Aug 21, 2010

NY: Green Party Candidate for US Senate Blasts Gillibrand's Voting Record on War

From News Channel 34, a press release from Cecile Lawrence for US Senate:
New York State peace and social justice activist Cecile Lawrence and Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate remembers being amazed at former President Bush's advice to Americans after planes hit the towers at the bottom of Manhattan that we all should go shopping.

Less than two years later, the U.S. attacked Iraq in an invasion dubbed "Shock and Awe." Major cities in Iraq were later bombed into the Middle Ages, as at least one commentator put it.

Dr. Lawrence, running for the seat to which Kisten Gillibrand was appointed by Governor Paterson last year, is aghast at the likelihood that the Obama administration is playing with words by announcing that he's ending the war in Iraq with the departure from that country of the last full Army combat brigade. With 50,000 members of the U.S. military to remain in Iraq, Lawrence is convinced that the war continues but just under a new label.

Lawrence added that every since Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed Senator, she has regularly voted for more funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From Lawrence's perspective, this move of some military out of Iraq is a game of smoke and mirrors. According to the State Department the numbers of private security guards will be massively increased and a "small army" of contractors will remain. Lawrence noted that a member of the military commented, "Combat operations is a sort of relative term." Lawrence also noted that the American people have no clear picture of the roles of these private security guards and contractors, who are highly specialized and well trained. Their private status excludes them from the scrutiny that troops would have. Lawrence agrees with the conclusion that this move is simply a privatization of the occupation.

She also noted that no mention was made of the increasing use of drones as a combat tool. Drones operate from Syracuse, NY. She wants to know from the Obama administration whether the use of drones against Iraq will continue and when their use against Afghanistan will end. What will be done about the many people in Iraq suffering from birth defects and other horrendous health crises as a result of the use by invading forces of depleted uranium as well as the bombing itself? Too many questions remain.

The war in Iraq will not truly end at the end of August as is being declared by the Obama administration. A cynic might conclude that the Obama administration is shopping for votes in November, considering that the majority of Americans now are against this ill-conceived war.

No comments: