Sorry blogger was down for a while (and is still having some speed issues). I know of a few folks who told me they couldn't comment...Come back! We need you!
In any case, here is a letter my friend Robert Greenwald (you may know him from his fantastic films, Outfoxed, Iraq For Sale, And Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices to name a few) got from Senator Tedddy Kennedy regarding legislation he is introducing to stop the Bush/McCain/Lieberman escalation (probably due to latent personal issues of lacking "escalation")
Robert told me I could make the letter public. And it is a good read - so have at it!
Update: blogger is also not letting me format this correctly. So sorry for messed up spacing in the letter below...
Thank you so much for your concern and involvement on the issue of
Iraq. I deeply believe that Iraq is the defining issue of our time.
I am proud to have voted against the authorization for war in 2002, but
the issue now is what we do going forward.
Tomorrow night, President Bush is going to outline for the nation
his "way forward" in Iraq. And from all reports, his way forward
involves escalating American involvement by sending up to 20,000 more
soldiers and Marines to fight in the middle of what has become a civil
war. Every American, no matter what their political stripe, knows
that the current strategy isn't working and that we need a better way
forward. I believe that President Bush's plan is the wrong way
forward. It's just stay the course under a different name, and I
strongly oppose it.
Today, I will introduce legislation that requires Congress to vote
before the President escalates troop levels in Iraq. My legislation
will provide that not one additional soldier can be sent and not one
additional dollar can be expended until Congress debates and approves
the President's proposed escalation of American forces in Iraq. If
the election in November was about anything, it was about
accountability and the need for a changed policy in Iraq. Most
Americans oppose this war, and an even more oppose sending more troops
to Iraq. The American people deserve to be heard before we
appropriate additional funds for additional troops in Iraq.
In October 2002, Congress authorized (1) a war against the regime of
Saddam Hussein because (2) he was believed to have weapons of mass
destruction and (3) an operational relationship with Al Qaeda, and (4)
because he was in defiance of U.N. Security Council Resolution. Today,
Saddam Hussein is dead and we know that there were no weapons of mass
destruction or operational relationships with Al Qaeda and there is a
new, elected government in Iraq that is not in defiance of a Security
Council Resolution. No one can dispute that the mission of our armed
forces today in Iraq no longer bears any resemblance to the mission
authorized by Congress.
Instead of continued mistakes and shoot-from-the-hip policies, it's
time to get this right. The President must make clear the mission of
our troops and lay out a path to bring them home, and Congress must
stop being a rubberstamp for failed policies and stand up and act.
We know from history that an escalation of troops into a civil war
won't work. Our leaders tried it in Vietnam, and each surge of force
lead to the next. It escalated the war, instead of ending it. Like
Vietnam, there is no military solution to Iraq, only political. It
seems that the President is almost the last person in America to
An escalation of American forces would only compound the original
misguided decision to invade Iraq. A military escalation in Iraq will
not strengthen our national security; rather, it would further weaken
it by enabling the Iraqis to avoid taking responsibility for their own
future. And an escalation will not lead us to victory. American
troops can't force the Iraqis reconcile their internal differences.
Our service men and women in Iraq have served with distinction and
valor. They've done everything we've asked them to do, and they've
done it well. More than 3,000 of our best and our brightest have been
killed in Iraq and more than 22,000 more have being wounded, many of
them seriously. Our troops deserve a policy worthy of their sacrifice
and their bravery, and I will continue to fight until we have one.
I urge every American to ensure their voice is heard in this critical
decision. When the President speaks tomorrow night, he must be
reminded that accountability and responsibility are no longer extinct
in Washington ? they are alive and well.
Thank you, Robert, for always being involved in what Olive Wendell
Holmes called the passion and action of our time. You continue to
make an enormous difference.
All the best,