Capps Blasts War Debate as Sham

by Nick Welsh

Lois Capps, Santa Barbara’s Democratic congressmember, dismissed
as “a disgrace” the first debate allowed by the
Republican-controlled House majority since the war in Iraq started
three years ago. Capps voted against a Republican resolution
rejecting a set timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, echoing charges
leveled by many Democrats that the maneuver was an election year
ploy hatched by Republicans to force Democrats into one of two
black-or-white positions rather than engage in actual debate and
discussion. Speaking from the floor, Capps noted that 2,500
American servicemembers had been killed, 18,000 wounded, and $320
billion spent on a war that has made the United States more
vulnerable to terrorist attack rather than safer. She faulted
supporters of the war for linking it to the 9/11 attack, insisting
there was and is no evidence connecting the two events. “I am
pleased that al-Zarqawi is dead,” she said. “But his death does not
change the fact that Iraq has become a haven for terrorists and the
war is the best recruitment tool we could have handed our enemies.”
In her remarks, Capps chided House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an
Illinois Republican, for not allowing debate on the war in Iraq
during the three years since it was first declared, adding, “The
American people will not be fooled. They recognize that one day of
debate on a cynical, politically motivated resolution is no
substitute for a thoughtful Iraq policy.” Capps, who opposed the
war in Iraq from its inception and has voted against all but one
war funding bill, supports a strategic withdrawal of American
troops from the embattled country.

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