Today as we honor and memorialize our countrymen and women who were tragically killed on 9/11, we must also not just remember them, but honor their memories by working to hold this dangerously incompetent administration accountable and responsible for the continuing devastation of our country.
I jumped back on the tour this past Wednesday in Illinois, and I have been busy meeting with Congressional members ever since and speaking at rallies with hundreds and hundreds of people in attendance.
We had a rally in front of Denny Hastert's office in Batavia, Illinois, we didn't get a meeting. He will go on our "Meet with the Moms" Hall of Shame along with Tom Delay, whose aide at least spoke to us on the phone -- even if it was a very non-productive conversation.
I met with an aide of Dianne Feinstein in San Francisco. The Senator will also go on our Hall of Shame. Her aides (I have only spoken with her aides, even though I have requested 3 meetings with her) have admitted that she knows that Iraq was a mistake and if she knew then what she knows now she never would have given George Bush the authority to invade and occupy Iraq. First of all, I don't buy that argument. Anyone with a brain knew George was lying in the insane rush to the invasion of Iraq, and second of all, if she believes it is a mistake, then she should be working to bring our troops home. Casey and so many tens of thousands of others should still be alive and humanity is damaged immensely by allowing the travesty to continue. The aide we spoke to, James Molinari, was pretty defensive and borderline rude when he spoke to me, a Gold Star Sister, Dr. Nooshin Razani, and a member of MFSO, Anne Roesler. Anne's son Michael is in Iraq for his third tour of duty.
These are Mrs. Feinstein's cardboard hurdles that must be jumped before we bring our troops home. (Again, I feel her aide was patronizing us and making the mistake that if we are women, who are obviously distraught because we have had horrible losses and potential horrible losses, then we must not know what we are talking about.)
1) Iraq needs a constitution.
The constitution that Iraq is working on is one that will create a theocracy and an Islamic Republic that will deny women in Iraq the rights that they had before the US invaded the country. It will make the region less stable than it is now and was before.
2) Iraq needs leadership.
Puppet leadership with the neocons pulling the strings. Leaders like Ahmed Chalabi who is a CIA trained operative who had everything to gain politically and monetarily by toppling the Hussein regime.
3) Enough Iraqi soldiers need to be trained.
These poor unfortunate souls are not going to be trained in Iraq. They are seen as collaborators and are targets of the insurgents. I often wonder how desperate the Iraqis must be for jobs if they are willing to risk their lives standing in line for a job application.
4) Iraq must have infrastructure.
This infrastructure will not be built and maintained properly with our military presence in Iraq.
We pointed all of these counter-arguments out to Mr. Molinari. I also pointed out that as a mother and grandmother, would the Senator be willing to sacrifice one of her loved ones so people can line their pockets with her children's blood. At this point, I don't believe that Dianne Feinstein represents her constituents (of which I am one), the people of California. Not only is she weak on the Iraq issue, she introduced Condi ("smoking gun") Rice for her confirmation hearing and she called John (Death Squad) Negroponte "a great public servant." If she refuses to be a leader on getting our troops out of Iraq, then we the people of California need to withdraw our support of her.
On a better note, I spoke with Senator Barbara Boxer, also from California. We Golden Staters are so proud of our other Senator. She is 100 percent behind us and 100 percent on board with bringing the troops home from this nightmare. She also questioned the stuffing out of Condi at her confirmation hearings and our beloved Mrs. Boxer could be elected Queen of California. I wish Mrs. Feinstein would exercise real leadership like Mrs. Boxer and quit pandering to the center and to special interests.
Another bright spot in my Congressional talks was Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco, the house minority leader. I had, up until last Friday, been very disappointed with the lack of leadership that I saw that she was exhibiting on this war. Our talk was very productive and she is, I believe, willing to take a new leadership role in bringing our troops home from this quagmire. She said it was because of the leadership that I have shown by going down and challenging the Emperor that more House Dems will grow back bones and challenge the President and his lies.
Lloyd Dogget of Austin, Tex, Henry Waxman of Los Angeles, Maxine Waters of Los Angeles, and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia will also go up on our "Hall of Fame" list. Maxine and Cynthia have always been strong critics of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and Mr. Waxman is coming around to our side in a big way. I am meeting with Frank Pallone of New Jersey on Monday and he has already told me we will work together to get our young men and women out of harm's way, ASAP. Congressman Charles Rangel of New York was the first one to answer our questions and go on our Hall of Fame list. Senator Jeff Bingaman from New Mexico joins Senator Boxer on our Hall of Fame. Welcome Senator Bingaman and thank you!
The Bring Them Home Now bus tour had a great rally in Atlanta last night at the Victory Church. There were hundreds of people there to hear Gold Star Moms from Georgia; GSFP members, MFSO members and an Iraqi vet speak about our war stories. Congresswoman McKinney joined us and informed us that she spoke the "I" word on the floor the other day...she got a standing ovation for that one.
I will be joining our Camp Casey III in Covington, LA, on Tuesday and don't miss us on Donny Deutsch's show on CNBC this Monday. It is a very busy and potentially devastating time in our nation's history. I see one of two things happening: we will kick the criminally negligent people out of our government who have raped our country of our integrity, lifeblood and treasure and we will once again have a country we can be proud of; or we will allow the madmen to continue to take us down the path of destruction.
I vote for taking our country back and I think that is the direction we are going. With the grass roots help of our fellow citizens and with continuing to hold Congress accountable and pressuring them to do the right thing, we are on the right track. Write to your representatives in DC and urge them to start to bring our troops home and join us in DC on September 24th and show our elected leaders that we mean business as patriotic Americans.