Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq

An open letter to the Honorable Senator Lugar of Indiana, from a constituent:

Dear Senator Lugar:

This is unbelievable. I cannot stand this anymore.

How did our government become this sociopathic? Please... do something. This isn't a partisan issue!

I'm so sick of partisan issues I could tear my hair out - that's one of the chief reasons I became an independent, and am a fervent supporter of Senator Hagel. He continually promotes bipartisan cooperation and tolerance. He is speaking out against this madness. I can't imagine how the rest of you can keep quiet!

While the House and the Senate argue 'partisan politics,' these men and women are being abused - literally abused - for their country. I thought things were bad during the Vietnam war (I grew up during that war, and it has affected me - through the vets I have known - ever since I was four years old and my best friend lost his father over there.) This is just... unfathomable. Please make this stop.

If we don't have the troops to occupy Iraq, we have to get out. This is obvious. This is logic. This is called 'the writing on the wall.' I really don't care how embarrassing it is to this administration. Or how much money the independent contractors are making over there, and how much lobbying influence they have in the White House, the House and the Senate (yes, I'm cynical -- but shouldn't I be? Really, shouldn't I be?)

This is flat out wrong, and as an American citizen I am now well beyond outraged. I'm ready to get into my car and drive to Washington, and stand on the steps of the Capitol building with an American flag... to remind you that this isn't a banana republic, this is the United States of America, formerly the greatest democracy in history.

Unfortunately, I don't think even millions of people on the Capitol steps with flags would break this Congress out of its partisan deadlock. Apparently Chuck Hagel telling you all to consider 'selling shoes' didn't get your attention. I can't decide who I am angrier with - the president for his abuse of power... or all of you for allowing it to continue. The elephant in the middle of the room is starting to knock down the walls... can you see it now?

How on earth... are we going to catch Bin Laden if we have no army? We continually hurl them on the rocks of Iraq, in a losing war. Yes, we are wasting them!! This is no 'war on terror.' This is suicide. This is madness. (We are still looking for Bin Laden... aren't we?)

And what about just plain old ethics? What about honor? Do these concepts even exist in Washington anymore?

Ethics. I'm not talking about religion. I'm talking about who we are as a people, as a country, as a democracy. Sending injured troops back into Iraq is wrong! The abandonment of New Orleans was wrong. Secret camps and torturing prisoners - and denying them Geneva rights - wrong wrong wrong. Spying on American citizens is wrong.

When will you representatives of the people join together - yes, across party lines and in the face of the lobbyists - and end this national nightmare?

I am baffled as to why you are allowing this to continue on your watch. Impeachment charges were brought against Clinton for lying about sex, and against Nixon for being paranoid (basically, and yes he broke laws too, like Bush and Cheney.) And yet... this president is getting a free ride to blast away at our rules of law, our ethical standards, our reputation as a nation and a democracy - even our Constitution. This trumps anything Nixon could have dreamed up. And it is far from over. Bush and Cheney won't even take nukes 'off the table.' They reserve the right to attack Iran without warning, and without permission from Congress. This administration scares me to death.

As I've said before, I believe you are an honorable man. There comes a time when honorable men speak out. Lincoln, who I greatly admire, said "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." I would follow Senator Hagel anywhere, because he is doing his job. Please stand with him. We need you. These troops need you. Take back your powers of oversight, sir. Your country needs you.

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