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Visit Farr's Office Monday March 31st; We Need Action Not Lipservice

Monday March 31st 2 PM 701 Ocean St., Third Floor of the County Building at Congressman Farr's Office : Demand that Rep. Sam Farr Oppose Bush's $75 Billion War Appropriation and Come Out To Support Our Troops by Bringing Them Home.
A group of us will be visiting the offices of Rep. Sam Farr on Monday March 31st at 2 PM. The offices are on the 3rd floor of the County Building at 701 Ocean St. The reasons are as follows:


Rep. Sam Farr represents a safe district that is overwhelmingly opposed to the Iraqi war (see Sentinel story below).

Farr's office this week had no word on how Farr would vote re: the supplemental Iraq military appropriation of $75 billion, which would fund a month of war, coming up next week in Congress.

His aides there told me that they had heard nothing from him, and apparently that situation continued through closing time Friday.

In October, Farr voted for the biggest military appropriation in history on the same day that he voted against the use of force in Iraq. He "explained" this--through his aides--by saying that there was nothing specifically in the military bill for the Iraqi war.

Three separate visits to his office and numerous phone calls were not able to persuade him to apologize for this vote or get reassurance he would not repeat it in the future. Nor would he come out against U.S. use of uranium-depleted weapons.

Under pressure, finally, he has taken a higher profile against the war. However, at the February Santa Cruz Town Hall meeting, he brushed past strong suggestions like "impeaching the President" (as did Mayor Reilly and the City Council which set up the meeting). He gave equivocal answers on whether he opposed sanctions against Iraq (and has not altered that position since).

Farr did appear at a "Members Against War" press conference in Washington on Thursday (see Sentinel story below). Note, however, that while he criticizes US entry into the war, he does not call for withdrawal of troops, a ceasefire, UN condemnation of the pre-emptive U.S. strike, a halt to the bombing, or A VOTE AGAINST THE WAR APPROPRIATION COMING UP NEXT WEEK.

Farr needs to be held accountable and to take strong positions that reflect both the conscience and the political wisdom of his constituency.

It does not need to be said that the U.S. is getting bogged down in a disastrous, immoral, genocidal, and suicidal war that is only likely to get worse. But, there, I've said it anyway.

NUMBERS ARE IMPORTANT HERE, SO PLEASE COME IF YOU CAN. EVEN IF YOU CAN ONLY STAY A LITTLE WHILE.

For more information on Farr's past ducking of the issues, check www.santacruz.indymedia.org using the search engine.

For more info on this visit, call me at 831-423-4833.

Please come and raise your voices, come and witness, come and stop this war.

Robert Norse

P.S. Iraqi Peace Action activist Joe Williams and Santa Cruz Councilmember Mike Rotkin have agreed to participate in a radio debate on April 13th (tentatively scheduled for 10 am - 11 am) on Free Radio Santa Cruz (96.3 FM or www.microradio.net/frsc) on how to hold Sam Farr accountable to his local constituency and to community conscience on issues of war and peace. Call in number: 831-427-3772.



March 28, 2003

Farr, caucus lash out at Bush
By ROBYN MOORMEISTER
Sentinel Staff Writer

After receiving thousands of letters over the past week from constituents condemning the war against Iraq, Congressman Sam Farr has taken a public stand against the Bush administration’s use of military force.

The Carmel Democrat joined Members Against War, a roughly 20-member ad-hoc caucus of other Democratic congress members, at a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday afternoon.

"You don’t resolve diplomatic differences through war," Farr said. "You can bring pressure another way."

Farr echoed the comments of his constituents and insisted the United States should never have engaged in a military campaign in the first place.

Since the United States began its bombing campaign in Iraq on March 19, Farr’s Washington office has been swamped with more than 8,500 letters from his constituents in the 17th Congressional District, which includes most of Santa Cruz County.

In a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans more than 2-to-1, 99 percent of the letters — more than 8,300 of them — were from people opposed to the war, his press secretary said.

And the pile is growing.

"This is one of the largest responses that I’ve had (on an issue)," said Farr, a 10-year veteran of Congress.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, whose district includes Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley, knew of the group but declined to take part in the Thursday event, an aide said.

Eshoo was in Scotts Valley last Saturday and voiced opposition to the war. She said she identified with antiwar constituents who said they were frustrated their voices were not being heard, but felt it was important to support the troops.

Farr, who opposed October’s congressional resolution giving President Bush authority to wage pre-emptive war on Iraq, said Iraq has never been enough of a threat to warrant the kind of strike Bush has launched.

"We were being told that Iraq was a threat to the U.S., but intelligence indicated Iraq was not a threat," Farr said. "I and 132 other members of Congress voted against this.

"America has, over time, been shortchanging our commitment to diplomacy and the United Nations," he said. "I believe this war could have been avoided if we had invested more in diplomacy."

Thursday, Farr criticized the president’s attempts to link Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He said the administration hasn’t provided sufficient proof that Hussein was involved.

Farr was also critical of Bush’s claim that his administration has garnered support from a coalition of 40 countries, which Bush called more support than during the 1991 Gulf War.

"I question that," Farr said. "The president didn’t point out that in ’91, those countries in support of the war sent troops and America paid only 10 percent of the cost (of the war). The countries (Bush) is listing now are not sending troops. They’re lending only moral support."

Farr’s press conference was in stark contrast to one held earlier in the day at Camp David by Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Blair, standing alongside Bush at the president’s Maryland mountaintop retreat, declared in words similar to Bush’s that "Saddam Hussein and his hateful regime will be removed from power."

Bush for months has said Hussein is a multifaceted threat; not only is he risk to the American people, but to his Mideast neighbors and his own people.

"For nearly a century, the United States and Great Britain have been allies in the defense of liberty," Blair said. "We shared in a costly and heroic struggle against Nazism."

Farr helped U.S. Rep. Peter Defazio, a Democrat from Oregon, author a bill in February that would have repealed the president’s authority to use force in Iraq.

The bill never made it to the floor for a vote. Farr said he realizes he and his small group of dissenting Democratic lawmakers will
not have the sort of influence that would put an end to the war, but they would be remiss in their duties if they remained a silent minority, he said.

"There are a lot of people out there questioning this war," Farr said. "The reason I’m worried is that it’s not a question of winning — it’s at what cost."

Northern California representatives joining Farr in the group include Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Hilda Solis, D-El Monte; Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma; and Pete Stark, D-Fremont.
 
 


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Update on Farr Visit This Afternoon

Rachael D, a Farr aide, contact this morning at Farr's office confirmed she had heard nothing new to indicate that Farr would oppose the upcoming supplemental approproation ($62 billion+ of which is going to the Iraqi war).

She also acknowledged that Farr had not come out for a cease-fire, a bombing halt, or a withdrawal of troops.

She said she would try to find more information on the presentation Farr made at the Monterey Town Hall meeting last week as well as his position on the specifics of the Hunter Resolution of the week before supporting Bush and "the troops" (where he voted present, but didn't oppose it). (see text of the resolution below)

I also asked for more detail on any specific proposals for ending the war Farr may have made last Thursday in his D.C. press conference with other reps opposed to the war. The Sentinel story (above) mentions no specific plans, proposals, or demands.

We will be asking for straight clear answers from Farr today at his office on the 3rd floor of the County Building. We will meet initially at 1:30 PM in the cafeteria in the basement. I encourage anyone interested to join us or to call Farr at 429-1976.


HUNTER RESOLUTION SUPPORTING BUSH ON WHICH FARR ABSTAINED:

108TH CONGRESS 1ST SESSION H. CON. RES. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Mr. HUNTER submitted the following concurrent resolution
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

Expressing the support and appreciation of the Nation for the President and the members of the Armed Forces who are
participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Whereas the United States Armed Forces, a total force comprised of active, National Guard, and Reserve personnel, are now undertaking courageous and determined oper-ations against the forces of Saddam Hussein’s regime;

Whereas the Senate and House of Representatives and the American people have the greatest pride in the members of
the Armed Forces and strongly support them;

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105–338) stated that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that re-gime;

Whereas on October 16, 2002, the President signed into law House Joint Resolution 114 of the 107th Congress, the
Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107–243), which pro-vides
congressional authorization for the use of military force against Iraq;

Whereas the United Nations Security Council, in Security Council Resolution 1441, adopted on November 8, 2002, voted
unanimously that Iraq ‘‘. . . will face serious con-sequences as a result of its continued violations of its ob-ligations’’ to disarm in accordance with all relevant United Nations resolutions;

Whereas Iraq remains in material breach of the relevant United Nations resolutions;

Whereas the United States has assembled and deployed an allied military coalition to apply pressure on Saddam
Hussein to comply with the relevant United Nations reso-lutions;

Whereas on March 18, 2003, the President transmitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President
pro tempore of the Senate the President’s de-termination, consistent with the Authorization for Use of Military Force
Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107–243), that reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, and

that the President’s use of military force against Iraq is consistent with necessary ongoing efforts by the United States and other countries against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, orga-nizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001;

Whereas on the evening of March 17, 2003, the President of the United States issued Saddam Hussein and his sons a
final ultimatum to leave Iraq within 48 hours or face United States military intervention;

Whereas, when Saddam Hussein failed to comply, the President ordered United States Armed Forces to commence
military operations against the forces of Saddam Hussein during the evening of March 19, 2003, under the code name of
Operation Iraqi Freedom, in order to liberate Iraq, remove Saddam Hussein from power, and neutralize Iraq’s weapons
of mass destruction;

Whereas the United States Armed Forces and allied forces are performing their missions with great courage and
distinction in carrying out air, land, and sea attacks against Iraqi military targets; and

Whereas the ability of the Armed Forces to successfully perform their mission requires the support of their nation,
community, and families:

Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the Nation—

(1) to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military
operations in Iraq as part of the on-going Global War on Terrorism;

(2) to the members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are carrying out their missions with excellence, patriotism, and bravery; and

(3) to the families of the United States military personnel serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, who are providing
support and prayers for their loved ones currently engaged in military operations in Iraq.

Vote on the Resolution H-Con Res 103

Voting Nay: Conyers, MacDermott, Honda, Wrangle, Waters, Jones-OH, Scott-Vir, Watson, Lee, & Stark

Voting Present: Brown-OH, Jackson-IL, Ron Paul-TX, Corinne Brown, Sheila Jackson Lee, Hain, Carson-IND, Johnson, Brush, Clay, Kilpatrick, Salvo, Cummings, Kucinich, Tchkovsky, Davis-IL, Lewis-GA, Watt, Doggit, Meeks-NY, Farr-CA, & Owens.

An equivalent senate resolution S. Res 95 (text accessible at loc.thomas.gov) was passed 99-0. Miller from Ga (D) was not there.

 

I know!

Let's demand that Farr go to Iraq and strap himself to a weapons bunker as a human shield. Anything less than that is a failure to achieve the goals that we demand of everyone around us, no matter what else they are doing.

Hmm... sliperly slope from your arguments to the one above. If Farr DID act as a human shield, you would "protest" which target he chose. There is no making you happy, is there?

The article you quote here states that he is one of the lone people in Congress still opposing this war. THis is what you wanted, right? Have you read the SJ Mercury News front page article stating HOW MANY REPRESENTATIVES HAVE RUN FOR THE PATRIOTIC HILLS? No. Even though he is in solidarity with your golden idols Barbara Lee and Dennis Kucinich, you think that this is somehow not good enough unless he... becomes a human shield, perhaps? By the way, Mr. Kucinich ALSO voted "present" for the soldiers' support resolution vote. Are you going to rally against him now?

Speaking of which, if you were really opposed to the war, you all might want to go to Iraq and be human shields yourself (put your money where your mouth is). Or are you just armchair activists?

By the way, I tried to leave a last comment in the previous comment chain, but it was never posted (tried twice). It's not worth my time to appease you, which is why I haven't bothered since.
 

money and activism

> Speaking of which, if you were really opposed to the war,
> you all might want to go to Iraq and be human shields
> yourself (put your money where your mouth is). Or are you
> just armchair activists?

No, what we are, are Americans who wish to live our lives without each of us individually paying $thousands$, if not $tens-of-thousands$ per year in "taxes" to the rogue state of Washington DC so that it can pay for these carpet-bombing piracy raids on the natural resources of people halfway around the world.

Truth, justice, and the American way - whatever happened to these? The DoD should revert to its old name - the Dept of War. It's been quite a long time since anything they did was in legitimate defense of America, unless you stretch "self defense" to mean killing anyone who looks at you sideways. "Yo, like, he was steppin' to me, dawg! I had to bust a cap before he made his move!"

Whatever happened to truth, justice, and the American way? Now it's all propaganda, persecution, and blind loyalty.

The mass hysteria that passes for American culture is frightening.

If you're so pro-war, why aren't YOU over there attacking Iraqis?

If you're not willing to do your own dirty work, at least have the balls to pay for it yourself, instead of expecting a handout from the rest of us for YOUR military every April 15th - in fact, every 2 weeks according to my paystub.

That goes for anti-war protesters too. You want these wars to stop? Then stop paying taxes.

Or do you prefer helping pay for Washington to kill innocent people and steal their property, just to save your own sorry skin from the thugs at the IRS?

They call that "complicity", you know.

The American Revolution was begun over far lesser problems than we have today. Pro-war, anti-war.. y'all suck.

-Van
 

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