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July 12, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Seattle's Antiwar Resolution

Posted by Bruce Ramsey

Councilman Nick Licata has sent me a copy of the Seattle City Council's resolution, passed unanimously, on the continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan:

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, THE MAYOR CONCURRING:

Section 1. The City Council supports the US Conference of Mayors resolution calling on the President and U.S. Congress to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as can be done safely for our troops and bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy and reduce the federal debt.

I'll put my cards on the table. I have been against the war in Iraq from the start--and before the start. And I have long been for getting out of Afghanistan. Readers can check my columns here, from 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The Council represents the progressive Left, more or less, and clings to what I believe is a mistaken view. Yes, the foreign military adventures are wrong and offer no profit to the United States. Yes, they should be ended. But the idea that the federal government should "bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon renewable, sustainable energy," etc., etc., is foolish. This is not money the government has in its pocket. It is borrowed. Some 43 cents of every federal dollar is borrowed; the political imperative is to reduce the borrowing.

Yes, I know debt reduction was on the City Council's list. But it was last on the list, as a kind of residual. An afterthought. And that's not enough. The Democrats who run the government here are still holding out to all those other interests--the social program providers, the light-rail people, the renewable energy people, etc.--that if the wars end, more money flows to them. And it can't. Less will flow to them, because cutting the wars won't be enough, and we'll have to cut the other stuff, too.

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