Alan Grayson of Florida, an un-apologetic progressive voice in Congress, is loudly opposing the President’s plan to attack Syria for using chemical weapons against its own people. His argument, frankly, makes a lot of sense, and oddly aligns with the libertarians on Capitol Hill who also oppose an attack. I’ve always like Grayson for his outspokenness. You’ll recall that, back in 2009 when Congress was debating the healthcare bill, he gave his famous speech where he asserted that the Republican plan for healthcare is “don’t get sick” and if you do get sick “die quickly”. It made for great theatre, and also framed the issue very clearly. Have a look:
Grayson drew the ire of conservatives everywhere who attacked him unmercifully in the next election, successfully unseating him in 2010. He came storming back in 2012 in the new 9th district of Florida, and has again taken on the mantle of a strong progressive voice. He has started a website called dontattacksyria.com, gaining almost 40,000 signatures on his petition opposing the attack now being debated. He is also doing the network circuit, arguing against the attack, and that we should use the money for the attack for nation building at home. Here’s one of his interviews:
I believe we are now reaping the poisoned harvest sown by uninhibited war mongering of the last president who had surrounded himself with neo-cons. Such recklessness has finally exposed the falsity of the neo-con vision, and also sickened the nation of war. The trillions of dollars spent on Afghanistan and Iraq greatly weakened out economy, and deepened, if not caused the great recession of 2009. I strongly opposed the Iraq war in 2003, simply not convinced by the thin evidence presented by the president and his administration. The evidence seemed trumped up, and sadly proved to be so. Even worse, the evidence presented to the United Nations and the nation was totally false, cut from full cloth.
The evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria is real and convincing. Had we not just gone through 12 years of Middle East war, and if there was a Republican in the Oval Office, the conservatives (excepting a few libertarians) would be beating the war drums. Because they would pass legislation outlawing peanut butter sandwiches if the President said he liked them, House Republicans oppose attacking Syria. It’s not because they’ve suddenly become doves; they’re just doing what they do, which is oppose everything the President proposes, even if they agree with him. Other more thoughtful Senators and representatives (adults) are facing huge opposition among the electorate totaling almost 60% against the plan in some polls.
If the nation wasn’t sick of endless wars, we would have already attacked Syria. It’s what we do, being the Self-Appointed-Policeman-of-the-World. Finally, we are hesitating to use our military might, which I think is a good thing. It’s a shame we didn’t have this conscience back in 2003.