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The Black Commentator - Senator Clinton and Senator Obama: Use Your Leadership Now to End the War in Iraq!

"Let me be clear: there is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year - now."

- Sen. Barack Obama,September 12, 2007

"Our message to the president is clear. It is time to begin ending this war -- not next year, not next month -- but today."

- Sen. Hillary Clinton,July 10, 2007

On the campaign trail, Senator Obama and Senator Clinton both say that the war in Iraq needs to end. Military Families Speak Out has one question for them: what are they doing now as sitting United States Senators, to bring our loved ones home from Iraq?

Military Families Speak Out is an organization of almost 4,000 military families with loved ones who are serving in Iraq, ready to deploy or re-deploy, have been wounded physically and/or psychologically, or have died as a result of the war in Iraq. We know first hand the devastation of this war.

We are more than five years into a war that Clinton and Obama say should never have begun. Over 4,000 U.S. troops and, by some estimates, over a million Iraqi children, women, and men have died in this unjustifiable war. Countless more have sustained devastating life long injuries to their bodies, minds, and spirits. More are killed and wounded every day. The suicide rate among active duty and returned Veterans is skyrocketing. We simply can't wait nine more months for a new President to begin a process for ending this war.

And we don't have to: Congress has the power to end the war in Iraq now. The President can't spend a dime on this war without the approval of both houses of Congress.

A single act of bold leadership by Senator Clinton or Senator Obama could be instrumental in ending this war. When the Senate takes up the next war funding bill, either one of them could lead a filibuster, refusing to stand down until their colleagues agree to vote against any bill that provides funding to continue the war rather than funding specifically for the swift and safe return of all our troops from Iraq. They wouldn't even need a majority of their colleagues to back them up -- all they need is 40 Senators prepared to unite behind their leadership and block additional funding to continue the war from making it through the Senate.

Democrats and Republicans alike have routinely used filibusters and the threat of filibusters around important issues. What could be more important that ending the war in Iraq?

If Senator Clinton and Senator Obama aren't willing to use the power they have now as U.S. Senators to end the war, what makes anyone think they will exercise bold leadership on January 20, 2009? If they fail to take action to stop funding the war that is killing our troops and the Iraqi people, we can only conclude that when their campaigns talk about ending the war, they are just using the memory of the fallen, the sacrifices of our troops, and the grief and pain of our families, for political gain.

As military families, we appeal to the American people: Call Senator Clinton, Senator, Obama, and your own two Senators and urge them to use the power of the filibuster to block any bill that continues to fund the war in Iraq rather than funding the swift and safe return of our troops. We also call on Congress to appropriate the funds needed for our troops to get the care they need when they return.

Senator Hillary Clinton -- (202) 224-4451

Senator Barack Obama -- (202) 224-2854

Senate Switchboard -- (800) 828-0498

Click here to find out who your Senators are: http://www.senate.gov

Click here to sign our online petition.

MILITARY FAMILIES SPEAK OUT

mfso@mfso.org

http://www.mfso.org

Your comments are always welcome.

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Thank you very much for your readership.

April 10, 2008
Issue 272

is published every Thursday

Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Publisher:
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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