(I hate competition, especially when it's good:-).
In Mike Fitzpatrick’s Guest Opinion, he started by criticizing Patrick Murphy for changing his plan for the war in Iraq. Fitzpatrick then spends much of the rest of the column explaining his own changing plan for the war, as he no longer supports Bush’s “stay the course” (policy). Referring to Murphy, Fitzpatrick says, “His plan also parrots my recent call for ‘a new strategy for success in Iraq.’” I guess Fitzpatrick was for the old plan before he was against it.That was beautiful - I almost cried when I read it.
Fitzpatrick goes on to say, “We may be able to bring home one U.S. battalion for every Iraqi battalion that is prepared to operate independently.” Notice the words “may be able to,” then recall all the times we’ve heard Bush and his gang tell us how many Iraqis and Iraqi battalions were trained, and guess what? We recently had an involuntary recall of 3,500 Marines to active duty. Fitzpatrick says, “sound bites, buzz words and political opportunism will not ensure we achieve success in Iraq.” I agree, so let’s dump the “When the Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down” nonsense from Bush.
The congressman also said, “I have asked tough questions of this administration and pointed decision makers in what I believe is the right direction.” I ask you, Mike, what good did your tough questions and pointing in the right direction do? Have Rumsfeld, Cheney or Bush taken your advice? What has an alleged “moderate” like you actually accomplished in this right-wing Congress and administration?
Have any “moderate” amendments or bills written by you actually become law? Has Bush signed anything “moderate” originated by you? Has anything “moderate” written by you gotten out of Congress and to the Bush desk? When Bush and his cohorts mention “progress” in Iraq, I visualize a man looking out the window at a driving monsoon and seeing progress in how dry it is between the raindrops.
Fitzpatrick said he writes to and meets with the Iraq Study Group and “I asked them hard questions and offered my suggestions for the most crucial areas in which we need to execute a new strategy; including better equipment for our soldiers, better training for the emerging Iraqi military and a greater focus on the economic reconstruction of Iraq.” Mike, we’ve been there for five years – you just indicted yourself and the Bush administration with that comment.Touché.
My personal solution for Iraq is to bring the troops home tomorrow. The only thing that will change is that no more of our troops will die, no more will be maimed for life, no more spending $7 to $8 billion per month, and an end to the corruption of taxpayer dollars in Iraq. There you have it, my plan, and I have just as much credibility as the congressman and the rest of the Republicans in Congress or the White House who have yet to predict anything right about Iraq.
By the way, in the run up to this war no one told us it would be this difficult so let’s not go there. And I’m sure Fitzpatrick doesn’t see this new plan as “cut and run,” but he may see it as “enlightened evacuation.”
The congressman’s recipe for success in Iraq is thoughtful, reasoned leadership, a watchful eye and a brave voice. I ask you, Congressman Fitzpatrick, where are we going to find those things in this congress or the White House? How many more years must we wait?By the way, the tide of the letters has definitely been running in favor of Patrick lately and against Mikey (and I'm very interested to see the response to Mikey's latest "swift boat" garbage and his refusal to call for Hastert's resignation in light of the Foley scandal). Great work, people - let's keep it up.
We have another election coming up and I’m reminded of the words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
And as always, to help Patrick, click here.