Friday, July 13, 2007

Washington state Reps Reichert, Hastings, McMorris vote no on troop withdrawal; still with the President's stay the course failed Iraq war policies

"We have to allow the professionals to do their job," Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., said, referring to the commanders.

Reichert joined Washington's two other Republican House members, Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in voting against setting a withdrawal deadline. (quoted from Seattle PI article)
Reading the article at the Seattle PI today, and I guess I really am amazed that our Washington state Republican Representatives seem to have moved not an iota from their position of sustaining the daily scores of our U.S. troops in Iraq. Didn't they get the message that June was the deadliest month for the deaths of soldiers from Fort Lewis?

Newshour with Jim Lehrer episode (link) 'Fort Lewis Memorializes Fallen Soldiers From Iraq War' - Lee Hochberg, Correspondent;

'Last month was the deadliest month of the war for Washington state's Fort Lewis, the nation's third-largest Army post. Twenty soldiers from the post lost their lives in Iraq. In June, there have already been 13 more deaths, 30 percent of all the U.S. military deaths in Iraq this month.'

The link provides the interview, the video, and I feel so humbled as the names of each are remembered and memorialized.
photo is the weekly vigil held every Tuesday at the Federal Building in Seattle, WA
the poppies and ribbons carry the names of the soldiers connected to Washington state

What and how is this in the 'support the troops' meme readily used by Republicans whenever any Democratic legislation is introduced.

My son-in-law goes back to Iraq for his second 'stop-lossed', 'extended' deployment in a few months. He, along with all the other troops deploying right now are 'automatically stop-lossed' and 'extended' to serve 15 month deployments before their boots ever touch the ground in Iraq. He tells us he is being told to let the family know it could be 18 months or longer. It's a good guess that once he and his unit get to Iraq, another stop loss will be added to lengthen the tour - once they are there, in Iraq, already, and can't do a thing about it.

I'm real tired of the politics governing the lives of all our young servicemen and women. Their graves are not marked Republican or Democratic - they are smote by the hand of this Administration who would rather engage in partisan power plays than react to the reality that has become the failed policies of Iraq occupation/war. The external and internal wounds of returning troops are not labeled Republican or Democratic wounds - they are wounds - many untreated and untreatable. The anxieties of the families of the troops, who are among the first military families to experience multiple deployments of their loved ones, may have some things to say to both parties - Republican or Democratic. It might sound like this 'Enough is Enough' in sound decibles from respectful disagreement to shouting from the rooftops.

I don't favor Democratic Congress over Republican Congress, but I do favor helping both parties find the internal courage to 'get real' about our troops and the Iraq war. You are destroying our families with this nonsense about an 'all volunteer military' in the face of this first time phenomenon of repeat combat deployments, two, three, four, five and more times. No other war, no other warriors, no other military families have faced this kind of warfare with a 'forced volunteer' military doing multiple combat deployments in modern times; I'd hazard to say in the history of the United States of America.

Seattle PI article; Washington's House Democrats vote for pullout

By CHARLES POPE P-I WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT WASHINGTON -- Embracing national frustration rather than President Bush's plea for patience, Washington state's House Democrats joined their party members in declaring the strategy in Iraq unworkable.

All six House Democrats from Washington voted yes on a 223-201 party-line vote for legislation that would require U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq within 120 days after the measure becomes law. The state's three Republicans opposed the bill.

The vote came only hours after the White House released an interim report detailing unsatisfactory results by Baghdad to reconcile political differences and improve security.

'If the president can find progress in this report, he has a different set of standards than I do,' Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said, echoing a theme voiced by many Democrats during the daylong debate.

The showdown in the House was the first of a series of Iraq-related votes Democratic leaders have planned to put pressure on Bush and Republicans to change what they insist is a doomed course in Iraq. The goal, they say, is that continued dark news from Iraq along with pressure from the approaching 2008 election campaign will begin to break down Republican opposition.

On Wednesday, McDermott was even more blunt in a speech speech from the House floor. "There is no credibility left in this administration. None," he said. "This White House cannot whitewash the truth any longer. The American people are exasperated by a commander in chief who is blind to what's happening in Iraq. U.S. soldiers have not failed, but this president has. U.S. commanders have not failed, but this administration has."

On that point the public seems to agree. Only 23 percent of people contacted in a July 2 poll by CBS News approved of the job Bush was doing in Iraq.

Republicans dismissed the House measure as a political ploy that would take authority from military commanders for decisions about troop levels and priorities. They also said that it's too early to form hard judgments about the success or failure of Bush's "surge" strategy, which put about 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Iraq.

"We have to allow the professionals to do their job," Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., said, referring to the commanders.

Reichert joined Washington's two other Republican House members, Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, in voting against setting a withdrawal deadline.

Reichert said he would be willing to defy the White House if he determines the surge policy is flawed. That point has not arrived, he said, adding that he would like to see quicker progress. "A majority of Americans want to see this war end. I'm one of them."

The House debate, however, was defined by its sharp edges.

read more at Seattle PI article Washington's House Democrats vote for pullout: "Washington's House Democrats vote for pullout

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