May 4, 2007
Today a company of soldiers from the 116th "Stonewall" Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 29th Infantry Division based here in Staunton shipped out for a month of training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, prior to deployment in Iraq. I joined hundreds of family members and other civilian well-wishers in an emotional send-off at the National Guard armory, and while the huge turnout was certainly encouraging, I also witnessed some truly heart-wrenching scenes, such as a young girl being carried away by Grandma, screaming while Mommy heads off to war. The News Leader reported on preparations for the departure, including staff and volunteers from our local Red Cross chapter who work on the Armed Forces Emergency Services. This service helps families get in touch with soldiers in the combat zone when urgent situations arise. By easing the worries felt by those on the front lines as well as the home front, it is a vital part of the expression of united, determined national will that will ultimately tip the balance in this long, difficult war.
President Bush's veto of the Defense appropriations bill that set arbitrary deadlines for withdrawing from Iraq was fitting and proper -- whether or not you agree with the administration's war policy. But people need to put pressure on the Democratic leaders in Congress so that they will come up with a reasonable alternative funding measure that does not aim for defeat. I got the following material from Cathouse Chat, and you can put it on your blog as well, just by copying and pasting the SCRIPT tags in the box below. Make your opinion felt on Capitol Hill!
UPDATE: For a list of bloggers who have joined the "We Win, They Lose" coalition, see wewintheylose.com. I'm listed at #98 out of 400, but I have no idea what the sequence means. Apparently, this campaign was started by conservative blogger Patrick Ruffini.
Sen. Jim "Born Fighting" Webb reacted to the veto by President Bush in a way that is unusual for most Democrats: "We won this war four years ago. The question is when we end the occupation." From Josh Marshall, via Instapundit, who says:
Say, maybe we have the outline of a deal here -- Bush agrees to withdraw troops, if Democrats agree to say loudly and publicly that we won the war.
Any patriotic American of either party should recognize that it is far more important for our nation -- and the cause of freedom -- to prevail in this conflict than it is for anyone to score political points. If we on the right side have to bite our lip so that relatively sensible people on the other side of the political aisle can gracefully make the necessary gestures of support for the war effort, perhaps "spinning" the issue just a little bit, so be it.