Saturday, March 31, 2007

Rep. Klein, work to get the U.S out of Iraq sooner than later

Below is a letter from Ron Klein, my U.S. representative here in the 22nd district of Florida. I am heartened that Rep. Klein has voted on various measures that will begin a slow, painful process of getting the U.S. out of Iraq. He is taking a rather cautious approach, and, I think, it’s because he is “testing the waters” trying to determine whether his constituents are supporting his approach and his votes. This constituent certainly supports his votes, and I urge him to be bolder in his efforts to get the U.S. out of Iraq sooner than later. I urge all of his constituents likewise to advocate to him a speedy withdrawal.
There are many reasons to work for our withdrawal as soon as possible, but the most important single reason is, as his letter points out, that already over 3,000 American troops have died, and over 22,000 have been seriously wounded in action in this “religious civil war.” Rep. Klein, work as vigorously as you can to stop the killing and maiming of Americans.
Here is his letter:

March 30, 2007

Dear Peter,
Thank you for contacting my office regarding your opposition to the war in Iraq . I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
You will be pleased to know that I voted in favor of H.R. 1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act. This legislation requires the Iraqi government and people to stand up to their responsibilities and sets benchmarks for the Government of Iraq. It also requires redeployment of the U.S. armed forces from Iraq if any of these benchmarks are not met. In addition, it prohibits the deployment of our armed forces unless the chief of the military department determines that they are adequately trained and equipped.
Finally, this bill provides emergency supplemental FY2007 appropriations to our military (including funds for Iraqi and Afghan security forces), to our veterans programs (to improve healthcare for returning service members and veterans), and a number of other specified activities relating to the global war on terror. This bill passed the House of Representatives by a recorded vote of 218 to 212 and is now pending in the Senate.
In addition to this bill, I voted in favor of H.Con.Res. 63, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 246 to 182. This house resolution calls for the continued support of our troops while condemning the decision of the President, announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
Please know that I support a phased withdrawal of our armed forces under the direction and recommendation of our top military experts. Putting more troops in harms way without providing a system of accountability will only further compound our problems in Iraq. And so far, I've seen no real proof that a system of accountability exists. Additionally, it is unacceptable that four years into the war, we still receive reports of inadequate supplies, a growing insurgent threat, and less stability.
Evidence has been presented that very little progress has been made training Iraqi troops and national police forces, both of which have been infiltrated by the insurgents and the terrorists. It is unacceptable to keep our troops in the middle of a religious civil war.
This Administration chose to commit our troops to a war without creating a comprehensive exit strategy and the consequences have been devastating. Over 3,000 American troops have died, and over 22,000 have been seriously wounded in action.
I fully support our troops and will vote for measures that keeps them well equipped and ensures their safe return to the U.S. However, I will continue to demand the Administration change course in Iraq. Too often, this Administration has failed to learn from its mistakes in Iraq, wasting billions in taxpayer dollars. We should not make the same mistakes again. Please know that I will keep your thoughts firmly in my mind as I monitor the increasingly grave situation in Iraq.
Thank you again for writing. Please contact me if there's any way I can be of assistance to you in the future. I hope you'll find my website ( useful in keeping up with events in Washington and the 22nd District of Florida.
Ron Klein
Member of Congress

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