President Obama’s new $83.4 billion supplemental war request, which brings the cost of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to $1 trillion, drew fire Thursday from anti-war North Bay Rep. Lynn Woolsey.
Former President George W. Bush disguised the cost of the wars in annual “emergency” supplementals, which then-Sen. Obama criticized. The Obama White House promises that this will be the last one.Press secretary Robert Gibbs said the request is a Bush holdover that is needed to fund the wars this fiscal year, before the Obama budget kicks in.
Until now, anti-war Democrats had been undecided about how to position themselves against the Afghanistan escalation under one of their own.
Woolsey, D-Petaluma, who co-chairs the Progressive Caucus, had said in an earlier interview that she can’t support raising troop levels. She came out Thursday with this statement:
“As proposed, this funding will do two things - it will prolong our occupation of Iraq through at least the end of 2011 and it will deepen and expand our military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely.
“I cannot support either of these scenarios. Instead of attempting to find military solutions to the problems we face in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Obama must fundamentally change the mission in both countries to focus on promoting reconciliation, economic development, humanitarian aid, and regional diplomatic efforts.”
© 2009 The San Francisco Chronicle