Wednesday, June 28, 2006

What Will Republicans Say To This Iraq War Vet Who Says Amnesty Proposal Is 'Slap In The Face'?

I wonder what the Republicans will say to this brave Iraq war vet who has came out blasting the Iraqi amnesty proposal? Will they try and smear him as they have done others who have spoken out?

For weeks now I have been saying that the Iraqi amnesty proposal, which has been embraced by President Bush and the Republicans, is detrimental to our troops who serve in harm's way.

However, now I have some proof to back up that assertion.

Below is an op-ed written by an Iraq war veteran who blasts the proposal saying it would be a slap in the face of all the soliders and their families that have been killed and wounded in Iraq:

The other day I read a newspaper article that filled me with rage and contempt. It was about the "reconciliation" that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki plans to offer the Sunni armed factions in Iraq. Al-Maliki is reportedly considering granting a limited amnesty to Iraqi insurgents who have killed "only" Americans but no Iraqis.

To a soldier who has been deployed to this country twice already, and has been out on the street fighting insurgents, this is an outrage. I take personal offense to al-Maliki's proposition to grant any kind of amnesty, limited or unlimited, to any insurgent who has been involved in terrorism against the United States. It seems to me as though al-Maliki has slapped all the families of wounded or dead soldiers in the face.

Iraqi officials appear not to have a care in the world for justice or for the memories of the nearly 2,000 soldiers who have been killed in action in Iraq. Think of how many parents have had to bury their sons and daughters.

It is understood that the Iraqi government, currently with al-Maliki at the helm, wants to end the insurgency. We all want to end the insurgency, because everybody wants U.S. forces to leave Iraq. But what is this reconciliation? What is there to reconcile? The Sunnis are upset because the primary base of power lies with the Shiites. OK. But whose fault is that? The Sunnis have nobody but themselves to blame, because when it came election time, they didn't want to participate. So, naturally, the Shiites assumed power, because they were, for the most part, the only ones who supplied candidates. Now the Sunnis decide that because the violence didn't work, they're going to play nice. The Sunnis made their bed; now they have to lie in it.

Where is the justice for the American men and women who have been killed on the streets of Iraq? I ask you, Mr. al-Maliki, how can you even consider the possibility of granting any kind of reprieve for any insurgent? How can you view these terrorists as patriots defending their country? How can you justify the murder of U.S. soldiers on your streets? We came to help rebuild Iraq, not to occupy it. If they are so patriotic, why do they not assist in the process of rebuilding?

Furthermore, how will you decide which insurgents have killed "only" U.S. personnel? How will you be able to differentiate the murderers of "innocents" from those patriotic rebels who have killed "invaders"?

I believe the answer to be this: You will not be able to differentiate between the killers of Iraqi nationals and the killers of U.S. soldiers. And even if you could, since when is any murder of any person justified, be they Iraqi or American? If you justify any killing, you open the door to similar crimes because different factions will interpret your amnesty guidelines differently.

To U.S. officials, I say this: If you stand by and do not attempt to prevent this amnesty, then you will have disgraced the memory of your own soldiers who have died for our flag. You will have insulted the families of the men and women who have perished in this war, and you will have affronted the men and women who have been permanently scarred, both physically and emotionally, by this conflict.

The answer for peace is not to pardon killers. We, who must set the paradigm for righteousness and freedom, cannot allow murderers to walk free.

Lease, an Army specialist serving in Baghdad, has been deployed in Iraq twice for a total of 18 months. This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Those are some very harsh words. But I agree with this solider 100%.

This proposal really is a slap in the face of all to all those who have served this great nation of ours and their families.

It really is beyond me how Republican elected officials and Republican candidates can support such a proposal.

I am proud Congressman Ford has came out strong against this terrible proposal. However, the same can't be said about the Republican stooges running against him. They are unwilling to condemn the proposal, which I find outlanish and and un-Senatorial. Instead, they have resorted to lying about Congressman Ford and his new television ad condemning the proposal.

However, the fact remains that they are the ones hurting our troops by supporting this proposal.

They should be ashamed. They are a disgrace to our nation.

I look forward to their response to this brave young man's strong words against the amnesty proposal. I wonder if they will try to smear and lie about him as well.

Stay tuned.

176 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!