Q: "What would you like to say to those who want American troops to leave Iraq tomorrow?"
"I can only imagine the tragic consequences that would follow...and the blood... and the price we'd have to pay....a disaster..."
Let's do something about it.
I'm a liberal Democrat (pro-gay marriage, pro-choice, pro-progressive taxation, pro-equal rights, pro-environmental regulation, pro-public schools) who supported and supports the war in Iraq. As I tell my liberal friends "Did I miss the part where it was progressive not to fight medieval religious fascists?"
I've been waiting for four years for the White House to start really explaining the war to the American people, and to do anything sensible at all to maintain the political capital necessary to keep America in the fight - to keep us from withdrawing because the war is too messy, or too long, or just plain makes us feel bad.
During that time I was blogging about the war and issues around it here, felt I was doing my part, and hoped that the leadership of the country would wake up and realize that public support for hard things - like wars - must be earned and maintained.
I've given up, and decided that it's up to each of us to start doing more. To that end, I've decided to start a PAC that will offer support to Congressional candidates of either party who support a foreign policy that doesn't involve wishing problems away. Not necessarily support for the invasion of Iraq, or blind allegiance to White House policies - but some plan that's better than taking our ball and going home and leaving the country and region to become a bloodbath that will assuredly spread to our shores. All I ask is that they have some clue as to what we should do about violent radicalism in the Islamic world other than surrender, withdraw, and hope for the best.
Here in California, defeated Gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides (who I used to work for, by the way...) has decided to raise $10,000 to "send President Bush a message" - among other things he's threatened to use the funds to run ads in districts of anti-withdrawal Members of Congress.
I plan to try and raise $30,000 over the next week - it will have to be pledges right now, since I don't have a PAC yet - $10,000 for third-party legal and accounting for the next year (to set the PAC up and do the accounting necessary to make sure that we're in compliance with election laws), and $20,000 to counter Angelides' ads. If we can succeed at that, we'll take it a step further and see if we can raise enough money to rattle some cages in this election cycle.
What we'll be doing is - among other things - running short videos like the one above that I'll be getting from friends in Iraq - I've asked them to simply film a message they would send in responses to Americans who want to withdraw right now.
Next up will be videos from former troops (if you know any, send their contact info my way), military families, and experts on the Middle East.
Once we get over this hurdle, I intend to build a web community of support that candidates we support can use for fundraising, finding volunteers, and reaching out to surrogates - like veterans, military families, and experts on the Middle East.
Go to www.victorypac.org and help out.
Thanks in advance for helping...
Marc "Armed Liberal" Danziger