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Reject Congress

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Message Missy Beattie
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Every Congressperson who rejected a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq should have to personally replace a soldier who is serving now. Every Congressperson who rejected this withdrawal should have to suit up, wearing the uniform of one of the branches of the US military. Every Congressperson who because of partisan politics uttered inanities linking 9/11 and Iraq with "we are fighting terrorists and we won't cut and run" and "achieving victory is our only option" should be deployed or have their children deploy to Iraq immediately. Each one should be boarding a military transport aircraft for Baghdad today.

Every Democrat who wanted to support a timetable for troop withdrawal but didn't because he or she is afraid of being ousted from office should be ousted from office. Every sniveling Democrat intimidated by Karl Rovian psychology to weave the Iraq oil war into the "Global War on Terror" should be required to skip basic training and go directly to Iraq along with each George Bush enthusiast in Congress who is supporting the deceptions of the president. The war was waged on lies, continues to be fought based on lies and should be abandoned.

Every Congressperson who refused to demand a timetable for troop withdrawal should be held accountable for the deaths of more than 2500 American troops and, probably, more than 100,000 Iraqis. Not one of the Congresspersons who rejected a timetable while shouting "support our troops" even once mentioned the hideous reality that our soldiers were sent into battle without proper equipment. Instead, these smarmy sycophants roared their nationalistic platitudes: "The choice for the American people is clear; don't run in the face of danger. Victory will be our exit strategy." Given BushCo's reprehensible policy of detainee torture, the face of danger for our troops is uglier and puts them at greater peril.

Each Congressperson who rejected a timetable for troop withdrawal should be forced to read Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States on that long, plane ride to Baghdad, paying close attention to the chapter on Viet Nam. The disaster in Iraq mirrors the disaster there. Actually, every Zinn chapter is worthy of close attention. Anyone who reads this and understands the imperialistic thirst and bloodlust of most of our administrations would be ashamed""would start screaming to bring the troops home, and would abandon those claiming that support for our military translates into keeping soldiers in battle.

True patriotism is to speak out against a tyrannical government. True patriotism is to seek peaceful solutions to the problems we face. True patriotism is to examine why we're hated all over the world. Animosity towards us has nothing to do with jealousy of our freedoms. Instead, it's the result of an exploitive foreign policy and our hubris.

Each of us must refuse the false patriotism of the Bush coconspirators and repudiate decisions based on fabrications. Choose the patriotism that truly supports our troops by honoring their lives with actions to keep them out of harm's way. Our present leadership has been derelict in its responsibility to our soldiers and their safety.

Demand accountability. Insist that your Congressperson make a commitment to truth. Reject the lies and mistakes of George Bush, say "no" to a war based on lies, and say "no" to those who further those deceptions. Speak loudly. And if your representatives or senators continue to fund this war with which you disagree, demand that they get off their sorry, sedentary asses and fight the war, not in the safety of the Beltway among themselves, but suited in military gear""80 pounds of it in 100 degree Iraq heat. Insist they put their own lives and their children's lives on the line if they believe the propaganda of the president and his neocon administration. Be resolute. Tell these coiffed, privileged, pampered, cosmetically enhanced, self-absorbed, narcissistic shills to earn their salaries by representing you. If they don't embody your principles and speak for you, declare that you're going to the polling booth to cut and run decidedly and quickly from their failed policies. Act now before this immoral war claims one more coalition or Iraqi life.
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Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She's written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she's a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a (more...)
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