In 2007, 82 Democratic members of Congress signed a pledge. They would never again vote to fund the war in Iraq without plans for troop withdrawal.
Republican critics accused them of demagoguing the war. Of using our soldiers as a political pawns, of not meaning what they said.
Those who signed that pledge need to cast their vote against the Supplemental Appropriations Act on Tuesday and prove them wrong.
We may agree or disagree about what needs to be done in Iraq, but a promise is a promise. Anti-war activists have supported these members of Congress because of that 2007 pledge. They knocked on doors and distributed leaflets and donated to their campaigns. They and marched side by side with them as they sought to bring an end to the war that still lingers in Iraq and escalates in Afghanistan, as the new film Rethink Afghanistan documents.
When Barack Obama declared his presidential candidacy, he said "Start leaving we must. It's time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their future." But Obama's 2008 victory was only half the battle for those who want to bring an end the war.
Obama was once asked about how he planned to solve the Israeli/Palistinian conflict. He responded by telling a story about Franklin Roosevelt who, when asked if he could address the plight of African Americans, said:
You know, Mr. Randolph, I've heard everything you've said tonight, and I couldn't agree with you more. I agree with everything that you've said, including my capacity to be able to right many of these wrongs and to use my power and the bully pulpit....But I would ask one thing of you, Mr. Randolph, and that is go out and make me do it.
It's the president's job to make the best decisions he can and keep the country governable at the same time. When it comes to highly divisive issues like the war, he's got to consider many factors -- including the pressures that the military and the CIA bring to bear on the situation. It's the public's job to create the political space for him to move in. For those who supported his candidacy because we wanted to bring an end to the war, it means we have to answer his call to go out and "make him do it."
We're working with state blogs from across the country to sound the call to action:
|Square State (Colorado)|
Turn Maine Blue (Maine)
Michigan Liberal (Michigan)
Burnt Orange Report (Texas)
Green Mountain Daily (Vermont)
My Left Nutmeg (Connecticut)
Blue Mass Group (Massachusetts)
The Albany Project (New York)
There is a movement growing now to create the climate for change to occur. If progressives will stand together, we can have a real voice in working with President Obama to shape our nation's future.