"I think we're making real progress [in Iraq]-the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility ... and in the long run chaotic for the region as a whole and for our own security." (Saturday, August 18)
Who said it-General Petraeus? President Bush? A Republican Senator? Nope.
The above quote came from Representative Brian Baird, a liberal Democrat from Washington state who recently returned from Iraq. Rep. Baird voted against the Iraq war in 2002 and voted for a withdrawal deadline in March; however, to his credit, he came back with an honest assessment: "the surge is working and must be continued."
Rep. Baird joins a growing chorus of Republicans and Democrats who have decided that General Petraeus, and his successful counter-insurgency strategy, should be given more time to succeed.
Vets for Freedom is proud to be doing our small part to spread the word about the need to finish the mission in Iraq. Our "Cost of Defeat" Call-in Campaign was very successful last week, as thousands of phone calls were placed to members of Congress. Thank you to everyone - hundreds of you - who participated.
However, the debate is far from over, and we need everyone to stay engage and involved at the state-level until Labor Day. MoveOn.org has more shenanigans planned, and we plan to have our "hometown heroes" stand up to their paid political operatives.
What You Can Do This Week!
First and foremost, we continue to ask Vets for Freedom members to be on the lookout for Town Hall meetings in their district and state. If your member of Congress (Senator or Representative) is holding a town-hall meeting, make sure you show up and tell them why you support the troops AND their mission.
We need pro-mission veterans and citizens at every single town hall meeting in August, encouraging members of Congress to support General Petraeus and the troops on the ground. As we've said before, if you find out about a Town Hall meeting in your state, do two things: 1) Attend! 2) Let us know at email@example.com.
Second, do everything you can, within your sphere of influence, to spread the word about success in Iraq. Talk to your friends, family, and fellow Soldiers, Marines, Sailors & Airmen. Tell them about the progress that is happening, and tell them about Vets for Freedom. For more information about progress in Iraq, read the following publications released by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:
The Cost of Withdrawal from Iraq (August 15, 2007)
The Progress of the Surge in Iraq (August 9, 2007)
The Links between Al Qaeda and Iraq (July 31, 2007)
What Else Can You Do This Week?
Our efforts-together-are having an effect. Out message is being heard. And our brothers-in-arms in Iraq are making progress. All-the-more reason to keep driving forward.
- Sign Up to Show Up in September. The momentum is gathering, but we still need more veterans to sign up to join us on September 17 & 18 at our nation's capitol. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, military bio, your home state, and contact information. Once we receive this information we can start the process of arranging your travel and scheduling your appointments in Washington, DC.
- Pledge Your Financial Support. All of the planning and efforts made so far will be useless if we can’t afford to make the trip to DC in September. Only with your help will we be able to travel to the Capitol and give General Petraeus and our troops the support needed in this battle.
- Write a Letter to the Editor. Take a crack at putting down your thoughts on paper and send them to your local paper. Your community needs to hear from you. Ask your representative to support the troops - and their mission. Your story is the most powerful message we have.
Move out and draw fire!
Iraq War Veteran 2005-2006
Executive Director, Vets for Freedom
Click here for more information on Vets for Freedom's "10 Weeks to Testimony."
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