Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 15, 2007

Where do Democrats really stand on war?

The Democrats in Congress have preached ad nauseum that President Bush's policy in Iraq is a failure, there is no exit strategy, and Bush must bring the troops home. They've tried every trick in the book to force this to happen. This began in earnest on Nov. 17, 2005, when Congressman John Murtha (D) in a speech, insisted that Bush immediately "redeploy" the troops to Okinawa. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi quickly followed by demanding that Bush bring the troops home within the year. Not to be outdone, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Whip Dick Durbin whined that the war is lost and joined the "bring-the-troops-home" mantra. In the last two years, the Democrats have sponsored an unending deluge of resolutions that would force a troop withdrawal, knowing all the time it would assure victory for the terrorists. Thankfully, they all failed. But the Democratic candidates for president have continued to follow this position in lockstep. So most would say the Democrats' position is clear -- crystal clear.

Then on the Sept. 26 at the MSNBC Democratic debate in New Hampshire, moderator Tim Russet asked the candidates, "Will you pledge that by January 2013, the end of your first term more than five years from now, there will be no U.S. troops in Iraq?"

What followed was a loud, deafening "thump." No, it wasn't thunder or an 8.5 earthquake or even a nuclear bomb test. It was a gigantic, monumental flip-flop, their biggest yet. All three front runners, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards, after demanding for more than two years that Bush withdraw the troops, did a sudden and unpredictable about face. Their answer -- a resounding "No." All three absolutely refused to pledge that they would withdraw the troops by 2013!

The Edwards and Obama positions are not important. They can flip-flop all they want since they won't survive the primary. But Hillary's is. The odds-on favorite to win the Democrat nomination, many believe she will be the next president of the United States. So the voters should know what her position on Iraq is.

Maybe a look at her past record will help. In October 2002, Hillary voted "yes" in support of the war, and "yes" to authorize President Bush to send troops into Iraq. But it wasn't long before she flip-flopped and began what would be an unending rampage against Bush's Iraqi policy. She promised that when elected president, she would bring the troops home in her first 100 days in office. Even as late as May 2007, she voted "yes" in support of Sen. Russ Feingold's legislation to force a timeline for withdrawal, and "yes" to a resolution that would cut off funding for the war. On Sept. 16, Hillary called Gen. David Petraeus a liar when he testified before Congress that the surge was working. Then, two days later, she told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning, "I respect Gen. Petraeus and his service to our country," and The New York Times, "I am a very strong admirer of Gen. Petraeus." Duh!

Maybe if Hillary Clinton is elected president, the country will eventually find out what her position on Iraq and the defense of America truly is. In November 2008, the voters must decide if they want to take that risk

John Cauthen

Van Wyck

Let football team raise money for turf

Well, once again my child has come home with a folder full of ways I can raise money for her school to afford new computers and books for the library. Normally I do not have an issue with helping the schools until the wise decision of the school board to give surplus money to artificial turf and scoreboard for a small percentage of the district's students.

Maybe before they voted to spend this money on something so frivolous, they should ensure that children who go through their district's schools can read a scoreboard or ads placed on it. Maybe they should have asked the football teams to raise the money. I wonder how long it would have taken them to raise the money for this by selling wrapping paper, cookies, magazines, etc. Maybe board members could have enticed them with a 50-cent prize like they do my child. I do believe my first grader could have made a better decision for how the surplus was spent than the supposedly educated vote of the board.

Please make sure these board members are not re-elected. Maybe we should ask our teachers and students to make these decisions. My hats off to the teachers and principals who have to endure yet again.

Tammy Hansford

Rock Hill