U.S. Congressional Candidate in CA – ReThink Afghanistan

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Thus far we at VT have only managed to find two seriously progressive and independent thinker political candidates willing to take on the two party establishment even though they must run either as Republican or Democrats.

One Bob Krause of Iowa is running for the U.S. Senate, and the other Jim Bryan is running an uphill primary battle for support from the state Democratic Party establishment for a seat in the U.S. Congress in his district in Florida, because he is not right of center enough.

Now we have Marcy Winogard running against right of center Democrat incumbent the controversial Jane Harman – a sort of Joe Lieberman kind of Democrat that leans too far right of center to almost be a Republican. It is Harman’s ties to the Defense Industry and her defense of Bush administration NSA wiretapping and concern for our civil rights that Winogard finds questions with. However what makes her an attractive alternative to incumbent Democrats, Republicans, and Independents is her willingness to take stands not popular with the Democratic leadership.

Running on a campaign slogan of “Jobs, Not Wars,” she is another of the best candidates to vote for, because she is able to connect the dots between the meltdown of the U.S. Economy, unemployment, rising taxes, and the billions wasted on Iraq and Afghanistan that began with a Republican administration and continues with a Democratic controlled Congress and White House.

Robert L. Hanafin, Major, U.S. Air Force-Retired, VT News

Why We Must Rethink Afghanistan

We all want to feel safe and secure, and know that our taxpayer dollars are not wasted on perpetual wars that create new enemies. Unfortunately, our occupation of Afghanistan destabilizes the region, breeds new enemies, and makes us less secure. For these reasons, we must support an exit strategy to bring our troops home.

Jane Harman recently voted to spend another $100 billion dollars to continue the occupation of Iraq, ship more troops to Afghanistan, and send drones to rain bombs on Pakistan, a fragile nuclear-armed nation. This is wrong and dangerous.

Afghanistan Troops

When I talk to people at neighborhood gatherings, some say we cannot afford to leave Afghanistan. In fact, my opponent argues we must eradicate corruption there because – ‘… the United States has invested too many troops and too much treasure to fail.’

The truth is we cannot afford to stay in Afghanistan, because we will bankrupt our country. Every trillion spent to occupy Iraq or Afghanistan is a trillion robbed from universal health care, quality education, and jobs in the emerging Green economy. Investing at home will provide far greater security.

Besides, war and occupation breed corruption, so a policy of escalation in Afghanistan is at cross-purposes. If we really want to eradicate corruption in Afghanistan, then we should invest in humanitarian aid, not weapons that will kill innocent people and create more hatred toward us. Let us build schools, hospitals and houses, not as an occupying power, but as a global partner interested in shared prosperity and world stability.”

The stated purpose for invading Afghanistan was to bring the perpetrators of 911 to justice. After seven years, thousands of lost lives, and billions of dollars wasted, are we any closer to that objective? Isn’t it time to rethink Afghanistan?

As a community leader, I know that real security comes from building coalitions and winning the hearts and minds of the people. In Washington, I will continue the work I have been doing for years to reshape our foreign policy to create global partnerships interested in shared prosperity.

Break our Addiction to War & Debt

My opponent Jane Harman [D. CA] relies on military [Defense] contractors to keep herself in office. Military contractors rely on my opponent to keep us at war. Already, my opponent has taken almost $60,000 in campaign contributions (2009/2010) from military contractors. Certainly, these contributions compromise my opponent’s decisions with respect to war.

Now, more than ever before, we need progressives in Congress who will challenge bloated military budgets which bleed our treasury of money better spent on jobs in mass transit, renewable energy, infrastructure repair, education, and health care. A 2007 University of Massachusetts study stated that a billion dollars spent on transportation would result in twice the number of jobs than if it were spent on military contracting.

Vote the Enablers Out

The proposed new [Obama] military budget is nearly $1 trillion, with Pentagon spending of $800 billion, including a 30-billion supplemental to escalate the war in Afghanistan. On top of that, add secret black hole prisons; military aid to foreign nations, and money for mercenaries.

Worse, to pay for all of this, we must borrow from China and Japan.

America is addicted to war and to debt. It’s time to break the addiction — and to vote the enablers out. Unlike my opponent who votes to take us to war in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, I will seek diplomatic solutions to the world’s problems.  Rather than accepting thousands from those invested in war, I will support a war tax so that pay-as-you-go applies to military spending (now obscured in supplemental appropriations not considered part of our defense budget).

To lead in Congress… to break America’s addiction to war and to debt – I need your support.

Marcy Winograd, Congressional Candidate, 36th District

The 36th Congressional District encompasses these fine cities:

Carson, El Segundo, Harbor City, Hermosa Beach, Inglewood, Lennox, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Palms, Playa Vista, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Torrance, Venice, West Los Angeles, and Wilmington

[In fact, the latest campaign fund raising figures from Open Secrets.org show that the defense industry relies so much on Jane Harmon that the top five contributors to her 2010 campaign: Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SAIC, Boeing, and Space X ALL with defense and war profiteering interests donated $47,400 to Harman’s campaign.

Out of the top five industries contributing to this Democrat’s campaign, three are Defense related: Defense Electronics, Defense Aerospace, and Misc. Defense, while the other two are Leadership and Health Care industry PACs. These war and health care profiteering-exploitation interests combined have contributed a total of $78,000 to keep Harman on course and in line voting their interests over that of ALL her constituents. In comparison to her challenger Marcy Winogard, 38% of Harman’ s campaign contributions come from PACs while 100% of Winogard’s come from individual donors – the real constituents of this Congressional District. We need far more INDEPENDENT candidates like Marcy Winograd to challenge the two party system from within. Speaking as a long-term Republican, Harman can call herself whatever she and the defense industry want, but at first glance, I thought she was a REPUBLICAN. VT Editor’s note]

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner. My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me. Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000. I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house. I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.