When they weren’t thumbing through Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s budget proposal Wednesday legislators like state Rep. John Geragosian, D-New Britain, were collecting signatures in opposition to President George W. Bush’s planned troop escalation.
The letter drafted by the Progressive States Network with help from the Connecticut Citizens Action Group says as of November there were 970 Connecticut National Guard soldiers deployed overseas in addition to those serving in the military. As of September the war effort cost Connecticut “over nine billion dollars.” Although the total cost is measured “not only in dollars but also in lost lives, combat injuries and psychic trauma.” The letter goes on to encourage Connecticut’s Congressional delegation to support Sen. Chris Dodd’s legislation mandating that any new troop deployment for Iraq be approved by Congress. “Finally we call for Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the President from spending taxpayer dollars on an escalation in Iraq without first seeking Congressional approval,” the letter concludes. Geragosian said Wednesday evening he had collected at least 107 signatures. Earlier this week, Senator Joseph Lieberman, who has no loyalty to any political party since he was elected as an independent, voted against ending the filibuster on a debate on the war in Iraq. He joined with Republican leaders and nearly all of his Republican colleagues to block debate and a vote on a bipartisan resolution expressing the Senate’s opposition to sending more American troops into a civil war in Iraq. By doing so, Lieberman gave President Bush the green light to move forward with his escalation plans. On Thursday CCAG and a number of peace groups will call on Lieberman to drop the political games and allow the bipartisan resolution to come to a vote. The demonstration is planned for 4:30 p.m. outside Lieberman’s Hartford office located at Constitution Plaza.