Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Barbara Lee's Rebellion: The Making of the Left's Antiwar Voice on Syria

Nationaljournal.com recently reported -- "There was a time when Rep. Barbara Lee was accused of treason and got so many death threats for her antiwar politics she needed around-the-clock police protection. Now, a decade and two unpopular wars later, the congresswoman who cast the only vote against the war in Afghanistan has moved from the fringe to the forefront, becoming a preeminent voice in the president's own party against his effort to bomb Syria.
Lee is an influential member of both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Congressional Black Caucus—two groups President Obama desperately needs on his side. Inside Congress, she has helped spearhead the lobbying effort against a Syria strike, and she was among the more prominent members of the CPC briefed by the White House last week. "They've been very persuasive about the intelligence and the fact that we must do something," she told The Washington Post's Greg Sargent. What was less persuasive, she said, was the idea that the only option right now is a military option.
"I'm not a pacifist," Lee told National Journal in an interview. "I think we need to hold those accountable for any types of crimes against humanity, weapons of mass destruction, chemical attacks on our country. This is a given. We've got to do that. But you also have to understand what you're doing and the context."
The story of how Lee emerged as one of Congress's most powerful antiwar voices on Syria is one that's well told by numbers. In 2001 when she voted against the use of force in Afghanistan, she acted alone. In 2003, when she sponsored legislation to repeal the congressional authorization of war in Iraq, herlegislation received 72 votes. In August of 2013, a demand that Obama seek authorization from Congress before taking any action against Syria garnered the support of more than 150 lawmakers and from both sides of the political aisle."
Food for thought:  It was announced yesterday that President Obama nominated Congresswoman Barbara Lee to be Representative to the United Nations.  In a recent press release she stated, "It will be my goal as Representative to the U.N. to help foster stronger ties, deeper bonds, and increase commitment to the vision of the United Nations:  a better world for all."  Congratulations on her appointment!!

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