Since the November 2006 election, the sentiment of the majority of Americans to end the war in Iraq continues to increase. A July Gallup Poll reported the highest-ever level of opposition to the war with 62 percent saying the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to Iraq.
The war in Iraq should never have been fought, cannot be won, and must now be ended.
As part of the withdrawal, the U.S. must acknowledge the damage we have done and make a commitment to work with the international community in the reconstruction and resettlement of Iraq.
The reconstruction is part of our moral responsibility to help Iraqis rebuild their country. At the same time, we have a moral responsibility to honor the sacrifice of our American military by supporting the families of those men and women who died and by providing care for the tens of thousands who have suffered physical and/or psychological wounds.
The American people are ahead of the Bush Administration in understanding the need to end the war now. Since the Bush Administration refuses to do what is necessary to bring a responsible end to the war, Congress must.
Other Candidates Deserve to Be Heard
I was watching the Democratic Party soundbite festival on ABC (one cannot call it debate when no debate happens), and it occured to me that ABC and the other mainstream media outlets have been systematically hijacking our democracy. Radical thought? Hardly. In this particular forum, there were, as usual, eight very qualified candidates for president of the USA. Yet the MSM (mainstream media) only seems to focus in on three of them. Other candidates, such as Representative Dennis Kucinich, Senator Chris Dodd, and former Senator Mike Gravel, get very little free airtime.
This seems like the media is anointing our candidates for us. Hillary Clinton because she is ... well she is Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama because he is a great speaker and has a certain appeal, and John Edwards because he was a former VP candidate who some think should be VP now, but for election irregularities.
Now this is unfair. The other men running deserve to be heard, and if the American public doesn't care for their ideas on how to fix the myriad problems we have in this country, they don't have to support them. I, for one, would like to hear what others besides the "holy trinity" have to say.
Same with the Republican Party. Romney and Giuliani are certainly not the only candidates who should be heard because the MSM says so. Let all the declared candidates be heard, and the American public will decide. Do not let the media decide who should be our candidates. I believe Americans are smart enough to decide for ourselves if only the MSM would let us.
Political Ambition Over Protection
We have just returned from a 16-month deployment to Iraq and have been extremely concerned with the inexcusable actions that occurred back home in the last couple of months. In May, Senators Clinton, Obama, and Dodd voted against the Iraq supplemental-funding bill, which contained an amendment that will provide our troops with the mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles that are desperately needed - regardless if our troops leave tomorrow or a year from now.
Even more discouraging was the fact that former Senator Edwards and Governor Richardson publicly agreed with their position. Apparently all of these candidates hope that ordinary Americans won't read the fine print of the bill. But halfway around the world we knew what happened - only Joe Biden was looking out for us. Biden has been fighting to end this war longer than any of them but that hasn't kept him from tirelessly working to get more MRAPs produced over the objections of the Bush administration. Military experts acknowledge that if enough MRAPs are deployed to replace our current vehicles, up to 80 percent of deaths and casualties from roadside bombs will be eliminated. What is wrong with these Democrats? It has been said that character is doing the right thing when no one's looking. Well, in this case, we are all too aware that the production of the MRAP vehicles had already been delayed due to the Bush administration's failure to provide us with the necessary leadership. Now we have Democratic candidates for president who have placed political ambition over our protection.
We know that the process of redeployment takes a very long time. Even if the president decided to leave Iraq tomorrow, our troops would still need the protection of the MRAP. It is not a debatable subject. If only for our families' peace of mind, we need to believe that our leaders care for us more than they do winning the presidency of the United States.
As Iraq veterans, we want to see all of our brothers and sisters come home as soon as possible. But we cannot imagine a future commander-in-chief who would put us in unnecessary danger for even one day. And this is what most of these candidates did by voting against MRAP funding.
In November of 2008, it will be exceedingly difficult for these candidates to explain to Americans why they voted against the safety of our troops - and virtually impossible to explain it to military families with a straight face. Only Joe Biden of all the democrats can stand that test.
Iowa Iraq War Veterans Jeremy Reynolds (Newton), Joshua Carlson (Cedar Falls), Nathan Greazel (Iowa City), Warren L. Horsley (Defiance), Jared Parmater (Vinton), James Mowrer (Des Moines), Todd Pritchard (Charles City), Chad Pfab (Dubuque), William Scott (Altoona)