Monday, February 25, 2008

Iraq/Recession Campaign

At the website today, you'll see this:

As long as we keep pouring that money down the drain in Iraq, we’ll never solve our economic woes. We won’t have the money to take care of people hurt by the economic downturn, or to invest in making our economy more competitive.

That’s a message that pundits and politicians need to hear.

A polling by has shown that, 69-to-25, U.S. swing voters have expressed their strong support for ending spending for the Iraq war.

This morning, former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth Edwards joined top anti-Iraq war leaders to announce the launch of a new nationwide, multimillion dollar campaign aimed at shining a light on the cost of war in Iraq. The new Iraq/Recession Campaign was launched with a teleconference. Along with the Edwardses on the teleconference were John Podesta, CEO of the Center for American Progress, Eli Pariser, executive director of; Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, Jon Soltz of, among others.

As economic concerns weigh heavily on the minds of Americans, opposition to President Bush's reckless war in Iraq continues to grow. The massive cost of the war in Iraq- hurtling toward one trillion dollars - has increased demand for a strategy to bring U.S. troops home. The Iraq/Recession Campaign will highlight the majority of Americans who want to see leadership on investing in critical priorities at home and establishing real security throughout the world.

Speaking from her home in North Carolina, Elizabeth Edwards gave a reason why she was lending her name to this campaign. She said that it's important for the American people to understand, if they feel that the economy is their 'Number One issue,' that ending the war in Iraq should be their 'Number One issue.' Her husband, 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards agreed, saying that, wherever he went in this country over the course of his now-suspended campaign, there was great angst expressed among voters about their personal economic security. Issues like gasoline costs, healthcare costs and availability, rising college costs, and mortgage foreclosure crises loomed heavily on voter's minds. Former Senator Edwards stressed that voters will have a clear choice this Fall, the choice being between a Democrat who will end the war and focus on the economic anxiety that exists and a Republican - which will likely be John McCain - who will continue the Iraq war and the failed foreign policy of the Bush administration. [See Ryan Teague Beckwith's Edwards: Iraq, economy tied,]

Incidentally, John McCain said, just today, that to win the White House he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, he said... "Then I lose. I lose." [AP]

John Podesta of the Center for American Progress cited the falling dollar, the price of oil at times exceeding over $100 per barrel, the staggering federal IOU's due to the need to restore a nearly broken military and to take proper care of our nation's veterans, huge deficits, and stagflation the likes of which have not been seen since the 1970s as reasons for voter anxiety and deep concern about the millions the taxpayers are forced to spend each and every day that we remain occupying Iraq.


On other media websites, the word is.....

The Hill puts an Obama-spin on the new Iraq Recession campaign, but not one spokeperson involved on the campaign has said this morning that the Iraq/Recession campaign is about Obama or Clinton or even strictly about Democrats. It's about the American people and their economic priorities. See: Edwards joins Obama supporters in new anti-war effort by Walter Alarkon, The Hill

John Nichols at the Nation is still wondering if Edwards will endorse either Democratic candidate and he also talks about how Edwards is defintely not waiting around for inspiration to strike, but is instead "endorsing" an approach to the 2008 race.

CBS' Vaughn Ververs provides us with: Edwards Joins Effort To Link Iraq, Economy

The Guardian's Elana Schor tells us that Edwards speaks out against Iraq war spending, calling the group of anti-Iraq-occupation campaigners "natural allies for either Clinton or Obama during a general election race against McCain."

The Swamp at the ChiTrib has more. (and this philosophically relates to the quote I use from MoveOn's Eli Pariser at the very end of this blogpost.)

Send a Letter to the Editor

At, you can easily send a Letter to the Editor: The cost of the war and urgent needs at home

Questions for John McCain

During the January 24, 2008 Republican presidential debate, a question taken from an audience-member summarized what some are calling the Iraq recession -- the connection between the US's presence in Iraq and recession back home. has a question for Senator and likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain:

CNN's Political Ticker Showcases the ad today.
See: targets McCain on Iraq

The Caucus [Leslie Wayne,NYT Political Blog] talks about the ad.

Marc Ambinder on McCain's "100 Years" in Iraq. Listen to Senator McCain trying to clarify '100 years' here.


Recession and Iraq

Some will likely debate and perhaps dispute the connection between economic recession and the war in Iraq. This posting by NYT columnist Paul Krugman isn't directly related to the new Iraq-Recession campaign, but he gave an opinion in late January about the talk of economic recession and how the Iraq War relates (and doesn't relate) directly to U.S. economic woes. One very important point Mr. Krugman makes is that Iraq would be exporting more oil now if we hadn’t invaded — a million barrels a day, perhaps — and that would have kept today's high oil prices down somewhat.

Have You Heard About the Bush-Legacy Bus?

One new bit of information I got this morning (and what I thought to be rather amusing for some reason) is Brad Woodhouse's explanation of the "Bush Legacy Bus" project. The Washington Post has explained the project, virtually a rolling museum, as only part of an ever-growing effort for critics to chip away studiously at the legacy of the President who has said, time and time again, that he believes history will judge him ever-so-kindly when the smoke of the many unnecessary fires he's created has dissipated to somehow magically reveal a transformed Middle East.
A negative verdict on Bush also animates the work of the Bush Legacy Project, launched recently by the liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change, which announced plans to spend $8.5 million over the next year to keep the public focused on what it considers the administration's many failures. [WaPo, Michael Abramowitz, February 4, 2008]

I guess it's the name "Bush Legacy Bus" that's caused me to mentally visualize a short yellow bus carting around all of the simpleton-like Bushisms and pathetic misleadings that have passed from the President's clumsy lips over the past eight years.

The Wall Street Journal's Susan Davis says,
Americans United for Change will spend an estimated $8-$9 million on their Bush Legacy Project, a "national multi-faceted effort to define President George Bush’s legacy," and seeks to define McCain as an extension of that. Additionally, USAction said they will spend $10 million on their campaign that includes Iraq, health care, the budget and education. Jeff Blum, executive director of the group, discussed a recent USAction-commissioned poll that showed 74% of respondents stating the country is on the wrong track and that the war and the economy are top issues of concern. "The results show people are angry. They want to get out of Iraq to invest in America’s future," he said.


Progressive Voters Give John and Elizabeth Edwards Credit and Thanks

NCDem blogs about the new campaign at the website Daily Kos. See: Edwards and Obama Endorsers, MoveOn & SEIU, Launch "Iraq/Recession" Campaign

A February 19, 2008 quote from Eli Pariser,

As of today, we've spent over $495 billion in Iraq.

With the economy in the tank, think about what that money could do here at home: Cover millions of kids who don't have insurance, or help folks who're losing their jobs and homes. Instead, it's supporting a failed occupation in Iraq. More and more Americans are making the connection between the billions we've spent over there and the crumbling economy here at home. In fact, a new AP poll shows that most Americans think ending the war is the best way to help the economy.

But pundits still talk about the war and the economy as two unrelated things. That's why we're launching our "Iraq/Recession" campaign—our push to make sure that politicians and pundits understand what voters already know: As long as we keep pouring that money down the drain in Iraq, we won't have the money we need to solve our economic woes.


benny06 said...

Good work, I see that you were in on the call.

I used and linked parts of your diary to one I did here (with attribution) at Docudharma.

I want to get this news out everywhere.

I am glad to see JRE and EE exercising their leadership. They promised not to forget us, and they are fulfilling that promise with this start.

Larry said...

The economy is headed into the deepest recession in decades and it can be attributed to Bush's forever war.

Unless this debacle is stopped soon, it will soon become Bush's Great Depression.