No More War Funding, Bring the Troops Home!

Dan La Botz, Ohio Socialist Candidate for U.S. Senate, Calls for Immediate U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan — Candidate Calls for “No” vote Obama’s Request for $33 Billion More for War

Dan La Botz, the Cincinnati school teacher who in February entered the race in Ohio for the U.S. Senate, called today for the United States to move immediately to withdraw its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and to end attacks on Pakistan. He also urged the U.S. Congress to vote “No” on President Barack Obama’s call for $33 billion for supplemental war funding which is expected to come up for a vote in April. This is on top of the Pentagon’s request for a $548.9 billion base budget and $159.3 billion in war funding for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins Oct. 1.

Vote Down Obama’s War Budget

“Congress should vote down this budget, end the wars, bring home the troops, and begin to create jobs for all at living wages in America,” said La Botz. “The oil companies and the Pentagon should not determine both the foreign policy and by default the domestic agenda of this country by taking the nation into one war after another.”

“The American people want out of these wars now,” said La Botz. “We must end these wars at once and begin to create a democratic, people-to-people foreign policy based on international solidarity. We must build a powerful anti-war movement and an independent political force that can move the U.S. Congress to act to end the wars now.”

Wars for Oil

“The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, together with the U.S. sanctions against Iran, represent part of a corporate and governmental grand strategy to gain what the military calls ‘full spectrum dominance’ of the globe. While presented as wars to ‘defend the United States and its interests abroad,’ these are actually wars for U.S. oil companies and other U.S. corporations that want access to cheap oil,” La Botz declared in his statement.

The Socialist Party candidate continued, “Politicians, the military, and the media claim that America wars in the Middle East and Central Asia are conducted to protect the the broader ‘strategic’ interests of the United States, but these wars are not in the interest of ordinary Americans. On the contrary, they breed hatred toward the United States, particularly among Middle Eastern, Arab, Asian and Muslim peoples. And far from protecting us from terrorism, these wars foster the very conditions that make it easier to recruit new terrorists.”

Wars Distort Domestic Agenda

La Botz argues that the wars make it impossible to deal with the country’s domestic agenda, to bring education and health care to all, and to create jobs for all at living wages. “The pursuit of these wars also distorts the American people’s domestic priorities. The cost of the wars over the past decade comes to billions of dollars that might have been used for education, housing, and social well being in the United States and for economic development abroad to improve the lives of people in poor countries.”

“We cannot rely on Barack Obama and the Democratic Party to end the wars,” said La Botz. “Nor would the Republican Party end the wars. We will have to build a movement of millions to end these wars as we forced the government to end the war in Vietnam some 35 years ago.”

La Botz said that this call to “End the Wars Now!” represents the first in a series of short position papers he will issue throughout his campaign. All of these papers will be available on his campaign website: DanLaBotz.com.
La Botz’s full statement is found below:

End the Wars Now! U.S. Out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan!

The United States should at once withdraw its military forces from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The George W. Bush administration launched the war on Iraq in 2003 based on lies that it told to the people of the United States and to the nations of the world. Iraq had nothing to do with the 9-11 terrorist attack nor did it have the weapons of mass destruction that Bush claimed. The U.S. wars on Iraq violated international law, launching a war against another country without provocation and without justification.

The U.S. war against Afghanistan, which began in 2001, was based on the argument that the Taliban government sheltered the Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked the United States. The United States and the United Nations then imposed on Afghanistan the puppet presidency of Hamid Karzai, head of an unpopular government rife with corruption. Since the Taliban then largely relocated to Pakistan, the United States began launching drone attacks on and carrying out clandestine operations in Pakistan.

The U.S. war in Iraq has led to thousands of deaths of American servicemen and women, and to hundreds of thousands of deaths of men, women and children in that country. Hundreds of thousands more have fled for safety to other nations in the region, disrupting their lives and threatening their families’ plans for the future. The Afghanistan war too has cost thousands of lives and led to mass relocations of the population. The U.S. drones’ killing of civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan has become an international disgrace.

The wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, together with the U.S. sanctions against Iran, represent part of a corporate and governmental grand strategy to gain what the military calls “full spectrum dominance” of the globe. While presented as wars to “defend the United States and its interests abroad,” these are actually wars for U.S. oil companies and other U.S. corporations that want access to cheap oil.

Politicians, the military, and the media claim that America wars in the Middle East and Central Asia are conducted to protect the the broader “strategic” interests of the United States, but these wars are not in the interest of ordinary Americans. On the contrary, they breed hatred toward the United States, particularly among Middle Eastern, Arab, Asian and Muslim peoples. And far from protecting us from terrorism, these wars foster the very conditions that make it easier to recruit new terrorists.

The pursuit of these wars also distorts the American people’s domestic priorities. The cost of the wars over the past decade comes to billions of dollars that might have been used for education, housing, and social well being in the United States and for economic development abroad to improve the lives of people in poor countries. The propaganda and media coverage surrounding the wars promotes racist attitudes toward the peoples of other countries. Throwing our young men and women into these wars represents a tremendous misuse of our greatest national treasure. The American servicemen and women who participate in these wars of conquest and occupation suffer tremendous damage not only to their bodies, but to their minds and their souls.

The American people want out of these wars now. We must end these wars at once and begin to create a democratic, people-to-people foreign policy based on international solidarity. We must build a powerful anti-war movement and an independent political force that can move the U.S. Congress to act to end the wars now.

Dan La Botz

Ohio Socialist Party Candidate for the U.S. Senate

DanLaBotz.com