Thursday, March 30, 2006

Iraq War Referendum Commentary

Across many cities, there are referendums about whether we should stay in Iraq or leave. I wanted to share with you my letter I wrote in the online version of the University of Wisconsin Badger Herald, in response to their editorial recommending against passage. I have corrected a couple of typos that I had not picked up when sending in that letter.
"I was interested in reading of the Madison referendum as we here in La Crosse are also asked a similar question, whether the withdrawal of American troops should start immediately starting with the National Guard.

As we think about a resolution to this conflict, there are those that feel that we can depend on the establishment of a functioning democracy prior to departing. Unfortunately, any such Democracy is likely to be of a political nature more along the lines of Hamas in the Palestinian territories. Or perhaps, like the recent decision of the Afghanistan court that was in the process of sentencing an Afghan to death because of his conversion to Christianity, the government to be established will be more along the lines of an Islamic Sharia-based administration. Also not quite acceptable.

I am also concerned about the possible folly of arming and training the Iraqis to "Stand-Up" so we can "Stand-Down" and depart the country. Our experience in arming fighters in this region includes Saddam Hussein himself, who we armed with nerve gas, and Osama bin Laden and his "resistance fighters" who we armed with surface-to-air missiles to resist against their Russian oppressors in Afghanistan. Neither of these attempts at military-building was what I could label a resounding success.

It has been said that if we leave now than the thousands of American dead and wounded will have died in vain. Whether they died in vain or not does not depend on the utterance of the phrase "we made a mistake". Their losses are more related to the reckless pre-emptive attack on a nation that did not possess WMD's, did not pose a threat to our national security, was contained by no-fly zones, and was not involved in the 9/11 attack. Clearly, it will not enhance the meaning of their deaths, to send more young American men and women to die as well.

I have also heard that "it is better that we fight them there than fight them here". I believe Dick Cheney has expressed this explanation multiple times, when he himself is not busy hunting or listening to Fox. But this simplistic explanation, which is usually followed by the question "Have you seen any attacks on America since 9/11?" begs the question of whether our foreign policy is actually successful or not. Most studies have demonstrated, and our generals have testified, that our presence itself is a recruiting device for Al Quaeda membership.

The logic behind the "fighting them there" argument brings to mind the old Elephant Joke (I hope most of you readers are old enough to remember these jokes), of the "Why did the elephant paint its toenails different colors?" The answer: "To hide in the bag of M&M's". Which of course is ridiculous. But then comes the punch line....Have you seen any elephants in a bag of M&M's?" and "See, they hide pretty well, don't they?"

So since we haven't found any terrorists in our bags of M&M's, I don't think we can prove that fighting them there is preventing them from fighting us here.

No, what we are finding, is far too many G.I.'s in body bags not M&M candy containers.

I have also heard it argued that to vote for a referendum now would be "bad for morale". Who are these guys kidding? Do they think morale would be better if Americans were voting instead that these brave soldiers should be staying for an indefinite period? Voting to bring them home will only cheer the troops, although it may disappoint the politicians with little at stake personally."
Or as Senator Kerry said it best:
"How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"
Keep on coming Senator Kerry!

Hope is still on the Way!



Anonymous thomas said...

Good Stuff, as usual, Bob.

This is sort of off-topic. But do you know where I could find a DVD of John's acceptance speech at the '04 DNC?

11:41 PM  
Blogger BobsAdvice said...


Thank you for your kind words.

As long as John Kerry is interested in the job, I shall be hanging in there with him on this effort.

I am sorry but I don't know where you might get a copy of his speech on DVD. I would suggest contacting his Senate Office and asking one of his staffers. They might have something you could get.


7:59 AM  
Anonymous thomas said...

Thanks. Still one of my favorite speeches!

12:05 PM  
Anonymous thomas said...


I'm interested in volunteering next year in Iowa for Senator Kerry. Especially since it's looking likely that he will run again.

Do you have any idea how the volunteer situation is treated? Do they pay for housing and food and things like that? Or do the volunteers pay for those things themselves?

I apologize for all the questions I've been asking. I'm just really excited about the prospects of a John Kerry presidential run.


1:18 AM  
Blogger BobsAdvice said...


I have no connections to the Kerry Campaign. I hope I do not disappoint you. I was a volunteer for John Kerry and am doing my part in the blogosphere to keep the idea of Kerry in 2008 alive. It is an uphill battle, but it has been done before and we can do it together again.

That being said, I probably would go over to and register your interest. That will get you on the email list and if anything starts happening, I am sure you will find out.

Good-luck and I sure appreciate your interest here on the blog and your time that you have taken to comment.

America needs John Kerry's leadership and experience now more than ever before! I sure hope help is on the way!


8:30 PM  

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