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The Afghanistan War and the California Senate Race


The Afghanistan War and the California Senate Race

Tom Gallagher

In his February state Democratic Convention speech, California Senate President Kevin DeLeon took U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein to task for her vote in favor of the Iraq War. No surprise there – he hopes to unseat the state’s senior U.S. Senator and candidates have frequently focused on opponents’ pro-Iraq War votes, most notably in the Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders campaigns against Hillary Clinton.


De Leon also supports Real Single Payer, a $15 minimum wage, CLEAN ENERGY, is the son of immigrants and is not afraid to use the phrase “working class” instead of the insipid “working people” or (worse) “middle class.” Unfortunately, he was one of the prime sponsors of Caly’s anti-BDS legislation that is a blatant violation of First Amendment rights.


Well, he’s decided to sit out the race of the most important senatorial race in the U.S. even though Our Revolution has endorsed De Leon, even though a majority of Dem delegates at the Caly state convention voted for De Leon.

This is going to be a close race, Feinsten has the bucks and the machine hacks. Bernie’s personal endorsement would be YOOGE.

This is truly a profile in cowardice and political stoopidity on his part and allows him to support the war monger Feinstein in the Fall should she win. Sickening.


One voice against the forever war economy, where are the other? I hope that Mr DeLeon uses his platform as the California Senate President to reach out to voters.


I don’t know anything about him, but he can’t be any worse than Feinstein.


I don’t know if DeLeon’s only argument against the war in Afghanistan is the one presented in this article or if the article only presented part of his objection. So in my critique of the presentation of this objection I’m not assuming that this is how DeLeon thinks.

He told the Nation magazine that “now we are 17 years straight in Afghanistan and this war has cost us over $1 trillion so far. These types of votes have real consequences on human life as well as our budget: money that we could have utilized best in education, in job creation through investments in our infrastructure, our roads, our highways, in clean energy, in investments in precision medicine to find the next cure for Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.”

This is a selfish and despicable argument to be against war if it’s the main reason. It says the reason we shouldn’t go into countries that are not attacking us and destroy their infrastructure, kill and maim vast numbers of them, rip families apart, and create chaos that destroys the lives of millions of people is that it costs too much and means we have less to spend on ourselves.

Who the hell cares about the people over there? They don’t count. They aren’t real like us. No, we shouldn’t go to war over there not because it means we end up killing their children, only that we might have less funds to spend on our children’s education.

This is a despicable mindset, because it has no real objection to destroying others and those convinced to oppose a war on these grounds will turn on a dime if they can be convinced that destroying others will improve our lives here.

I surely hope that DeLeon is not a one note opposer of Afghanistan like he’s been presented here.


Good article and mentioning of De Leon, something I didn’t know and will keep in mind. However, I wouldn’t say Bernie “broke new ground” in his debates on foreign policy with Clinton. He only pressed Clinton on things when he felt cornered, and he played it too safe in my opinion. He should of took every opportunity to oppose militarism, since it leaves scraps for social spending and endangers us. He broke little ground if any.


He also said these “types of votes have real consequences on human life.” I think that would cover all human life, including those over seas. Sure, he could have emphasized that more, and the criminality of our actions around the world, but he emphasized the costs. Considering virtually no one criticizes the Afghan war, at least he raises the point about human life and costs.


As I said, my critique isn’t one of DeLeon as I don’t know if he limited his argument to what was presented. But the Nation and this article thought that part was pertinent, assuming he has spoken also against the war because of its costs on the life of the people we make war on, which I want to believe he’s done.

It’s that in the US so many think that argument is the pertinent argument to make against war. You know Bernie makes the same one. No one in the mainstream discussion seems to want to discuss that it’s just plain WRONG to bomb, main, shoot, kill, invade, and destroy other nations.


Bernie Sanders certainly didn’t want to talk this war about in a debate with Hillary Clinton when asked point blank by a reporter what he would do about it. He very quickly shifted to his favorite topic the economic problems of the US working class, hoping I guess to get into his comfort zone. So what happens if the US just leaves? Does the Taliban take over the country again an impose strict sharia law? Does ISIS start another caliphate? Do the war lords return to power? Will al-Qaeda set up training camps again? These are the type of questions that DeLeon needs to address. Winning the war seems impossible as the Taliban just retreats to Pakistan when they have to. It appears they willl never give up. The country is divided into four ethnic groups. Is there some way to include all of these groups in a central government?. I am glad DeLeon is talking about this was. It should be discussed by politicians.


It should be talked about, but given the US track record, I don’t think we should have much if any say. Let the UN take control.


I would assume it has been discussed in the UN although I can’t recall a specific instance. The US has to have a say since it is the US that is helping the central government in the war. The only way I see the whole thing ending is if the central government and the Taliban can reach a political agreement but so far that has been impossible to achieve. No side can seem to win and no side is giving up. That is where things have stood for years and it looks like it could continue that way for years to come. For the people in Afghanistan life under the central government is awful and life under the Taliban is awful. And massive terrorist attacks are still occurring in Kabul. It is a pretty terrible situation and now the US is getting more involved after withdrawing almost all its troops. With Trump and Bolton in charge I wouldn’t count on the US finding a good solution.


Given that the majority have no interest in world affairs, I somehow allow politicians the liberty to voice a platform that is a feasible sale to a particular audience. We need the veterans of the gulf and Afghanistan WARS to be more united in their opposition. Remember how the Veterans of Vietnam were instrumental in closing down that blood bath. Do you remember any politician of that era other who initiated protest against that war? My memory recalls that opposition started at the street level but today without mass mobilization congress ignores public opinion for the most part. Ever since the 70s the country has been insidiously going backward.


Lets not mention the real progressive running in the senate race-Alison Hartson--------Lets also not talk about the hypocrisy of Feinstein running ads saying she supports medicare for all. Also almost no discussion on the plantation owners telling NFL players what they are allowed to do. Slavery is alive and well in corporate america.