Meaningful Distinction:

Patrick S. Lasswell Look outward for something to accomplish, not inward for something to despise.
pslblog at gmail dot com
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Open Letter to Congress Regarding War Funding

Right now people in Washington, D.C. are advocating de-funding the war in Iraq to prevent President Bush from surging troops and I urge you to keep faith with the troops. It is unconscionable to withhold the tools of victory from troops you have sent into the field. If you have a better plan for victory in this war, I urge you to present it to the American people and I will help you however I am able. In the Second World War, then Senator Harry S Truman did magnificent work making sure that the troops got their gear without getting swindled. That is the apex of congressional involvement of war funding. Please do not establish a new nadir. If all you have is a willingness to trade the lives of our troops for callow political advantage, I must urge you to constrain the impulse to betrayal.

I have the privilege of serving the nation as a Navy Reservist. I expect to be called up for a tour in the next two years, and I am still more than ready and willing to serve. As a civilian consultant, I traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan this year and I assure you that Iraq can work. About one third of Iraq is doing well and growing rapidly under the protection of Iraqi forces. The only coalition forces in Iraqi Kurdistan are protected by Iraqi forces and are engaged in reconstruction projects with the help of a grateful populace. I was welcomed into people's homes and treated with the highest honors simply because I am an American. The only thing is, everywhere I went, the most educated people quietly begged me not to let the American people forget them to death.

I promise you that everyone on active duty and in the reserves will remember a decision to de-fund the war, and so will their families and friends. Six million people in the Kurdish region now enjoying the most prosperous time in ten thousand years will remember, too. Around the world our enemies will remember that Congress handed them victory for temporary political advantage.

There are more important fights in Congress right now. Earmark transparency leaps to mind as an example of politics worth doing that will have a lasting benefit for the United States. There are safe nuclear power designs, generations more advanced and stable than anything built in the US, designs developed at OSU in Corvallis. These power plants will meet rising electrical demand and reduce our dependence on foreign energy if we can get them through the mindless red tape that is stalling their construction. You could do that and be thanked by a grateful and prosperous nation.

Please do not abandon us for temporary political gain.

Patrick S Lasswell
Portland, OR
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