Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Political Courage

I know to look at the headline is to see an incredible oxymoron. How can anyone put political and courage in the same sentence? I believe that the time has come where we must demand courage from our elected officials.

What is courage? I define courage as the following: courage is not, never being afraid, that is foolishness. Courage is even though I am terrified I am going to go on anyway, in spite of my fear. I am going to do this thing, because it is the right thing to do and damn the consequences. There are not many of us with that kind of courage, so it is not surprising that we are not seeing it from our elected officials. Remember, they are merely a reflection of us. However, having said that, it is precisely this type of courage that our troops require of us all at this moment. The time for moral victories and rhetoric has passed. Either we want to end this war or we don’t. We must be clear as a nation; do we think we can win this war? If the answer is no, then we must do what needs to be done regardless of the consequences. If we answer no, then we have a moral imperative to find the best and most humane way to end this. This is no longer about some political “pissing” contest or who is the most resolute in their convictions, it is about life and death.

It has become self-evident that we cannot expect this President or this administration to end this war on their own accord. It also appears that the Republicans have chosen to place party over country and that is a mistake that history will judge very harshly. How can we believe that the same people, who used criminal tactics to get us into this war, will now find the error of their ways and relent to the inevitable. It is not going to happen. We, the American people must and should make plain in no uncertain terms that we want this war to end. We must let this President and his cronies know that we have lost confidence in his leadership and in his word. Up until now there have been no consequences to this Presidents intransigence on this issue. It is now time to bring it to a head, it is time to have the debate we should have had 4 years ago. This debate will not take place unless our elected officials stand firm on the bill they have sent to the President. If he chooses to veto it, then we must continue to resend it until he gets the message. Now, here is where courage comes in. It will be easy to say at that point, “We did our part and he vetoed it” and then concede to the funding without any clear time table for action. We must give the Congress the will and the courage to stand strong in the face of their fear. They will not unless we stand with them. We must contact our lawmakers and let them know that they have our support in this fight. And we must contact those who are supporting this war and let them know that this is not the will of the people.

I have included the links to the Congress and Senate homepage. On these pages you will find links to email your congressman and senator. Let’s encourage them to stand strong on this issue and to not succumb to the bullying tactics that have become synonymous with this administration. The lives of our troops and the lives of the Iraqis are in our hands. When the vote is cast for truth, will you be there? When history finally closes this chapter will you be able to say you stood on the side of action? Or were you too busy watching American Idol to save our troops? The time is now to instead of supporting our troops, let’s begin to save some of them. And our brave service people count on you? Courage!

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