It's so easy to do these days. Years ago you would have to pick up a pen and paper or sit down at the typewriter with your eraser (what a godsend white-out was!). Then you'd have to find a mailing address, put your letter in an envelope and wait for perhaps 3-4 weeks for the mail to be opened by a staffer. Now our representatives in Congress can be contacted by e-mail, Twitter, facebook and who knows what else.
I've now sent all three of my reps the letter below. It took about 10 minutes. I've put my considered views on the line. I've voted. I will again soon. This is not only our freedom. This is our repsonsibility as free citizens.
Dear Congressman Blumenauer:
I listened to every word of President Obama's December 1 address at the United States Military Academy at West Point. To be sure, he inherited a situation he did not create; and the choices are all bad. But I do not believe that he has made the case for sending an additional 30,000 U.S. troops for what was presented as a short and limited deployment. It may take 18 years to accomplish what we hope in Afghanistan, not 18 months.
The President stated that Afghanistan and Pakistan are vital to U.S. security, yet he has not really established how or why. Yes, Osama bin Laden was there and may still be there; but what is the real threat today, and how will the President's proposed strategy be the best response? He really hasn't made the case.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal now says he can accomplish what he needs to do with the additional 30K troops. He says so because he knows that's all he can get. He himself had projected a need for at least 80K, but Gen. David Petraeus' own anti-insurgency manual calls for several times that number. That will never happen, and it's time we all told ourselves the truth.
The 30K troops and the stated strategy presented to us on 12/1 taste exactly like the chimeras of WMD and a self-financing 90-day war in Iraq sold to us by President Bush.
Give President Obama this clear message: say why and say how much Afghanistan will really cost us. Tell us the truth or say no. No more half measures that make things worse.
Either implement a draft and a war tax and put 500K troops in Afghanistan by next September, or bring them all home by December 31--this year.
Roger D. Fuchs