While teachers are being laid off in Brockton, storefronts are empty from Needham to Dorchester, and so many people are still struggling to find work, I am disappointed that Stephen Lynch yet again voted with Republicans to commit another $37 billion to the war in Afghanistan. This money would have been better invested here at home, in communities like those in the 9th district. Our troops in Afghanistan – and Iraq – have performed admirably and done all we have asked of them. We must honor them now by bringing them home as safely and as quickly as possible.
I emphatically echo the sentiments of Congressman Jim McGovern:
Representative James P. McGovern, a leading antiwar Democrat, has been strongly critical of the additional funding and spent much of yesterday lobbying colleagues to block the funding. Much of the debate was stoked by the discussion of newly disclosed documents that reveal previously unreported challenges facing US troops in Afghanistan, with divisions developing even among top Democrats.
“All of us are dedicated to defeating Al Qaeda wherever they are, but our current policy in Afghanistan is deeply flawed,” the Worcester Democrat said yesterday. “It is a mistake to give this administration yet another blank check.”
“What the hell are we doing?” he told reporters later. “How long is this going to go on?”
Unending, ramped-up military force isn’t going to achieve our goals in Afghanistan. We need to bring about a stable government – one that isn’t corrupt – and a stable economy. We can address the first part by rooting out corruption and assisting legitimate leaders to create a stable government based on free and fair elections. We can address the second part by shifting the focus of their natural resource development from narcotics to expanding other forms of agriculture and tapping Afghanistan’s wealth of mineral deposits. These goals are accomplished through committed diplomacy and international aid, not through military force – through the State Department, not the Defense Department.
What we can’t have are votes like Congressman Lynch’s for a blank check to support a flawed policy and unending war.