Jan 5, 2007
Thank you to Livingston County Daily Press & Argus political reporter Dan Meisler for a shout out to our blog today in an opinion column on the Iraq fiasco.
There seems to be no middle ground on which to hash out the issues — only high-pitched rhetoric bordering on the paranoid.
Take, for example, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers' recent appearance at a funeral for Andrew Daul, a Brighton soldier killed in Iraq. As reported in this newspaper, Rogers, a Republican from Brighton, read aloud from a letter written by the mayor of an Iraqi town.
"Their sacrifice was not in vain," Rogers read from the letter. "Let the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity."
Sounds harmless enough to me, but in the hands of our local liberal bloggers, it's further proof that Rogers has politicized the war (as if that hasn't happened already). See rogerswatch.blogspot.com for their criticism.
They seem to think that praising the sacrifice of a dead soldier is political. What was Rogers supposed to say? "Gee, now that I think about it, the war was a bad idea and your son's death was unnecessary. Oops." Maybe that would have pleased them.
From reading his comments, it sounds to me like Rogers' speech was appropriate.
Sorry Dan, but I respectfully disagree with you. The full quote that appeared in the Dec. 31 edition of the newspaper was this; “Andrew Daul helped Iraqis while serving in that country. Because of soldiers like him, Rogers said, Iraqis would talk about the greatness of the U.S. soldier, and he read a letter from a mayor of an Iraqi town liberated by U.S. soldiers.”
What could he have said? He could have talked about his bravery in answering the call of his country, his willingness to serve and his dedication to his fellow soldiers. I would have talked about the extraordinary courage that makes a man so young get up every morning knowing the dangers that await him and strap on combat gear and patrol the streets when the risks are so great, and he does this day after day for at least a year. Instead, he chose to continue to try and spin this mess as a war of liberation, but the fact is Rogers has been nothing but a cheerleader for both bush and this fiasco.
The column goes on to say, So where would those bad old bloggers get the idea that Rogers would politicize Iraq?
Perhaps some of his past comments, like one from the floor of the House, equating anti-war politicians with the insurgents in Iraq. Or maybe this one, from an interview with the Press & Argus on the Iraq Study Group's report: "This has been a two-front war ... at home, we've been trying to win people's support for our efforts."
Here’s some more reasons I believe he politicized the funeral that Dan did not have space to mention that came from his own newspaper. “The involvement and support of U.S. efforts in Iraq now will pay off down the road in bringing stability to the region, according to U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton. (P&A 8/29/2003)
(On the 9/11 Commission Report) "They could not find a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9_11 attacks," he said. "The task of this commission, even though it became highly political, was to look at one event." Rogers said many media reports have distorted the commission's finding by saying it is more far-reaching than it actually is. Rogers said, that the FBI agents he talked to on a recent visit to Iraq have found al-Qaida training manuals and other materials many times when they apprehended bomb-makers in Iraq.
"They found it laughable there was any debate" about the connection, he said.
Rogers added that intelligence from the Department of Defense, FBI, CIA and other agencies indicated contact between Iraqi agents and al-Qaida going back years, in the Sudan, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"The overwhelming information indicates there in fact was" a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida.” (P&A 6/18/04)
We make progress everyday," in response to a statement by Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Marine veteran, that the U.S. is not making progress in Iraq. Rogers asserted that only terrorists and "some politicians" wanted the U.S. to withdraw troops from Iraq. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch 6/16/2006)
Again, Rogers should be commended for taking the time to pay his respects as a U.S. Congressman because we know no one from this Administration ever will, but his decision to politicize the funeral was a bad idea. Dan’s also correct when he says there is “no middle ground on which to hash out the issues,” but I say the fault lies primarily on the right. If anyone suggests anything but “stay the course - what ever that is – you are called a traitor and a terrorist. I have been debating the Iraq fiasco with one of our two wingnut blogers in Livingston County, and you cannot even get them to acknowledge that there were no WMDs and that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. The biggest obstacle to overcome is one that they cling to that the Iraq fiasco is the reason we have not had a terrorist attack in the five years since 9/11/2001, ignoring the fact there have been only two terrorist attacks in our country’s 216 year history.