Friday, August 10, 2007

From the LSJ: Bob Alexander on Mike Rogers and Iraq

This op-ed was in today's Lansing State Journal from East Lansing activist Bob Alexander.

Reprinted with his permission -

Bob Alexander: Rogers should resume his oppositon to war

Congressman Mike Rogers has mistakenly supported the Iraq war, but did you know that Rogers opposed an invasion for six weeks back in 2002?

Five years ago Rogers returned from a Middle East trip and surprisingly announced that he no longer favored a military attack on Iraq (Ann Arbor News, Sept. 6, 2002). Rogers said information from Israeli and Saudi intelligence officers and others caused him to reassess his position.

Rogers' objections to military action then are still true:

George Bush hasn't made a case for military action.

He was not sure a military action is in the best interests of the United States. We ought to pursue inspections.

He was not convinced that Iraq has the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction.

What will happen after a fall of the Hussein government .. how it will affect stability in the Middle East?

Recently I urged Rogers to resume his correct 2002 anti-war position at an Iraq Summer Project press conference. Iraq Summer is a national coalition lobbying Rogers and 39 Republican lawmakers to vote to withdraw our troops. In Michigan, Iraq Summer also focuses on Congressmen Vern Ehlers, Fred Upton, Thad McCotter and Joe Knollenberg.

Since December, Rogers has been the Michigan Republican most critical of Bush. He has offered alternative proposals. But Rogers continues to vote for Bush's war.

Last February, Rogers stated,"We've made some devastating mistakes in Iraq" and opposed stationing most of the additional troops in Baghdad. Despite this criticism, Rogers voted for the surge. Republican Upton, though, voted against it.

On May 10, Rogers did not vote on partial Iraq war funding. Rogers did not co-sponsor the June 5 Republican enactment of the Iraq Study Commission report. Ehlers, Upton and Peter Hoekstra did.

On July 13, Rogers voted against withdrawal and twice claimed, "We have several problems in Iraq - an Iranian problem, an al-Qaida problem and a sectarian violence problem. What we need is ... (a) strategy ... if the surge, which I did not favor, does not work."

The biggest problem that Rogers does not recognize is our troops are occupying Iraq. Every month our brave troops remain exacerbates the problems of Iranians, al-Qaida, sectarian violence - and our $12 billion a month cost. Rogers refuses to admit that he knew the U.S. should not invade Iraq, and since 2002 he has voted for the Bush Iraq fiasco.

Our solution is withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Only after our troops leave will the Iraqis themselves, surrounding Muslim countries, the United Nations and the European Union negotiate the political and economic agreements that will greatly lessen the Iranian, al-Qaida and sectarian problems Rogers has emphasized.

The Iraq Summer Project calls for a large rally at noon, Aug. 28 at the State Capitol to urge withdrawal from Iraq - and for Rogers to announce his renewed opposition to the war. Peace supporters should call Rogers (702-8000) and urge him to vote for withdrawal. After you call Rogers, please call Iraq Summer - (202) 425-0811. Let us act now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great letter. However, discussing the 'facts' about Iraq with Mike Rogers has never been possible. His original position was temporary, but the situation and wealth of misinformation exceeded his limited ability to reason, and so he did what he always does: He took the Party Line Blindly.

The conclusion I have reached with Mike, is that he is not really that smart. So a comprehensive discussion always returns snipetts of party bylines, with little relevence. The idea of intelligent voters struggling to sway the opinion of someone who votes with Party emotion, and with little ability for independant reason is unappealing to me. The voters should not have to stoop so low. A better solution is to stoop over in the ballot box, and pull a different lever.