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Jason Crow and Liz Cheney Hold Hands for War – Join Forces to Slow U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

July 23, 2020

Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) and behind her Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich). Omar introduced an Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have sped up U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. A bipartisan vote led by Colorado’s Jason Crow and Wyoming’s Liz Cheney defeated her effort.

It’s a bipartisan thing – warmongering always more dramatic when a generally liberal Democrat like Colorado’s Jason Crow finds common ground with a right-wing militarist enthusiast – a chip off the old block – like Wyoming’s Liz Cheney. Together – and with ample bipartisan support in the House of Representatives, they joined forces to neutralize Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn) effort to speed up U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

It is a bit disappointing – but not particularly surprising – to see Jason Crow, who in other ways has already proven to be a breath of fresh air in contrast to Rep. Mike Coffman, who held his position previously. But when it comes to feeding the Pentagon and encouraging American global military presence, frankly, Crow and Coffman line up essentially on the same page.

Common Dreams, the consistently informative anti-war website, published a brief article this morning on the the Cheney-Crow effort in Congress to vote down Omar’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would have given momentum to withdrawing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, bringing to a close the longest war in U.S. history.” The Omar amendment was defeated in the House of Representatives by a vote of 129 in favor to 284 opposed, with 103 House Democrats joining 181 Republicans to kill the amendment.

Omar’s “Amendment to Rules Comm. Print 116-57” called for “completion of accelerated transition of United States Combat and Military and Security Operations to the Government of Afghanistan” – or put more blunt, the amendment would have given support for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from this war-torn country. Specifically it called for:

complete the accelerated transition of all 14 military forces of the United States, its allies, and 15 coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel by April 29,18 2021

The amendment specified coordinating the U.S. troop withdrawal securing a completion of the peace process, specifically calling for the implementation of the U.S.-Taliban agreement of February 29, 2020.

The Cheney-Crow amendment to neutralize Omar’s effort acts to prohibit Congress from allocating funds to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan unless a number of vague conditions are met. These conditions, as critics note, appear designed to prevent withdrawal. The amendment demands that before Congressional funding of Afghan troop withdrawal that the Pentagon “certify” that withdrawal will not expand the existing or future new terrorists safe havens in Afghanistan, language foggy enough keep U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan in perpetuity.

Several prominent commentators noted Crow’s opportunism in joining forces with Cheney.

As the Intercept’s Glen Greenwald noted,

“It should come as absolutely no surprise that House Democrats are finding common cause with Liz Cheney and other GOP warmongers to block any efforts to reduce even moderately the footprint of the U.S. military in the world or its decades-long posture of endless war.”

“This left-right anti-war coalition is no match for the war machine composed of the establishment wings of both parties and the military and intelligence community,”

In an obvious reference to Crow’s rubbing shoulders with Cheney, Colorado’s David Sirota commented in his Too Much Information newsletter:

“The first rule for every incoming freshman Democrat in Congress should be that you never work with a Cheney on war policy.” “The second rule for every freshman Democrat,” Sirota added, “should be: re-read the first rule and make damn sure to follow it.”

Commenting on the defeat of her amendment Rep. Omar noted briefly that “20 yrs later, Congress is still not willing to support withdrawing our troops from Afghanistan. Endless wars continue to take lives and disable so many. It is long past time to end this war.”

This has not been the first time when Cold War Democrats – even though the Cold War has been over for 30 years – have found common ground with more hawkish Republicans in support of U.S. wars abroad and increased military budgets in general. On such matters as Iraq,  the sanctions and covert war-making against Iran, Venezuela, Syria, sanctions against Russia,  it is not unusual – for pathetic as it is – to see Democrats try to outdo their Republican colleagues.

The short term logic, amounting to narrow-based factionalism, of Democrats not giving Trump an opportunity at peace making – one of the few he’s gotten behind – in the run up to the 2020 Presidential election  is also at play. I tried to see how other Colorado Dems in the House of Representatives voted (De Gette, Neguse, Perlmutter) on Crow’s amendment but could not find the info.

Jason Crow should know better. In fact, he does! 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    July 23, 2020 11:14 am

    Jason Crow is the undertaker for the graveyard of empires

    • Gene Fitzpatrick permalink
      July 24, 2020 11:01 am

      Omar’s amendment was defeated with a bipartisan vote. The Democrats who went with Ilham are of that coterie of “good guys and girls” who through the years have consistently performed well. People like Doggett, Grijalva, Pocan.

      Re: Colorado. DeGette and Neguse also voted for her amd’t. Of note is that Perlmutter shot her down with a ‘nay’ vote. Shame on Jefferson County.

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