After reading Mike Dunford’s letter to his representatives about the occupation of Iraq, I decided to write my own. Hopefully, it will have more influence than the other letters I’ve written…
I recently read the following written by the husband of an Army officer currently deployed in Iraq, Michael Dunford, who supports the emergency war funding legislation that included a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq and is requesting of his senators and representative that they take an additional step and require that any additional funding for the current conflict be paid for through a tax increase. If we are unwilling to sacrifice our earnings, how can we ask our fellow citizens to risk their lives?
When my wife was deployed in Afghanistan two years ago, I found the deployment easier to deal with than her current Iraq tour, even though she was probably in more physical danger in Afghanistan. At that time, I at least had the comfort of believing in the cause that she was fighting for. Right now, I’m not sure I even know just why she – or the rest of our troops – are there. I’m a bit of a cynic by nature, and did not expect my view of the cause to make a difference in how easy it would be to face the separation. To my surprise, I’ve discovered that it’s much easier to make sacrifices when you know why you are being asked to make them.”
“This brings me to one of the reasons that I am asking that you attach a tax increase to any further war spending – sacrifice. Last night, when my wife called from the FOB she’s stationed at, I mentioned that I had learned about the decision to extend Army tours through the media instead of through Army channels, but that it was nowhere near the top story of the night. A radio DJ getting fired for making insensitive and racist comments, the (criminal) innocence of college athletes, and the implications of the Anna Nicole paternity test were all apparently much more newsworthy events. My wife was surprised that this surprised me. Her response was, “Of course it isn’t. Why would most people care about this.”
“She’s right. The vast majority of the American public has little at stake in this conflict. The sacrifices are being made by the military and by military families. As retired Major General John Batiste put it last year, “Most Americans only confront this issue by deciding what color of magnet [to put] on the back end of their SUV.” I think that if more Americans were being asked to make sacrifices to support this war effort, more Americans would pay closer attention to what has been (and is) going on.”
“Sacrifice isn’t the only reason to make sure that this war is funded through taxes now. We also have a responsibility to our descendants. Right now, our two children are already being asked to sacrifice a great deal for this war effort – their mother has been away during 18 of the last 33 months. It is unfair, unreasonable, and irresponsible to ask them, when they grow up, to also pay the financial costs of the war. The current policies, unfortunately, do just that.”
“Please consider taking these actions, both to support the troops who are deployed now and to support those who are being asked to pay for the war later.”
“In addition to emailing this letter to you, I am also posting it on my blog (http://scienceblogs.com/questionableauthority). I would encourage anyone who reads it there to send a similar letter to their Representatives and Congressmen.”
I agree with Mr. Dunford, and I also respectfully request that you please require any additional war funding be paid for with a dedicated tax increase.
I, too, am posting this letter on my blog (http://scienceblogs.com/mikethemadbiologist). I will also encourage anyone who reads it there to send a similar letter to the women and men representing them in Washington.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Spread the word around; contact your congressman and senators.
I don’t know who your rep is, but mine is Michael Capuano. (Lots of Mikes in this post!) Rep. Capuano definitely gets it and supports most of the measures being put forth to add timelines to the supplemental spending bills, rescind the authorisation to fight, etc.
Unfortunately, the Congressmen with guts like him are entirely hamstrung by the depressingly large contingent of Democrats stuck in a losing mentality, running right as fast as they can thinking they’re courting some mythical political “center” that will cure cancer, solve world hunger, and vote Democrat in every election if you tell them just the right lie. Especially unfortunately, the Senate is even worse.
Sad times when the majority party in Congress refuses to obey the will of the American people for fear of electoral consequences. What, exactly, do they stand to lose by giving voters what they overwhelmingly want?
I really don’t see why the war gets people so worked up.
Its the human condition. We are wired to do it.
The fit will survive, the weak will perish.
Such has it always been, such will it always be…until of course we finally use the weapons science has given us to totally destory our civilization.
Then some other species will evolve and take over.