Portland prepares to surrender to the fascists... or maybe join their cause officially. Portland Commissioner Randy Leonard intends to introduce a resolution to the City Council calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
From Saturday's Oregonian,
Leonard voted against a measure in January 2003, put forth by Commissioner Erik Sten, condemning a pre-emptive strike on Iraq. But that was when he, like many Americans, believed Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction, developing nuclear weapons and that Saddam Hussein was a threat to Israel and the Middle East.
On Friday, Leonard said the Bush administration squandered his trust by manipulating intelligence about Iraq's weapons capabilities.
Portland Mayor Tom Potter is reported to agree with the resolution.
Peace activists hope that it's a new Portland council at a different time. The 2003 measure failed 2-2 with Sten and then-Mayor Vera Katz voting in favor and Jim Francesconi and Leonard voting against. Commissioner Dan Saltzman was absent but said he would not support the measure. Katz and Francesconi are gone, replaced by Mayor Tom Potter and Commissioner Sam Adams.
Potter supports Leonard's idea, his spokesman, John Doussard, said Friday. The other council members were either unavailable or not ready to talk publicly about the subject.
Do we understand the stakes of the upcoming mid-term elections? Its not just a Federal matter. Every political office at every civic level must considered with great care with regard to the consequences. Ask yourselves, if you fail to speak with your vote, who will speak for you and in your stead?
Portland area peace and social service groups have been discussing the idea of another city resolution since last winter, said Kelly Campbell, peace director for the American Friends Service Committee. She said she and other activists were surprised when they approached Leonard on Monday and learned that he would not only support the idea, but also wanted to champion it.
"People across the country are realizing there is a local cost to the war in Iraq," Campbell said. "If we can have our City Council make a statement, we hope that our congress people, senators and our state Legislature step up and take notice and do what they can to bring the troops home."
Leonard said he is not sure when he'll bring the issue to the council but said he has spoken with most of his colleagues about the idea. Leonard said he is working on the language and will consult with Oregon's federal delegation before he calls for a vote. Last week, Gov. Ted Kulongoski called for a strict timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq.
I submit to you, if Republicans fail to turn out to vote this November, the enemies of the United States will prevail... city by city.