The U.S. House of Representatives is now debating for two hours a resolution [H.Con.Res. 28] calling for President Obama to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan no later than Dec. 31, 2011.
[FCNL has provided a toll-free number for calling Congress on this vote: 800-530-1748. You can watch the proceedings on houselive.gov.]
Relative to the opinions of the vast of majority America's working families, the Kucinich-Jones-Paul resolution is a mainstream, middle-of-the-road, motherhood-and-apple-pie proposal.
This week, the Washington Post reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans - including half of Republicans - believe that the war in Afghanistan is not worth fighting, and nearly three-quarters of Americans say Obama should withdraw a "substantial number" of combat troops from Afghanistan this summer. The Post didn't report what Republicans thought specifically about substantial withdrawal, but a reasonable inference from the report is that the majority of Republicans support substantial withdrawal.
Last month, the Democratic National Committee passed a resolution calling for a "swift withdrawal," a call repeated yesterday by the Out of Afghanistan Caucus. Also yesterday, 80 Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling for a significant and sizeable reduction in U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan beginning no later than July.
What did General David Petraeus have to say about all this in his Congressional testimony? He invoked the Osama Defense: if the resolution passed, it would give Osama the victory.
Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, Petraeus called the resolution a mistake...
"The Taliban and al-Qaida obviously would trumpet this as a victory, as a success," Petraeus said.
If the Osama Defense is what Petraeus has to offer by way of defense of the current policy after 10 years, more than a thousand Americans dead, hundreds of billions of dollars spent, he is essentially conceding the argument: two-thirds of Americans are right, the war is not worth fighting. And we should get out.
The resolution is not expected to pass. A similar resolution last March only received 65 votes. But last month, 98 Members - including almost half of the House Democratic caucus - voted to cut funding for the war. More than 150 Members of the current House have publicly challenged the war since last July. As AP notes:
Lawmakers on both sides of the issue will be watching the vote total closely to see if the opposition gains support.