Republican candidate for Congress Jim Judd criticized Lynn Woolsey’s recent failure to vote for funding for American troops in Afghanistan. As you’ll recall, Rep. Woolsey followed up with a guest opinion in The Press Democrat in which she claimed that she “had no choice” but to vote as she did because of the release of the WikiLeaks documents “called the Afghan War Diary, an extraordinary compendium of over 91,000 reports covering the war in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2010.” The congresswoman’s “reason” for her vote is arguably simply an excuse since, as the Santa Rosa paper’s Paul Gullixson notes, “it’s doubtful whether she really would have voted for the spending bill this year” had these documents not been released. He continues, “Woolsey has long been an outspoken opponent of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – and war spending – and was one of 32 Democrats who stood firm in voting against a war spending bill last year.” Of course the spending bill was passed without her help, but the question remains whether she took the appropriate action. A majority of Democrats voted for passage of the war funding.
The fact is that Rep. Woolsey is out of step with her own party on this issue. President Obama made these remarks about the WikiLeaks papers — the very reason she gave for opposing the added financing:
“While I’m concerned about the disclosure of sensitive information from the battlefield that could potentially jeopardize individuals or operations, the fact is these documents don’t reveal any issues that haven’t already informed our public debate on Afghanistan.”
And today, Joshua Gross wrote on Politico an appeal to liberals to “stand with Afghanistan.” Mr. Gross is not a progressive/liberal, but he makes cogent points about why liberals should want to provide the support needed to “finish the job” over there. He cites Rep. Woolsey’s comment that, “This war is not worth the huge investment, in blood and treasure, which the American people have been asked to make for nearly a decade” and proceeds to demonstrate why she is mistaken. He concludes, “We protect the homeland and advance liberal values by honoring our commitment to the Afghan people.”
Overseas wars are difficult for most Americans to fully support, particularly when they drag on and do suck up so much blood and treasure. Voters in the 6th District need to ask themselves though whether Rep. Woolsey has really been honest when she claims that the WikiLeaks documents forced her hand. Shouldn’t she have admitted that she did not intend to vote for this funding of our troops regardless? And she should give more thought to exactly how America should leave Afghanistan. Also, there must be more differentiation between opposition to administration policies regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and what is done for our troops. Rep. Woolsey often fails to solidly support our men and women in uniform — a necessity — while she is opposing military actions.