In 2001, Rep. Barbara Lee, of California, was the lone member of Congress to vote "no" against the infamous Authorization for the Use of Military Force, a poorly thought out bill, which has made possible a decade of war. Lee's reason for voting against the bill are simple, she mistrusted the amount of military power it gave the Bush Administration, and, therefore, she followed her conscience. In a generous statement, in an interview with Diane Randall of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Lee offered some excuse for her colleagues, saying they did not think the US would remain in Afghanistan for ten years. Perhaps so, but what is clear, in 2001 Rep. Barbara was on the side of the angels.
In 2012, she is once again taking a brave stand against war-mongering and needless aggression. Part of a small group of House Representatives, GOP and Democrats, she has voted "nay" on House Resolution 568. This small, principled band are Justin Amash of MI, Earl Blumenauer of OR, Geoff Davis of KY, John Duncan of TN, Dennis Kucinich of OH, the aforementioned Barbara Lee of CA, Jim McDermott of WA, John Olver of MA, Ron Paul of TX, Peter Stark of CA, and Lynn Woolsey of CA. These good people deserve our thanks. Let us consider the powerful forces that are arrayed against them: greed, myopic economic interests, anger, fear, ambition, aggression, and friendship. DC isn't filled with monsters, imagine what it is like to be the one person who breaks with the herd? Just as powerfully, consider the psychological cost of standing up for a nation of so many apathetic citizens. Where is the thanks? If you can't help monetarily, a kind word of thanks is as important. Take a brief moment to thank these people.
The bill itself is typical DC agit-prop, vague, maudlin, and filled with the promise of violence. Beware foreigners whenever your nation is referred to in the following context:
[The US] expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the Iranian people.
In other words, get ready, because, to paraphrase Walter H. Page, we are gonna shoot you into self-government.