The mid-term elections told the administration that Oregon’s people and the American public wanted a serious change of course in the Iraq war.Then the following week, this article:
The war’s enormous cost in lives and taxpayer dollars hasn’t brought us victory in Iraq, it has merely continued to reduce the quality of life in our own country.
The recent news is that billions of taxpayer dollars for Iraq reconstruction have simply vanished down a black hole of corruption, while the President is requesting $240 billion more in supplemental funds for a war that only continues to get worse.
That money is being taken from our pockets, from our nation’s essential services and from our children’s futures.
More than 120 people packed a Pacific University auditorium Monday night to hear a series of speakers discuss the mounting cost – in dollars and lives – of the war in Iraq.I know some of the people who organized this event. Not all of them whacked out, but many are.
The gathering, promoted as a town hall meeting for Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, drew people from four counties, according to Walt Wentz, one of the organizers. Invitations were sent to Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Pendleton) and Ron Wyden (D-Portland) and Rep. David Wu (D-Portland).
Only Wu, whose district stretches from Portland to the coast, sent a representative, Wentz said.
After listening to several speakers, including two veterans of the current war, the group unanimously voted to adopt three resolutions that will be forwarded to Smith, Wyden and Wu.
The resolutions call for:
• The members of Congress to oppose any new appropriations for the war and use existing funding to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq immediately.
• Rep. Wu to provide his constituents with a detailed report on the cost of the war.
• The members of Congress to stop any escalation of the conflict with Iran.
The forum was organized by the West County Council for Human Dignity and Pacific’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies.
Secular war critics live in a hate-filled state of denial
So why do they hate America? No, not the French. Who cares what a bunch of sclerotic Europeans think about us anyway? I'm talking about those on the fringe left here at home who blame America for all real and imaginary injustices anywhere in the world.
I'm talking about people who hate this country's Constitution by ignoring what's in it and by forcing onto the rest of us what's not. I'm talking about people who want to destroy this nation's predominant religion and other vital societal institutions, and replace them with secularism and moral relativity. I'm talking about people who, not being able to prevail in the marketplace of ideas, try to impose a monopoly of thought by silencing the opposing views. I'm talking about people who wave United Nation flags even though (or maybe because) the UN is anti-American, ineffectual, and corrupt.
I'm talking about people who on 9/11 said we deserved it but were still perplexed that al Qaeda would attack a part of the country that had not supported George W. Bush. I'm talking about people who live in denial thinking that once Bush and those Christofascists who voted for him are gone the world will love us again and terrorists will just disappear, we will all live in peace and no wars will ever be necessary.
I'm talking about people who for the past four years have been doing everything in their power to undermine our efforts to fight terrorism. I'm talking about people who have demoralized and slandered U.S. troops in Iraq and belittled the hard work they do to defend the frail Iraqi democracy. And now, when the situation is really dire, when additional effort is necessary to reverse the gains terrorist have made, when Iran is supporting so called insurgents, they want to surrender to the most evil, the most barbaric, the most inhuman of any enemy we have ever faced.
But people I'm talking about have a problem because the public is not on their side. By overwhelming majorities (notwithstanding the recent elections) patriotic Americans think that we should prevail in Iraq, one of the central fronts in the war on terror. In the latest IBO/TIPP poll of 925 adults, two-thirds said a U.S. victory in Iraq was important. A similar POS poll of 800 likely voters found that less than 1-in-5 wanted U.S. to withdraw immediately from Iraq and couldn't care less what would happen in Iraq if we did so. Do they really want to recreate the aftermath of the U.S. defeat in Vietnam: the killing fields of Cambodia, the boat people, the re-education camps? Do they really hate America so much that to see her again humiliated, just as it was after Vietnam, they are willing to see countless millions perish in a jihadist bloodbath?
Iraqis who take the brunt of terrorist attacks don't want us to leave. Most are glad Hussein and his sons are dead. Most know that life under Saddam was only to get worse and now it can only get better. And our brave troops, who stand behind their Commander in Chief, want to finish their job. And our country will be safer if they do.
But the people I'm talking about don't care. They don't want to listen. Their hatred is blinding. Is it because their secular views force them to reject the ideals of this wonderful country and anything we stand and fight for? Maybe so. But I don't really want to know. Just as I don't want to know why suicide bombers strap explosive belts to themselves and, in the name of some medieval ideology, blow themselves up, taking with them lives of Iraqi children whose little bodies' severed parts are strewn all over Baghdad. I don't want to know. I just want them stopped.
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