As soon as the new Congress is sworn in, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) intends to bring a privileged resolution to the floor forcing an early vote on creating a timeline to end the war in Afghanistan by the end of 2012. Kucinich intends articulate the Afghanistan issue in the new Congress from both fiscal and strategic perspectives. Today’s announcement comes after news reports indicate the White House may backpedal away from a commitment to begin troop withdrawal in July 2011.
“When the new 112th Congress convenes in January, I will immediately enter a privileged resolution that will force Congress to vote on setting a withdrawal date. The withdrawal of our troops must be driven by Congress, not the corrupt president of Afghanistan,” said Kucinich.
News reports today indicate that the White House will adopt a withdrawal plan that would coincide with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s statements that Afghan troops would be ready to take over security in 2014. “Expanding the timeline constitutes a de facto expansion of the war without Congressional approval,” said Kucinich.
“The Obama Administration must withdraw our troops now. Our presence there is counterproductive, it keeps our troops in harms way and it opens to the door for the expansion of the massive corruption of the Karzai regime,” added Kucinich.
Kucinich, the leading voice for peace in the House of Representatives, has criticized corruption in the Karzai regime. “The Karzai regime in Kabul is among the most corrupt in the world. President Karzai rules through crony capitalism. Our tax dollars are going to the Karzai family and supporters to buy villas in Dubai. Karzai has worked to protect his cronies. War advocates manipulate public relations to manufacture support for the war. Our tax dollars fund both sides of the conflict. Our ‘allies’ pay the enemy not to attack our troops. Our ‘allies’ may be bribing insurgents to attack our troops, and we know U.S. tax dollars fund Afghan warlords.
“The War in Afghanistan is longer than any other war America has ever fought. The war has cost U.S. taxpayers more than a trillion dollars. The death toll is rising. More than 1300 Americans have died, thousands more wounded and countless Afghan civilians have died. The civilian death toll is rising, and there are fewer than 100 Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. To top it all off, we recently learned that Karzai has openly admitted to accepting bags of cash from Iran” said Kucinich.
In July 2010, Kucinich introduced bipartisan legislation that would have ended the war in Afghanistan by the end of this year. The new legislation would call for the end of the war by the end of 2011. This legislation will firmly establish ownership of the war and its timeline by the new 112th Congress.
“It is imperative that the 112th Congress move immediately to end this costly and unnecessary war,” said Kucinich. “Our economy needs help and as the new leadership looks for ways to reduce spending, I will continue to introduce legislation and