Stop paying for war

Laurie Loving is a Davis mother of an Iraq war vet and member of Military Families Speak Out, an organization of military families who support the troops and oppose the war

“You and Military Families Speak Out are ridiculous to think that we can bring the troops home now!” Congressman Mike Thompson shouted into my ear. My response was met with silence. Although Thompson had told our group in the conference call that he would have to leave soon, he did so without saying goodbye. Members of the Davis Peace Coalition and Thompson’s constituents up north had gone through hell trying to talk with him. We were all appalled that he would treat me, a mother of an Iraq war veteran, in such a rude and patronizing manner.

“The blood and agony of every new victim in Iraq are now owned by the Democratic party,” said George Main of Sacramento Veterans For Peace, one of the five veterans arrested at Congresswoman Doris Matsui’s office on the fourth anniversary of the war. Matsui has refused to meet with Sacramento-area veterans.

The House leadership successfully convinced Thompson, Matsui and other Democrats supposedly opposed to the war to vote for the supplemental appropriations bill by claiming it has provisions to support our troops. The truth is that the president can indefinitely extend the withdrawal date of August 2008 if the troops are “engaging in actions against terrorist organizations with global reach or training Iraqi soldiers.”

Howard Zinn writes in the May 2007 issue of the Progressive: “We who protest the war are not politicians. We are citizens. Whatever politicians may do, let them first feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not for what is winnable, in a shamefully timorous Congress.”

Congressman Thompson is a politician. In the story “SN&R goes to Washington” (Ralph Brave, SN&R Feature Story, March 22), Thompson is quoted as wondering why the anti-war activists won’t take “yes” for an answer.

How offensive. “Yes” means Congress will vote against supplemental funding and continue to deny another penny for war. No money, the war ends and the troops come home. “Bring them home now” means start now and continue in an orderly and safe manner until they are all home with their families.

The Democrats have abandoned the troops since January 4, 2007—the day they took control of Congress and didn’t immediately cease all war funding.

We expect Thompson and Matsui to do what is right, not what is winnable.