read “Mission Accomplished,” declaring that “major combat operations in Iraq are over.”  From that moment on, we were no longer fighting a war, but rather participating in an occupation.

An occupation cannot be won.  The President has put our troops in a position they should not have gotten into in the first place.

Our troops were not prepared to occupy Iraq.  They weren’t given the proper equipment, nor were they properly trained.  And most importantly, the US Congress never authorized this President to undertake an occupation.

This occupation of Iraq must end, now, and President Bush must bring our troops home.

That is why I am introducing the Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006.  It is past time for Congress to demand that the Bush Administration come clean on Iraq, and put the safety of our troops, and the security of our nation first.

By repealing the Iraq War Powers, Congress would resume its Constitutional role overseeing the use of military force, and would reassert its authority by bringing our troops home.

Of course, the passage of this bill will be an up-hill struggle, but it is a fight that we can no longer avoid.  Rescinding the President’s war powers in Iraq is the least that we can do for our troops, and for their families who anxiously await their return.  With over 2,550 brave men and women having given their lives, and thousands seriously wounded, how many more must die before we put an end to this madness?

This is one more step in putting and end to occupation.  It is time to pass the “Iraq War Powers Repeal Act of 2006.”

-Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma)