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
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."