Want to know what 21,000 more US troops and $96.7 billion more in wartime spending will go toward? Gen. Petraeus says insurgent attacks in Afghanistan are at their highest level since 2001; there were 400 attacks in the last week alone. Both Generals Petraeus and McChrystal expressed the desire to keep civilian casualties to a minimum, but how can they possibly achieve that lofty goal with more troops on the ground? It stands to reason that more troops will mean more incidents of violence, increasing calls for more US airstrikes, which in turn will mean more civilian casualties.
If Congress approves this wartime funding, there is a good chance we will see more families like the one in the above video, forced into an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Kabul and left to starve in the wake of recent bombings. “The children are crying and asking for food from me,” a helpless father cries. “It has been five nights, we haven’t eaten anything, I don’t know what to do. How can I feed them or get them medication? …Death is better than this kind of life, to be hungry and thirsty.”
Fortunately, there’s a chance to defeat the war supplemental and work toward a more humanitarian foreign policy. Here’s what FireDogLake’s Jane Hamsher recommends:
There won’t be anyone to pick up the phone at congressional offices this weekend, but you can write letters to the editor in time for the Sunday edition, urging members of Congress to vote against the Supplemental Appropriations Act.
- The war supplemental shouldn’t be held hostage to a $100 billion European bank bailout
- Conservatives don’t like the bailout
- Progressives don’t like the bailout
- Four billion in “Cash for Clunkers” is being added to the bill to force progressives to vote for it
- Let’s separate these bills and talk about them honestly
- The administration has committed itself to transparency. This is not transparent.
Rahm Emanuel is threatening Democratic freshmen if they don’t vote for the bill. We need 39 Democratic votes to defeat it. Already 32 have committed to oppose it. Please write your local paper and urge them to support your member of Congress in voting against the supplemental. (If you don’t know who your member of Congress is, you can look them up here.)