I like to acknowledge when the members of the Congressional Black Caucus are up to something good as opposed to well, self-serving. Jane Hamsher over at FireDogLake gives a solid shout-out to Rep. Barbara Lee’s efforts to take the strong stand on Iraq that the Democratic party leadership seems challenged to erect.

The tension between the Congressional Business Caucus and the CBC Progressives may continue though on Iraq and the need to re-define our national security strategy, the CBC appears more united.

Rep. Barbara Lee is leading a group of 78 Members of the House of Representatives in telling the President that the only funding for the war they are planning to vote for will be funding that protects the troops and fully redeploys them in 2008. I am proud to say that by my count (please correct me if I am wrong) 33 out of the 78 signers to the letter are members of the CBC. Rep. Lee wants to get to 100 signers which would be almost a fourth of the House itself.

Only a handful of black legislators have NOT signed the letter. Will someone in their family please call and ask them what their problem is? I urge the following lawmakers to get on the bandwagon now and help bring Peanut, Junebug, Lil Man and my cousin Rupert home.

The List of Shame:

Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Jim Clyburn (D-SC)
Al Green (D-TX)
Stephanie Tubbs Johnson (D-OH)
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI) and the Chair of the CBC — Shame!
Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and the CBC Foundation Chair
and of course, an extra mention medal of valor for William J Jefferson (D-LA)

Please email your Member of Congress, especially if you live in one of those states.
I was glad to see some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on board although not in the near universal numbers seen among the CBC. I also hope that co-signers and CHC leaders Reps. Raul Grijalva and Grace Napolitano can help recruit more of their fellow CHC members to help get the count to 100 by the end of Sept. This war impacts Latinos in America disproportionately almost as much as blacks so their support for redeployment to a place where troops are really needed (as opposed to the crossfire of civil war) like Afghanistan/Pakistan would be appreciated. I mean, even Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul is co-signing!

Here’s an excerpt from the letter.

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to inform you that we will only support appropriating additional funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office.

More than 3,600 of our brave soldiers have died in Iraq. More than 26,000 have been seriously wounded. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured in the hostilities and more than 4 million have been displaced from their homes. Furthermore, this conflict has degenerated into a sectarian civil war and U.S. taxpayers have paid more than $500 billion, despite assurances that you and your key advisors gave our nation at the time you ordered the invasion in March, 2003 that this military intervention would cost far less and be paid from Iraqi oil revenues.

We agree with a clear and growing majority of the American people who are opposed to continued, open-ended U.S. military operations in Iraq, and believe it is unwise and unacceptable for you to continue to unilaterally impose these staggering costs and the soaring debt on Americans currently and for generations to come.

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