Dear Senator Levin:
I write to you, today, as a citizen who took the time to read the letter you published in The Washington Post concerning the Iraq policy, and in particular with regard to this passage in which you talk about sending "the wrong message to the troops":
One way to try to change course is to stop funding for the war, which sends the wrong message to the troops and won't pass in Congress. The better way to change course, an option that is also more likely to succeed, is to place in law a requirement that the president do so.
The "wrong message"? Senator Levin, the only way to send a wrong message to our soldiers is to tell them that Democrats will try anything short of everything to bring them home. "We will try everything--without pause, without fear--to end the Bush Iraq policy that is destroying the lives of America's soldiers!" That is the only right message to send the troops. Can you not see that, yet?
But beyond that basic point,do you honestly believe that our soldiers in Iraq are somehow getting the right message already? Have you not noticed, sir, that the Bush administration has been waging a PR war--a framing war--aimed at the American people and at our soldiers in the field with far more effectiveness than any of their policies on the ground in Iraq?
The Bush administration, for its part, has spent the past 7 years sending the "wrong message" to our soldiers. Bush sent the wrong message that America needed to invade Iraq because Sadaam Hussein attacked America on September 11, 2001. Bush sent the wrong message that the invasion of Iraq could be carried out with far fewer soldiers than needed. Bush sent the wrong message that the U.S. occupation in Iraq was preventing the rise of terrorism. Bush sent the wrong message that American soldiers would not be exploited for political purposes.
Senator, the wrong message cannot be sent by those who oppose Bush's Iraq policy. The wrong message can only be sent by those who support it.
In particular, Senator, over the past 7 years President Bush has been sending a message so wrong that it has led to the criminal destruction of our valued military: the message that the Democratic Party is a danger to the safety and security of the American people.
The cruel irony of that wrong message from President Bush is obvious to every American--including those Americans fighting in Iraq: the more President Bush says that Democrats are a danger to our troops, the more President Bush's Iraq policy destroys the lives, families and reputation of the U.S. military.
And yet--in the midst of almost two full Presidential terms of wrong messages--and the hundreds of thousands of ruined and lost military lives that have resulted--Americans are somehow supposed to believe that a piece of legislation from Democrats in the Senate will somehow start the process of harming our soldiers' morale?
Wake up, Senator! Wake up!
Nothing the Democrats in Congress can do in their efforts to stop the Iraq policy can harm our soldiers more than the Bush administration harms them every single day. Nothing!
The Bush administration does more harm to our troops on an hourly basis than any message or any act by any other elected official in the history of our country. As for messages and actions with the potential help our soldiers, there is no place to go, but up. Every bill, every attempt, every message from the Democrats that seeks to stop the Bush policy from swindling the patriotism and squandering the lives of our soldiers can only send the right message, the good message--the just message--our troops.
Senator, America's soldiers are not looking to see how well the Democratic Party bends to the bullying of the Bush administration. Rather, our soldiers look to see when the Democratic Party will finally stand up and embrace the power given to them by the American people--the power to slap down the grotesquely wrong messages sent by the Bush Administration, the power to act in the interest of our soldiers and not out of fear of political retribution.
In other words, Senator, the only wrong message you can send to our soldiers is the message that says: there are some things we will not do to get you home.
So get back to work, Senator. Cancel whatever summer vacation plans you may have and start writing bill after bill that uses every tool and every trick at your disposal to send that right message to our soldiers over and over again until they come home--the message that nothing is off the table, that despite the threats and lies from the Bush administration, the Democrat will try everything to get our soldiers home and to end this madness.
To try anything less than everything, Senator, is the only way to send the "wrong message" to our soldiers who are waiting eagerly for the United States Congress to step up--to rise with courage and wield the power handed to them by the United States Constitution, the American people and--most importantly--our troops in Iraq.
New York, NY
(cross posted from Frameshop)