Lynn Woolsey

Stand Up to an Unjust War - Jan. 28, 2003

Lynn Woolsey
January 28, 2003— Washington, DC
Progressive Caucus' Alternative State of the Union Address
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In Homer’s "Iliad,” the fanatical followers of Achilles in his terrible war against Troy were known as Myrmidons. The definition of a ‘Myrmidon’ is "anyone that is a faithful follower that carries out orders without question, protest, or pity.”

Let me be clear: the American people are not Myrmidons, nor are my colleagues standing here. The people I work for in the 6th Congressional District of California do not follow without question-and they demand that I ask questions as well.

We know that real patriotism means standing up against an irresponsible war. We know that in a democracy it is not only our right to oppose any misguided policies of our government, it is our responsibility. The President’s responsibility is to get his directions from Congress in order to execute the will of the People- I remind him, now, that the people do not want war.

The American people need to know that their voices are being heard, and they want to trust that their elected officials in Washington are not Myrmidons-

These voices are condemning Bush’s unprecedented and un-American policy of pre-emptive strikes.

They are condemning his threats to unleash nuclear weapons … his policy of war in search of justification.

These voices are condemning any sacrifice of blood on the altar of oil.

They are demanding the weapons inspectors have more time, and they are struggling to prioritize peace, while the president prioritizes war.

The American people know that real security requires peace, quality healthcare, an education worthy of our children, and economic security for every American.

The American people know that a Myrmidon would not question this foolish war, but a patriot would.