In 2007, while George W. Bush still occupied the White House, tens of thousands stormed the National Mall in protest of the Iraq war. Celebrities such as Susan Sarandon, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Jane Fonda were among those calling on President Bush to bring our troops home. Several members of Congress were also on hand to urge the President to change course.
Michigan Congressman John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, went so far as to threaten defunding the war if Bush refused to end it. “The Founders gave Congress the power of the purse because they envisioned a scenario exactly like we find ourselves in today,” Conyers said. “Not only is it in our power, it is our obligation to stop Bush.” Strong words, but where is that strength among Democrats and liberal activists now?
Where have all the celebrity driven anti-war speeches gone — like the one Sally Field delivered in 2007 while accepting her Emmy win? More importantly, why have Democratic members of Congress given up on their “obligation” to end the same war that drew “war criminal” accusations upon President Bush?
Candidate Obama ran on a platform that promised to end the war in Iraq, but upon taking office President Obama followed Bush’s lead. With his recent entrance into Libya, the President has shown he is just as much a warmonger as his predecessor. So where is the outrage on the left?
Today we see a showdown on the Hill over the budget crisis, with Republicans demanding a cut to entitlements and Democrats fighting to increase taxes — both falsely claiming that the debt ceiling must be raised, and their way is the only responsible plan. It is true that entitlements need to be on the table but conspicuously absent from the discussion is the need to cut military spending and end the costly wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Libya.
With Osama bin Laden dead, there is no justifiable reason to continue risking more American lives while spending ourselves into oblivion in our Middle East battles. Rep. Conyers was right when he stood in the shadows of Bush’s White House, proclaiming that the Founders gave Congress power of the purse for reasons such as this. He should be reminded that this fact didn’t change when Obama was handed the keys.Published in