weepingangel.jpgIn the wee small hours (YouTube), the news hit the wires that two of the NCOs who penned the op-ed in the NYTimes had been killed in Iraq — Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance Gray.  Would that there were more media coverage of this, given that this op-ed was raised in yesterday’s hearings.   Both men were near the end of a long tour

This following two straight days of testimony from Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker where they asked for no changes beyond reducing troop levels to the pre-escalation levels that everyone already knew would occur due to over-extension of the Army and Marines.  The Pass The Buck strategy is alive and well for George Bush…but not for these two brave NCOs who had to implement it — and all those who lost lives and limbs before them.

Sometimes, it feels like we’re caught in the box with Schrodinger’s cat, doesn’t it?

Fred Kaplan catches a key point from yesterday afternoon:

Warner repeated his unanswered question: “Does that make America safer?”

Petraeus said, “I don’t know, actually. … I have not stepped back. … I have tried to focus on what I think a commander is supposed to do, which is to determine the best recommendations to achieve the objectives of the policy for which his mission is desired.”

…he was, in effect, telling the senators: I am doing what soldiers do; I am trying my best to accomplish the mission; the mission is related to the policy, and the policy isn’t mine.

The Senate portion of the hearings was much, much better than the House. (Thank goodness.)  But the votes are not there — yet — to force changes necessary, to override a GOP filibuster or a Presidential veto.  I stress the word “yet.”  From the LATimes:

…Especially concerned were GOP senators who face reelection next year. They seemed worried by the increasing likelihood that there would be little political progress in Iraq and high levels of U.S. troops there come election day 2008.

President Bush plans an address to the nation Thursday evening, in which he is expected to embrace Petraeus’ recommendations….

It is unclear how much more GOP support Democrats will be able to garner when they restart the war debate, probably next week. Durbin said Tuesday that Senate Democrats were reaching out to about half a dozen Republicans in one-on-one conversations….

If ever there were a time to call your elected representatives, it is now. Tell them that you expect results, not more of the same in Iraq — and that stalling to dump this mess on the next President is not a strategy, it is cowardice and manipulative disinformation (H/T twolf1) built on the backs of other people’s children.  Let them know that they must choose between their constituents or George Bush

Because our nation’s soldiers deserve better than a running out the clock to save the President’s ego strategy.  And so do their families. 

You can reach your Senators and House member toll free via these numbers (H/T to katymine):

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

(A Jan Garberek canticle to smooth out the rough edges (YouTube).  Photo via amuk2006.)

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com