I want to take Newsday’s columnist Raymond J. Keating back in time after reading his Memorial Day column in which he targets the Democratic Party for their non-support of our troops.
As you will read he states, “Democrats again have exposed their party as weak on foreign policy and national security” I want to remind Keating that it was a Republican president along with a Republican congress that invaded a country illegally and tried to connect Iraq to the attacks that befell this nation on 9/11. Sound foreign policy is never founded upon lies and to do so it creates mistrust of those who would normally side with us.
In the aftermath of 9/11, we had the entire planet behind us in which they rallied support for our victims. What did President Bush do along with his Republican cohorts? He squandered what goodwill was extended to the American people and our government when he redeployed our troops from Afghanistan to Iraq. Do not go blaming the Democrats for that one, Mr. Keating since it was a Republican administration and congress that deceived not only the American people but more importantly our troops.
In invading Iraq which has led to longer tours of duty in which our National Guard is used over in Iraq; who has weakened our national security? National security means coming to the aid of disaster victims in which Katrina victims were left stranded when this president did not even have a plan for this disaster. Another example is when the town of Greenville, Kansas that was recently wiped off the face of the map due to tornadoes. Even the governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius complained of the resources missing from her state to address this disaster. She was speaking of the National Guard whose primary purpose is to help those here in the United States and instead this Republican administration sent them to Iraq.
This Republican administration along with Republican congress members are more concerned with Iraq’s borders than the borders of the continental United States. That does spell danger for all of us since we do not even know who is coming across the southern borders of our country.
When he states that any retreat by our U.S. forces will lead to radical Islamic terrorist attacks; does he think that al Qaeda and other radical Islamic forces are only within Iraq? Again, let me take Keating back in time to before Iraq was invaded. Saddam Hussein had little tolerance for these Islamic jihadists. In fact, al Qaeda was not even present in Iraq until we invaded that country. Al Qaeda’s deadly tentacles are spread out across this planet. They are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and a franchise of theirs presently operates in Indonesia. They are called, Jemaah Islamiyah.
I find it a misnomer to even believe that if we leave Iraq that the terrorists will follow us home when evidence proves they are operating in other countries. Their presence in Pakistan is the one that concerns me the most since Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
I would like to know what victory he sees. Does he see foresee a Starbucks on every corner of Baghdad as a sign of victory? Does he think that the Iraqi people will forget what has been done to their country and again based on lies? Through this illegal war, we have killed hundreds of thousands of their citizens and displaced millions more.
While many in the media are mocking Congressman, Ron Paul who referenced the blow-back affect in the Fox News Republican debates; did this Republican administration light a fuse to a ticking time bomb in which this illegal occupation will come back to bite us someday? Through this reckless and illegal war, President Bush just opened campaign headquarters to recruit future terrorists since terrorist groups tend to exploit the pain and suffering of others.
While it was a Democratic majority that put together a war supplemental bill with withdrawal language included, it stood little chance when it came to President Bush’s veto pen. We all know of that conference that took place in which many Republican congress members confronted the president concerning Iraq at the White House; but where were their votes when it counted most? Couldn’t these same Republicans enjoin with Democrats to make sure that this war supplemental bill was veto proof? In putting together a package that contained withdrawal language, it was the Democratic Party that did support our troops.
I would suggest to Mr. Keating that he read this NY Times article and pay close attention to this passage, “I thought: ‘What are we doing here? Why are we still here?’ ” said Sergeant Safstrom, a member of Delta Company of the First Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry, 82nd Airborne Division. “We’re helping guys that are trying to kill us. We help them in the day. They turn around at night and try to kill us.” It goes onto say, “His views are echoed by most of his fellow soldiers in Delta Company, renownedfor its aggressiveness.”
The enemy that these soldiers are confronting are Shiites and Sunnis and not al Qaeda who did attack us on 9/11. We are battling an internal sectarian war in this country leaving us exposed should al Qaeda or other terrorist groups attack us again. Our military has been broken by this Republican administration.
There are many Democrats that do support our troops, Mr. Keating and how dare you state the opposite. As a Democrat, but an American first and foremost every article that I write, I support our troops. In fact after writing my Memorial Day piece, I heard from the aunt of a soldier killed over in Iraq. I do hear from others whose sons and daughters will be part of this surge and I only wish to scream out that this did not have to happen had it not been for a liar that calls himself the President of the United States.
This isolationist president will fire generals in Iraq who will not tell him what he wants to hear and at the same time will hire those who will only agree with him. When you have an NBC journalist David Gregory ask him in last week’s news conference of his credibility in fighting this war, it speaks volumes when a president is confronted as he was.
In that same news conference, Bush also stated that if the Iraqi government wanted us to leave we would. Talk about incompetence especially when as of yesterday, 3,451 U.S. forces were killed and they did not have to die. We told him in the millions not to invade this guiltless country, and yet he did the complete opposite. He ignored the will of the people.
While many are angry with the Democratic leadership as I am in handing President Bush a blank-check, the one thing that I do take away from their actions is at least they tried to get our troops out of harms way. I often wonder what the course of this war if the Republicans retained majority power in both houses of congress. Now that would have been a continuance of a rubber-stamp and complicit congress.