Rep. John Lewis Responds to Troops’ Appeal for Redress
Today several men and women in active-duty military troops made this public appeal for troop withdrawal in Iraq. They issued the following statement:
"As patriotic Americans proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to supportthe prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq qill not work and is not worth the price. It is time for the U.S. troops to come home."
Congressman Lewis made this statement in response to that appeal:
"I have the deepest respect for these men and women in uniform who have taken this courageous and patriotic step today. They have exercised their constitutional right to free speech, and they have questioned an unjust war.
Somewhere those of us who represent the American people, and the American people themselves, must follow the leading of these men and women in uniform today and find a way to speak up and speak out about this unnecessary war. President Bush is not listening to the people who elected him.
He is not listening to the bi-partisan commission that he appointed, and he has dismissed generals who do not support his viewpoints. He is not listening to the growing disapproval for this war effort. The people of this nation are saying it is time for us to close this very grim chapter in American history, a chapter that is leaving a dark stain on the moral fabric of our nation and compromising our credibility among the community of nations.
We have buried over 3000 of our nation's sons and daughters and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens have lost their lives. War is messy. War is bloody. It tends not only to hide the truth, but to sacrifice the truth. A new escalation of troops will not hide the mistakes of a preemptive war.
As these members of our armed forces suggest here today, the soldiers involved in this escalation will only become sitting ducks in the crossfire of civil strife, sacrificing their futures for questionable gains. I deeply believe the American people want us to bring their children home. They know we are not safer today, than we were before we went to war. This war is not the answer. We must find a way to bring our young men and our young women home. Thank you.