July 2010, Week 1


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Thu, 1 Jul 2010 19:00:30 -0400
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Rep. John Conyers and Out of Afghanistan Caucus Oppose Obama
Admin's $33B Escalation of Afghan War Conyers

Democracy Now! July 1, 2010


Guest: Rep. John Conyers (D.-MI), chair of the House
Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the Out of Afghanistan

JUAN GONZALEZ: We're joined by Democratic Congressman John
Conyers. He's the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and
the co-chair of the "Out of Afghanistan" caucus. He's
speaking today at a press conference with other lawmakers
opposed to the $33 billion earmarked for the escalation of
the war in Afghanistan. The funding is contained in the
supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010. The press
conference is being held one day after the end of the
bloodiest month for international troops in Afghanistan.
Congressman Conyers, welcome to DEMOCRACY NOW!

REP. JOHN CONYERS: What a pleasure to be on the show. Top of
the morning to both of you.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Can you tell us in terms of your efforts now
to oppose this increase in funding, why you're doing it and
what do you see, especially after this conversation we've
been having here on the sacking of General McChrystal, as to
what the future holds for our nation in Afghanistan?

REP. JOHN CONYERS: Well, it's never been clear to me that
through war we can bring peace, especially when we're the
invaders, we're the ones using drones. We're causing
civilian deaths to many people who would otherwise be more
friendly to us. We're creating the terrorists. This is not
being lost on most of the people in the country now. Our
constituents now want us out of both Afghanistan and Iraq,
and what we're doing now is forming a way to discuss this
with our president in an effort to make him more comfortable
with doing what most people want him to do and what we
thought he was going to do in the first place, namely, to
clearly disengage from the military, increase the diplomatic
activity, and bring in some help in terms of food supplies,
aid, and positive build up of these countries and to make as
many friends as we can over there rather than this ninth
year of what has now become a debacle in every respect.

AMY GOODMAN:Congressman Conyers, what is the War is Making
Your Poor Act?

REP: JOHN CONYERS: The War is Making You Poor is a brilliant
device by Grayson, my colleague Alan Grayson, in which we're
doing just three things. One, we limit the amount of funding
of the wars in both countries. We eliminate the federal tax
on all Americans that make less than $35,000 a year. And as
a result, and this has been confirmed by the Joint Committee
on taxation, we reduce the debt by almost $16 billion. Our
debt. So it's a combination of things that are happening
now, Amy, that make it clear to more and more members of
Congress that you can't keep a straight face on all of this
incredible indebtedness, talk about all of the money that we
have shoveled out to Wall Street and credit isn't loosening
up, unemployment is still at all-time highs. We're projected
in Detroit to have more foreclosures on homes than last
year. So we've got to turn with especially all of the shouts
about being fiscally conservative, the way to climb out of
this is to reduce the obligations of our government. Here we
are in hundreds of billions of dollars of war debt and our
President is saying we now have to have an emergency funding
which is merely another way of saying we're going to
specially fund the Afghanistan surge. It makes no sense and
I thing militarily it is not logical and of course morally,
I can't remember anything like this since Korea and Vietnam,
to be honest with you.


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