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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

March 31, 2008

1. Don't go to war unless you have considered all other options, and there is no choice left.

2. If war is chosen, fight to win it as quickly as possible.

That seems the most moral course to me. But we keep getting it backward, getting into wars we have not thought through sufficiently, then fooling around with it until people turn against it, and we just call it quits. That wastes lives and gives us the reputation of not finishing what we start. If we think American values are important to advance in today's dangerous world, this is not a good way to be taken seriously as a nation.

March 31, 2008 -- mark that down as the date when the United States volunteers to lose another war:

The Senate defeated an attempt to erase an American troop withdrawal date from an Iraq spending bill this afternoon after an emotional debate about the powers of the presidency and Congress and the well-being of front-line soldiers.

By a vote of 50 to 48, the Senate allowed a withdrawal date of March 31, 2008, to remain in the $122 billion bill, which has yet to be acted upon. The majority defeated an amendment offered by Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the ranking Republican on the Appropriations Committee, that would have removed the date.

The March 31, 2008, date is nonbinding, so the spending bill emerging from the Senate differs markedly from the version narrowly passed by the House last week that demanded a withdrawal by Sept. 1, 2008. Moreover, the margins in both chambers were far too narrow to override a veto promised by President Bush.

But this afternoon's vote, like the one last week in the House, reflect the power of the new Democratic majority in Congress, and the Democrats' determination to press their case against Mr. Bush's conduct of the Iraq war.

The details of D-Day, including the date, were a fierecely guard secret. Of course, we were trying to win that war. If you're trying to lose, there's no real point to secrecy. And if we're going to lose, we might as well lose now, before any more soldiers are thrown away. Let the dishonor begin.


Bob G.
Wed, 03/28/2007 - 5:10am

Yeah, I guess that global threat of terrorists that could get their hands on some NBC (no, not the network) devices and might be able to bring them to OUR shores just doesn't turn as many heads these days as say FASCISM did back in WW2...

Seems we have way too many folks wanting to search for that next cliff (fresh-squeezed lemmings anyone?)

You've got it right, Leo...we've lost some serious "street cred" in the global arena.


Larry Morris
Wed, 03/28/2007 - 5:25am

ok, it's time to argue. I agree that you don't go to war unless you've tried absolutely everything else, ... and I also agree that you should go to win, and we've not done that since WWII - but what part about getting out of this mess now is a dishonor ? No matter how much we talk about finishing this war the way we should have from the beginning, it still doesn't find us the troops we would need to do it (oh, look I just 150,000 EXTRA soldiers under my front deck

Wed, 03/28/2007 - 6:14am

The comparison to WWII is absurd. This is an occupation, not a war. And it's a no-win situation, as experts have been warning the president and the congress from the git-go.

It's impossible to finish what you start when you plunge headlong into something without any clear objective in the first place. Topple Saddam? Okay, done. Institute democracy? Dream on. Besides, it was just an afterthought, a secondary ploy to gain public support when the WMD ruse was up. We're done there and need to get the hell out.

The argument that "terrorists will follow us home" if we leave is patently bogus. If terrorists have it in for us, they'll act when our defenses are spread thin in another part of the world just as they are right now.

Bob G.
Thu, 03/29/2007 - 6:14am

UH, Alex....does the date September 11, 2001 ring any bells?

And remember the Tehran marine base bombing...and the FIRST attack on the WTC during Clinton's watch?

Might help to unhug that tree, and poke through some recent history, my friend.

THEY did it to US....first.

The terrorists don't have to follow us home...they already have access to this nation as it is...something we're trying to prevent.
(wow, another form of "occupation" as it were)


Thu, 03/29/2007 - 6:42am

Bob, it might help to unhug your fetal stem cells and explain just how our presence in Iraq is preventing another 9/11 from happening here?

Bob G.
Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:04am

Since the miltary has been in country...exactly HOW MANY attacks have we had HERE on US soil?
(I'll wait while you add them ALL up)

What would YOU rather do...keep them from killing us by fighting them over THERE, or on your street HERE?

Oh, I forgot...you don't LIKE the whole "fighting" thing....sure, let's talk them into capitulation...that ALWAYS works (when all else fails).
Maybe we could cajole them into singing a round of Kumbayah, and all would be right with the world?

Just more uber-liberal confrontation for confrontation's sake, right?

Gotta love it...LMAO!


Larry Morris
Thu, 03/29/2007 - 9:06am

From alex