MINNESOTA DFL PARTY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, May 23, 2007
Contact: Andrew O’Leary
DFL CHALLENGES REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES TO TAKE A STAND ON IRAQ
(ST. PAUL) 5/23/07 –On Wednesday, Minnesota DFL Chair Brian Melendez called on the Republican candidates for Minnesota's first congressional district, represented by Tim Walz, to take a stand on the Iraq War. From the moment that Representative Walz began campaigning for Congress in 2005, he took a clear and consistent stand against the Bush administration' s Iraq policy. In contrast, Representative Walz's four Republican challengers have yet to take a public stand on Iraq , ducking questions on the most important issue of the day.
"From the moment that he began his campaign, Representative Tim Walz offered thoughtful answers to questions from voters and from the media on a range of issues facing our community, our state, and our nation -- especially on the war in Iraq ."
"Candidates for Congress owe it to our troops, to their families, and to all Americans to make their positions on Iraq known. None of the Republican candidates running against Representative Walz have made their views known on the war in Iraq . They owe Minnesotans answers on what their stand is on the Iraq war -- especially whether they support President Bush's open-ended commitment in Iraq or whether they support benchmarks for troop withdrawal." ###
My response to this letter:
From: Alan Maki
To: Andrew O'Leary
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 12:38:59 PM
Subject: Re: [dfl-state-central] DFL CHALLENGES REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES TO TAKE A STAND ON IRAQ
To members of the DFL State Central Committee and Minnesotans;
I hope this e-mail will be forwarded widely in order to encourage vigorous dialogue and debate as the Minnesota DFL refuses to post my thoughts on these matters.
To me, on its face, this letter seems quite hypocritical... Actually, this letter from the DFL Chair Brian Melendez which has been circulated by Andrew O'Leary is not only hypocritical but very offensive to those who have loved ones being sent off to fight and die in this dirty war as the Chair has refused to tolerate any discussion concerning what steps need to be taken to end this war in Iraq. Obviously, both Melendez and O'Leary would be happy to see this war continue indefinitely in order to use it as fodder against their political opponents... and this is shameful as this same leadership manipulated and maneuvered against my motions at the last two state conventions to prevent discussion on what should be the position of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party in ending this war.
As a member of the MN DFL State Central Committee I challenge the MN DFL to take a stand articulating what will be required to end this dirty war for oil and regional domination.
The MN DFL has yet to take a clear stand on ending this dirty war in Iraq while many DFL legislators and Party leaders are urging new wars be started... notably in Iran and North Korea with an expansion of the war in Iraq. This is hardly a peaceful progressive policy directive let alone a solution to international problems. Other Democrats have called for a huge expansion of the war in Afghanistan at a time when Canadians are wisely telling their government to get their troops out of the country.
Furthermore, the MN DFL has refused to tolerate any discussion on the role of Israel in the Middle East. Israel's imperialist, aggressive, expansionist, warmongering, murderous, and genocidal policy towards the Palestinian people is a major factor in the war in Iraq. Israel's murderous campaign of carnage and destruction in Lebanon has contributed to increasing animosities in the Middle East. Both U.S. and Israeli foreign policy includes using exacerbating ethnic tensions and animosities as integral functions of foreign policy; this is behavior that is completely unacceptable to the civilized world... yet, the MN DFL remains fearful of discussing any of this.
In fact, the DFL has not even tolerated a full scale debate on this issue at the state conventions.
George McGovern has made a very significant proposal... the only proposal to date as far as I am aware... to end the war in Iraq. The MN DFL State Central Committee has yet to discuss McGovern's proposal: A Blueprint to End the War in Iraq. McGovern's proposal can be read via my blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/
Rumor, from military sources reported in the media, has it that Bush intends to double the number of U.S. troops in Iraq by Christmas 2007. Obviously Bush could not do this without support from the Democrats, just as Democrats allowed Bush to start this war that has turned into a no-end-in-sight nightmare that could go on for over ten years unless the American people find a creative way to bring this government under control or the Iraqis kick the United States out of their country... and with each troop expansion this could end up being one hell of a bloody mess.
I think it is good that a letter critical of Republicans on the war has been disseminated... however, why the fear of addressing the issue of how to end the war in Iraq? After all... if one is only critical of those who support the war without putting forward any idea of how to end the war, this really is no contribution at all.
As a member of the MN DFL State Central Committee I feel very strongly that the MN DFL owes it to Minnesotans to clearly articulate a position on what it will take to end this war and not simply play political games critical of Republicans in order to try to score brownie points with voters.
So far, Congressman Waltz has not matched the anti-war Iraq rhetoric which got him elected with any concrete deeds in the United States Congress... as such, he leaves himself very vulnerable to questions from Republicans asking: What is your solution to ending the war in Iraq?
This letter is one more example of a dangerous game the MN DFL is playing using the war in Iraq... dangerous from the perspective that the killing of Iraqis and U.S. soldiers and the destruction of Iraq which accompanies the killing... and dangerous from the perspective that Minnesota voters will just stay home on Election Day; disgusted that as human beings are dying, politicians and political hacks turn the war into a game.
At a time when voters all over the world and here in Minnesota are looking for, and searching out, politicians and political parties that offer real solutions to real problems the only thing the Minnesota DFL--- its leaders and elected state and federal legislators--- continue to offer Minnesotans is progressive sounding rhetoric carefully framed like this letter has been in order to avoid offering any real solutions to anything... from ending the war in Iraq to the health care mess to financing public education to the pot-holes in our roads we get the same framed progressive sounding rhetoric not backed by any concrete actions that provide real solutions to these very real problems.
A state-wide smoking ban is the only thing thing that the MN DFL has to tout from the last legislative session; and, even this ban leaves millions of casino patrons and over twenty thousand casino workers vulnerable to illnesses and diseases which we know are conclusively linked by scientists and medical researchers to the hazards of second-hand smoke. To suggest that these people will be protected in other areas of our state from second-hand smoke and then shove these same people into smoke-filled casinos makes little sense to anyone. Again, a political gimmick has been employed that plays Minnesotans for fools... just like this meaningless letter concerning Republicans and the war in Iraq... and the Minnesota DFL has yet to even acknowledge that this war is a war for oil and regional domination... a sheer imperialist, parasitic, and barbaric throw-back to the days of colonialism and plunder.
In this letter, there is no indication of what "clear and consistent stand" Congressman Walz has taken on the war in Iraq; no mention of what it will take to end the war in Iraq.
Since this is a public letter that has been posted on the MN DFL State Central Committee list serve, I am forwarding this e-mail widely without permission from anyone.
Make the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights a living reality for all people: End the war in Iraq; Single-payer Universal Health care; increase the minimum wage to a real living wage; defend and expand Social Security; end At will hiring, At will firing; save the Big Bog from capitalist globalization.
Yours in the struggle,
Alan L. Maki
[Roseau County member of the State Central Committee, MN DFL]
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, MN 56763
Twenty-thousand Minnesotans go to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under Minnesota or Federal labor laws.
Please note: with the present casino expansions presently underway in Minnesota this figure of workers employed in the casino industry will rise to over 50,000 in the next four years. These are your fellow Minnesotans employed without any rights under the most atrocious working conditions.
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