Monday, November 16, 2009

California Leads The Way

The California Democratic Party overwhelming passed a resolution calling on President Obama to "End the U.S Occupation and Air War in Afghanistan." The resolution calls on the administration to:
1. Withdraw military personnel
2. End the use of military contractors
3. End the use of air strikes that cause heavy civilian casualties
4. Support multi-party talks in Afghanistan
5. Redirect funding to increase humanitarian and developmental aid

While the chances of the Obama administration adopting these demands in the near future hovers around zero, the California Democratic Party has taken a much needed step in organized opposition to the war. All state Democratic Parties should pass similar resolutions, even if they are more guardedly worded. The audience is two-fold. First, incumbent Democrats should get the message that their constituents oppose the reckless continuation of this war. Second, President Obama should get the message that if he wants to continue, let alone escalate this war, he is going to have to do so with Republican, not Democratic votes. And those Republican votes won't come cheap, I can promise you that.

Here is New York, most of our Congressional reps have been pretty strong on war and peace issues, particularly Brooklyn reps near my neighborhood (Clark and Townes). If the New York Democratic Party could join California, the idea could really gain steam as a national movement. This issue will be messy enough in the 2010 elections, as it will divide Democrats in the primaries, and make mobilizing behind certain incumbents difficult in the general. The key, however, is to get Barack Obama thinking clearly about this before 2012, because he does not want to head into his re-election with the base as pissed at him about this as they are not. I don't even want to think about how mad the base is going to get should he follow through on the 40,000 troop escalation.

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