This past week, news headlines regarding the war in Iraq have been made by two of the more powerful identities in United Sates politics. Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic Representative from California Barbara Lee each made waves on getting troops out Iraq.
Lee, choosing the more conventional way, proposed a law which would “ensure that US troops would have no right maintain an open ended military presence in Iraq and that we won’t exercise control over Iraqi oil.” This legislation was passed 399-24. Lee’s soul purpose of this legislation was to get the target off the backs of American soldiers by showing the opposing Iraqi combatants that the Americans are not there to stay.
Clinton, although going about it in an alternative manner, is also on the path of making sure the Americans are not in Iraqi to stay – and everyone is notified.
Clinton recently had a bit of a back and forth with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates about the public notice of U.S. Military procedures, specifically regarding the safe removal of soldiers from Iraq. Gates, suggesting that providing information to the public about the course of action of the United States Armed Forces could possibly bolden the enemy, retorted to Clinton in what she called an “offensive and totally inappropriate” letter.
Clinton, seeking some type of information (as is the rest of the Nation) about the end of the Iraq occupation, might have approached Gates in a rather militant manner. She had pledged to introduce legislation that requires the Defense Department to prepare reports on proposals for a phased withdrawal of American troops. But militant times call for militant measures.
Both Clinton and Lee are working toward the goal of saving American lives. But no matter who wins or who loses, lives are ending over a war many see as purposeless. I commend both of these soldiers – Barbara Lee and Hilary Clinton, political combatants – in their war of ideas which is in direct relation to the war of “no idea.”
-Dru Harshaw, Oakland, California