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Democracy For The Southern Adirondack/Tricounty Area
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Tricounty DFA Update: War Anniversary Vigil Sunday, Contacting Reps. On War
Hello Everyone:

In This Update:

1. 4th Anniversary of Iraq War This Weekend
2. Join Vigil For Peace and to Support Our Troops
3. Blue Dogs Attempting To Block Democratic Majority?
4. HR 455 Now Lee Amendment
5. Contact Rep. Gillibrand
6. Friday Night Film Fest

1. 4th Anniversary of Iraq War This Weekend

This weekend will be the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the war in Iraq. On Saturday the Iraq War will pass the Civil War in length- also longer than World War Two, the Korean War, World War One, or the 19th century wars with Spain, Mexico and the British Empire.

Many members of this group first came together in a long, wintry series of peace vigils, essentially begging our congressional leaders not to authorize force in Iraq. That opposition has been vindicated.

2. Join Vigil For Peace and to Support Our Troops

There will be a major vigil this Sunday, March 18th in City Park in downtown Glens Falls at 3pm. It has been organized by the Glens Falls area interfaith council. Glens Falls DFA wholeheartedly endorsed this vigil at our last meeting. After the vigil, which begins at 3pm, there will be a march ending at the Baptist Church where there will be an interfaith service at 4pm.

We need to make this vigil the biggest one ever. We are asking every single member of this list to not only attend, but act as group organziers themselves, to call their friends, relatives, neighbors, acquaintances and co-workers and each bring a group of people with them. Please come to the vigil and march. It is critical to show support for ending the war at this moment because Congress is wavering on taking action.

I appreciate that there are people who want to go to Albany and march there. But we really need a large turnout in this district to demonstrate how strong opposition to the war is here. There are false perceptions of the area by people who are not familiar with it. We know this area does not support the war.

Martha sent this reflective article from the Guardian:
"Was I a good American? How good an American was I? Did I do what I could to resist the takeover of my country and the brutalisation of my fellow human beings? How much further could I have gone?",,329744438-103677,00.html

3. Blue Dogs Attempting To Block Democratic Majority?

You may have read that the Democratic House leadership has been trying to craft a supplemental defense appropriation bill that would place conditions on our involvement in Iraq, eventually ending the war. This is what the American people voted for last November.

What you may not have heard is that a small group of conservative Democrats known as the Blue Dogs have been attempting to remove from the bill almost any provision that George Bush wouldn't like. Specifically:

*A timeline for getting all US forces out of Iraq
*Requirements that any forces sent to Iraq be certified as ready for combat
*A requirement that Bush come to Congress for permission before attacking Iran

Accordingly to many reports, the Blue Dogs threatened to vote with the Republicans unless some or all of these provisions were removed, or unless the vital timeline were rolled back to a very late date, that would probably leave the war going into 2009.

The blogs have done great work in covering this very fast moving story:

This piece at makes a key point about all this: "In other words, progressives get whipped into voting for a compromise, and Blue Dogs get to "vote their conscience." Progressives are expected to compromise their beliefs, but then the leadership won't even stand up and fight for a compromise they wrangled out of the progressives."

4. HR 455 Now Lee Amendment

At our last meeting we asked Rep. Gillibrand to co--sponsor HR 455, The Bring The Troops Home And Protect Them Act of 2007. This bill has now transitioned into the very similar Lee Amendment. Dick and Pat and I have been in contact with her office and are still waiting for an answer as to Rep. Gillibrand's position as to these initiatives.

On entering Congress Rep. Gillibrand did join the Blue Dog caucus, because, she said, she liked their position on fiscal responsibility. However, she is not required to vote with them to be a member of this caucus.

A group of retired veteran intelligence officers, Veteran Intelligence Professionals For Sanity, have come out with thoughtful and powerful analysis of the situation in Iraq, and have specifically called for Congress to adopt the Lee Amendment as the only responsible course for the United States at this time.

5. Contact Rep. Gillibrand

Please contact Rep. Gillibrand's office and urge her to vote for the Lee Amendment, which will bring US forces home by the end of this year. The American people voted last November to end the war in Iraq. Democrats must keep this covenant with the American people, including the 20th Congressional District, if we expect them to support us in the future.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand
120 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5614

or email at

If turns out that the supplemental bill has been so eviscerated as to be useless, we should join other progressives in asking her to vote against the bill. A supplemental bill does not have to be passed right away. Congress can wait 60 or 90 days to get it right, and must.

The Working Families Party has also called for funding only for bringing US forces home, and have put up an online petition:

6. Friday Night Film Fest

The Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe's Friday Night Progressive Film Fest continues at 7:30 with:

Mar 16 ONE BRIGHT SHINING MOMENT: The Forgotten Summer of George McGovern (2005) Stephen Vittoria 125 min.
Retraces George McGovern's bold grassroots presidential campaign of 1972 - a campaign that fought to the bitter end for peace and justice, a campaign that positioned ideas and people first, and, a campaign crushed in workmanlike fashion by Richard Nixon. The tragedy of the '72 campaign is this: George McGovern might have been the only candidate to run for President in the 20th century who truly understood what an incredible monument America could be to the human race. The film features interviews with a patchwork of historians, activists, the candidate himself, foot soldiers from his campaign, and others, including Gore Vidal, Gloria Steinem, Warren Beatty, Dick Gregory, Gary Hart, Frank Mankiewicz, Howard Zinn, Jim Bouton, Sen. Jim Abourezk, Rev. Malcolm Boyd, and Ron Kovic. Narrated by Amy Goodman and featuring an original music score and traditional folk ballads, the story incorporates songs from Leon Russell, Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Donovan, ! and Elvis Costello. The ultimate political defeat of the American Century may also be its high watermark. And if so, what does that say about the electoral process, the American government, and more importantly, what does it say about the forces at work on the American people - then and now?

Thanks Everyone! See you all Sunday at 3pm.

Larry Dudley

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