There’s a word in Washington for a taxpayer-funded endeavor that grows without limits, busts every budget projection, and which Members of Congress are loathe to confront.
The word is Iraq.
Today, the Republican Party announced that the loudest defender of status quo policies on Iraq, Senator Joe Lieberman, will be a prominent speaker at the Republican National Convention in my home state of Minnesota. Senator Lieberman and I do have one thing in common. We’ve both changed political parties. I left the Republican Party in 2002 after it replaced “balance our budget” with “borrow and spend” and after we started a war without a plan for success; a war we did not need.
With all respect to Senator Lieberman, talking tough about Iraq is not brave. Bravery is not demonstrated through words but instead through action.
I served for four years in the Marine Corps. While stationed in Baghdad, I worked with U.S. military and civilian officials, European Union and United Nations representatives and Iraqi judicial officers to build the Iraqi legal system. I was not a hero but I served with many heroes, some of the bravest people I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I saw bravery from my fellow Marines. I also worked with Iraqi judges who risked their lives every morning just to come to work.
It’s time for a little more bravery in Washington.
This war has cost us $600 billion so far with another $10 billion added to the tab every month. That’s in addition to a $9 trillion debt caused by reckless spending and irresponsible borrowing, making it harder for Minnesota’s families to afford gas, food and medicine.
Restoring fiscal responsibility includes a new direction for our foreign policy. That’s why I support a strategic and gradual withdrawal from Iraq that is done in a safe and responsible way.
There are a quite a few folks like me down at VFW Post 425 in Hopkins, Minnesota, where I’m a Member. And there’s millions more of us across the country who know that real patriotism means more than just bumper stickers, slogans, and cheers at a convention.
Excellent post Ashwin! Keep it up!