Marcy Winograd, 36th congressional district candidate, expressed deep disappointment in President Obama’s imminent decision to send an additional 30,000 – 40,000 US troops to Afghanistan, to join 68,000 other American soldiers, as well as 60,000 military contractors operating outside the scope of U.S. military law.
“Our presence as an occupying power in Afghanistan only creates new enemies and destabilizes the region, endangering not just our troops but a nuclear-armed Pakistan next door, “ says Winograd, the co-author of a recently-passed resolution that put the California Democratic Party on record calling for an end to the US occupation and air war in Afghanistan.
“After nine years of war and occupation, we are no closer to bringing the perpetrators of 911 to justice. Instead, we are fueling an insurgency, uniting former enemies against us, and sending more innocent young men and women to fight an ever-morphing mission in defense of a corrupt regime. Getting bogged down in Afghanistan is not making us safer, but draining resources urgently needed at home for job creation, infrastructure repair, health care, and education. Before we’re done, we will have spent three trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan – enough money to pay for universal health care in the United States for the next thirty years.”
Though Winograd expresses disappointment in the President, she acknowledges Congress’s responsibility in the matter, pointing out that her opponent, Jane Harman, voted last spring to spend another 100-billion dollars to escalate the war in Afghanistan.
“We need more courageous voices in Congress to bring our troops home safely and responsibly,” says Winograd. “When I’m in Congress, I will vote against war-funding bills that squander our taxpayer dollars. I will work to promote non-military solutions that rely on regional diplomacy, economic development, and the pursuit of terrorism as a criminal, rather than military matter. To guarantee our energy independence from middle east oil, I will work to support an ever-burgeoning green industry, anchored in aerospace in the 36th district. Let’s put our aerospace employees to work in secure jobs harnessing our natural riches – solar and wind energy – and building rapid transit, just as Boeing undertook in the 70s with the introduction of an electric bus, the PRT – Personal Rapid Transit system.”
Winograd urges President Obama to combat the real enemy in Afghanistan: poverty. “Extreme conditions produce extremism,” says Winograd, adding “dire poverty can become an urgent national security concern.” According to the charity Oxfam, unemployment in Afghanistan hovers at 40%. Some 250,000 Afghans are refugees in their own country, another 3-milllion are exiled in Pakistan and Iran. Inside Afghanistan, hunger and disease threaten to ravage the country.
“There is no military solution to poverty, only an economic one,” says Winograd. “I would vote to partner with indigenous non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) to put people to work growing alternative crops: apples and apricots. Now that would be a sweet solution.”
“In Washington, I will introduce legislation to require the President to annually seek congressional approval for war. This is a runaway train,” concluded Winograd. “I voted for Barack Obama. In fact, I volunteered for his campaign. But I am not afraid to speak out when the President makes a mistake.”
Congressional candidate Marcy Winograd, of Progressive Democrats of America, is challenging Jane Harman (CA-36) in the June 8, 2010 Democratic Party primary. In 2006, Winograd mobilized almost 40% of the vote in only three months of campaigning. To learn more about her campaign, visit winogradforcongress.com or Marcy Winograd for Congress on Facebook.
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