Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So I heard from Sen. Cardin the other day

I recently wrote to my senators, Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, to let them know how disappointed I was that they voted for the $120 million war spending bill in May. I had hoped that at least one of them would stand up to the president and say "no more!" Refusing funding is the strongest power Congress has to counter this administrations's misguided policies in Iraq. Unfortunately, both of my senators voted to continue funding the war.

In last fall's Democratic primary, I voted for Kweisi Mfume, and I sure do miss him now. I had so hoped Mfume would be a strong voice on issues such as the war. I feared Cardin would not stand firm, would not be vocal. I am so sorry that my suspicions of him were true. From his message, Cardin clearly thinks that over time, the president can be persuaded to change course. I wonder what our soldiers in Iraq, as well as the citizens there, think about future "opportunities" to "push the administration." I'm sure they don't mind waiting.

Thank you for contacting me with regards to U.S. involvement in Iraq .

In 2002, as a member of the House of Representatives, I voted against the Congressional resolution that gave President George Bush the authority to invade Iraq . Since that time, I have been an ardent critic of the war and the manner in which the Administration has conducted it.

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group concluded that the solution to Iraqi unrest is political rather than military. The President should pursue a strategy that will decrease the Iraqi government's reliance on American forces and bring our brave troops home. I encourage increased diplomatic efforts in talking with Iraq 's neighboring countries to help stabilize the region.

Since my election to the U.S. Senate, my top priority has been working with Majority Leader Reid and other colleagues to change direction in Iraq . We have shaped a position calling for a total troop withdrawal beginning October 1, 2007 with a goal of completion by April 1, 2008. I supported such amendments and was disappointed that the provisions were not included in the final version of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill for FY 2007. There will continue to be good opportunities to push the administration on this issue, including the Defense Authorization bill and the FY 2008 Defense Appropriations bill, among others. I have enclosed a copy of my first statement on the Senate floor, in which a large portion was devoted to my Iraq policy and the need for change . Please be assured that as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will be fully engaged in working for a political and diplomatic resolution of the Iraqi conflict, and pushing for a drawdown of American forces.

I appreciate your taking the time to contact me about this important matter. Please do not hesitate to do so again about this or any other issue of importance to you. Email.BeginHide.merge


Benjamin L. Cardin
United States Senator

Emphasis mine, but, yes, it really had "Email.BeginHide.merge" at the end.


Allie said...

Hi... I found you with the "next blog" button. Nice blog. I really appreciate people who write their congressmen and senators. I know I write! People seem to have forgotten that WE control our government. The 67% of Americans that say they disagree with the war need to get off their butts and do something about it. I am so sick of this wimpy congress and crappy administration.

Who is your favorite presidential candidate right now? I love me some Barack Obama :)

PookyShoehorn said...

Thanks! This blog is pretty new so I appreciate your kind words.

Right now I'm trying to spread the word on Dennis Kucinich because he's the only one making a real stand on the issues, not trying to "say the right thing" or trying to court this group or that group. He's the only candidate who actually seems to (a) be passionate about his beliefs, and (b) be willing to make a stand no matter what people say about him.

But he's got 2% in the polls (and rising!), so I don't know who I will support when the time comes.

Allie said...

ahhh... the Ohioan :) (my home state). He was just too idealistic for me.

It's great that you believe in your candidate. I agree he's not afraid to make a stand. Neither is Gravel, but all he has is the war issue and repeating over and over that he's older than everyone else hahaha.