U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey stood on the floor of the House of Representatives today to speak for a growing coalition of Republicans and Democrats who are calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan. She spoke of fatigue with the decade-long justifications for the continued fight, saying, “I, for one, am tired of being told that the strategy is working, and we just need more time to succeed. How many more military families will lose a father or a mother, or a son or a daughter, in the time it takes for the strategy to go nowhere?”
Woolsey stood up to the President from her own political party, and questioned why Barack Obama seemed to be making no movement toward the promise he made the American people for a begin of a withdrawal from Afghanistan next month. Woolsey said:
“It’s now mid June, and we’re just weeks away from the July date the President promised for a drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan, but so far there appears to be little movement for the kind of redeployment that the moment actually calls for and that the American people are insisting on. In fact, Mr. Speaker, Defense Secretary Gates, on his way out the door, endorsed a modest drawdown, even though the President had promised something else.
This is not a moment that calls for modesty. This is a moment for boldness and true leadership. This is a moment to break out of the war default posture, the posture that we’ve been in for going on to ten years now.
The longer this war goes on, the bloodier it becomes. We were told last year that fatalities would be unusually high in 2010, as surge troops began penetrating the Taliban strongholds, but, it turns out, there’s no sign that casualties are tapering off. We’re on pace for an equally deadly 2011. We lost more troops in March, April and May of this year than we did during the same months of of 2010.
Let’s not forget, because I don’t think it’s talked about nearly enough, that it’s not just uniformed members of the U.S. military that are being put in harm’s way in this conflict. The United Nations said over the weekend that there were more civilian casualties in May than in any other single month of this war. Needless to say, killing innocent people is certainly not the way to win the hearts and minds of another country.”