I helped form VoteVets.org at the beginning of this year to start speaking for the troops. We believe the voice of the troops is sorely lacking in the debate in Washington, and we intend to change that. One of the core purposes of VoteVets Action Fund is to educate the public on the many issues facing our troops, our veterans, and our national security. Last month, when I saw the "ticking time bomb" ad featuring Osama bin Laden, telling Americans to be afraid to terrorism, I was furious.
Simply put, the ad is a gross perversion of the issue of national security. The Osama bin Laden ad left out one crucial detail when declaring that the world is a dangerous place - that it is unnecessarily so, because of the war in Iraq.
VoteVets Action could not sit idly by and let that ad go unchallenged. Our military is overextended because of Iraq, and as a result, we're unable to deal with the multitude of growing threats around the world. The war has allowed tyrants to use the excuse of self-defense from an unprovoked invasion to stockpile and develop weapons of mass destruction. Iraq has necessitated the lower level of involvement in Afghanistan, and from the hunt for bin Laden. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans want to set the record straight.
So, today, we are launching an ad of our own, which will be airing nationally on FOX and CNN. You can view that ad here.
The ad is titled, "Because of Iraq," and features three veterans of the war in Iraq - Anthony Flores of Chester, VA, Joseph Kramer of Pittsburgh, PA, and Robert Loria of Middletown, NY, who lost his arm in the war. In the ad, they say, "Because of Iraq, Osama bin Laden is still a threat.... Because of Iraq, our military is spread too thin.... Because of Iraq, there are more terrorists in the world."
It closes with General Wes Clark, who says, "Because of Iraq, America is less secure." Then, in front of a replay of the "These Are the Stakes" ad, he says, "So, if you see commercials, telling you to be afraid of terrorism, remember, it's because of Iraq."
Polling of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans has backed up the charges in the ad. In a poll conducted last month, of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, VoteVets Action Fund found that 66 percent of troops who were involved in combat felt the Army and Marines were overextended.
Simply put, America's security is at risk during this time of increased threats around the world, because of Iraq.
Americans need to know that. Americans need to know that American troops and veterans believe that. Americans need to know that America's security is directly tied to a victory and exit from Iraq that comes as quickly as possible. Frankly, nothing coming out of this Administration gives me confidence that we're on that path.