Have You Called Your Senator Today? by Medea BenjaminMay 21st, 2007
Some people get up early to have a leisurely breakfast and read the newspaper before going off to work, while others fly out the door with their coffee cup in hand. Whatever your morning routine, let me suggest a 30-second addition that could help stop the war in Iraq: Call your two Senators and tell them to bring the troops home in 2007.
Earlier this year, I virtually moved from my home in San Francisco to Washington, DC to pressure Congress to end the war. I’ve learned a few things in these last few months:
While most of the Senate is deaf to the cries of the majority of Americans to bring our troops home quickly, some Senators are listening-those running for president. All the Democratic Senators running for president supported Feingold’s bill to bring the troops home by April 1, 2008: Christopher Dodd (a co-sponsor), Joe Biden, Barak Obama, and even previous war hawk Hillary Clinton. Their votes don’t represent their great anti-war convictions, but rather the tremendous pressure they are getting on the campaign trail.
In fact, whether in the Senate or not, all the Democratic presidential candidates are falling over themselves to be more anti-war than the next. John Edwards has apologized for his 2002 vote authorizing Bush to invade Iraq and has been taking out full-page ads in major newspapers saying “Support the Troops, End the War”. He supported the Feingold bill but said it should go further by beginning withdrawal immediately and having all troops out in a year. Bill Richardson calls for troops out in 2007. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the only one who doesn’t have to beef up his anti-war credentials, has now one-upped the others by adding the impeachment of Dick Cheney to his platform.
It’s obvious that these Democratic candidates, who are out among the public day after day, feel the pulse of the nation and are taking anti-war positions to win votes. Unfortunately, other Senators aren’t feeling that same kind of pressure.
If we want to end the war, this must change. Our Senators-especially the 71 who failed to support Feingold’s bill-need to hear from us on a regular basis. So why not add to your morning routine a call to your Senator with a simple reminder to bring our troops home in 2007? If enough of us make those calls, perhaps the Senators will actually wake up and smell the coffee.
Medea Benjamin (email@example.com) is cofounder of Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org) and CODEPINK: Women for Peace (www.codepinkalert.org). To see how your Senator voted, see http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00167. To call the Senate, dial the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senator.