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Hello all.

I was part of a unique demonstration in Portland, Oregon today and wanted to let you all know about it. A group of military family members and veterans hand-delivered a letter to Condoleezza Rice, a letter signed by 141 military folks who are concerned about President Bush's poor leadership on the War in Iraq.

See below for our story. Update [2004-9-8 13:52:14 by pacific city]: I posted the entire letter in the comments below.

Today we hand-delivered a letter to Condoleezza Rice and asked her to give it to President Bush. The letter was signed by 141 military family members and veterans from Oregon and expressed our concerns about the Bush Administration's poor leadership in Iraq. Here's an excerpt:

President Bush, do you believe enough in the quality of your leadership to
send your own daughters into Iraq?  For the families of our military men and
women, this is not a hypothetical question.  They deserve stronger
leadership than they have now.  They deserve a president who brings allies
together and conducts a truly effective war on terror.

Our voices are among the voices that have been ignored for too long by your
administration.  But we are now making them heard.

(the letter is pretty long, but if you want me to send you the text or post in comments, I'll be glad to do so.)

Here's how the day played out:
Condoleezza Rice gave a speech today to the World Affairs Council in Portland.  We gathered a group of 40-50 military family members and veterans near the Convention Center where she was to give her speech. And as a group, we marched to the Convention Center, read our letter in front of lots of media and walked inside.  

she will actually read the letter.  

[A few comments on her speech: The topic was the War in Iraq. And within the first two minutes, Ms. Rice mentioned 9/11. No big surprise and she continued to repeat the same Bush Administration justifications and talking points we have all heard since the war started. "America and the world are safer...", "Iraq is part of the war on terror...", "We are laying the foundation for democracy in the Middle East...". Still no ability for her or any other Bush surrogates to acknowledge the failures and admit that changes need to be made.  The status quo in Iraq is simply unacceptable.]

Originally posted to pacific city on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 12:08 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow (none)
    That is truly amazing work. Local media coverage like that can win a lot of votes, even if Condi doesn't read the letter. Very impressive!
  •  Can you imagine.. (4.00)
    America and the world are safer...

    If the Democrats had enough balls to take up Dean's gaff that "the US was not safer because the the capture of Saddam"... in fact that this so-called War on Terror has made us less safe...

    The Repubs would not have a leg to stand on.

    This is why Rove didn't want to run against Dean in the first place. Dean/Obama 2008/12

    by Genf on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 02:20:24 AM PDT

  •  Of course (4.00)
    She lied. I have yet to hear Condi tell the truth about anything, except for those brief moments she was under oath before the 9-11 Commission.

    Dialog macht Sinn / Dialogue makes sense

    by DowneastDem on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 04:07:46 AM PDT

    •  Or the moment when she called Bush her husband (none)
      http://nymetro.com/nymetro/news/people/columns/intelligencer/n_10245/

      Political Conversation: Condi's Slip
      A pressing issue of dinner-party etiquette is vexing Washington, according to a story now making the D.C. rounds: How should you react when your guest, in this case national-security adviser Condoleezza Rice, makes a poignant faux pas? At a recent dinner party hosted by New York Times D.C. bureau chief Philip Taubman and his wife, Times reporter Felicity Barringer, and attended by Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Maureen Dowd, Steven Weisman, and Elisabeth Bumiller, Rice was reportedly overheard saying, "As I was telling my husb--" and then stopping herself abruptly, before saying, "As I was telling President Bush." Jaws dropped, but a guest says the slip by the unmarried politician, who spends weekends with the president and his wife, seemed more psychologically telling than incriminating. Nobody thinks Bush and Rice are actually an item. A National Security Council spokesman laughed and said, "No comment."

      "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

      by LionelEHutz on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 09:06:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When asked for comment (none)
        W replied (pick your favorite):
        • Doesn't she know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
        • I keep telling Condi that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman!  
        • She thinks I'm a mormon or something.

        America began begins with freedom from King George's empire.

        by bribri on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 11:03:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to read the letter (none)
    Thank you for putting yourself forward. Thanks for going for it!
    People like you give me hope and joy. I'm constantly amazed with the determination and strength of the people i've come across on dKos.

    Keep it up! It'll never end...but we can start pushing it in the right direction!

  •  Nice job, all of you! (none)
    Yes, I would like to see you post more excerpts from the letter.

    Looking for Kerry fun south or west of Boston?

    by AlanF on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 09:56:42 AM PDT

  •  Here's the full text of the letter (4.00)
                                    September 7, 2004

    President Bush:

    The war in Iraq and the war on terror are very real for us.

    As the families of those serving in Iraq, and as veterans who know the risks
    of war, we want to win the war on terror.  But we will not blindly follow a
    commander in chief who has led our nation and our military in the wrong
    direction - and whose poor leadership has actually heightened the risk to
    our nation and our military men and women.

    Reasonable people disagree on whether our country should have gone into
    Iraq.  But there are several things that most reasonable people would agree
    on:

    First, your administration rushed to war in Iraq with no plan to win the
    peace.  As the death count in Iraq approaches 1,000, it is outrageous that
    you recently blamed your lack of post-war planning on the troops for taking
    Baghdad too fast.

    Second, your go-it-alone rush to war in Iraq has alienated the friends we
    need to actually win the war on terror.  A world that should be united is
    divided, and our American soldiers are spilling the lion's share of the
    blood as a result.  In Oregon, your go-it-alone rush to war has meant the
    deployment of a huge chunk of our National Guard whose families are paying a
    steep economic price for their absence.

    Third, you, Vice President Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and others misled
    America to get us into war.  Where are the weapons of mass destruction?
    Where is the link between Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden?  They do not
    exist, and our military men and women are paying the price for you
    misleading us into a rushed war without our friends.

    Fourth, we have spent $200 billion on this war, after you promised it would
    pay for itself.  Who is benefiting from this massive spending?  Halliburton!
    Who is losing?  Our brave soldiers who don't get the body armor they need
    and who drive trucks never designed for battle.  Who else loses?  Veterans
    who wait months to see a doctor in under-funded veterans health care
    clinics...as billion dollar checks are written to Halliburton.

    President Bush, do you believe enough in the quality of your leadership to
    send your own daughters into Iraq?  For the families of our military men and
    women, this is not a hypothetical question.  They deserve stronger
    leadership than they have now.  They deserve a president who brings allies
    together and conducts a truly effective war on terror.

    Our voices are among the voices that have been ignored for too long by your
    administration.  But we are now making them heard.

    Sincerely,

    names of 141 military family members and veterans

    "The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars." - William Westmoreland Jr

    by pacific city on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 10:50:41 AM PDT

    •  Military Families (none)
      My father was in the Army, SGM James B. Roseborough and I must commend the military folks who wrote that letter and gave it to Condi.  It took a lot of courage because in the military you basically are supposed to stay within a box and conform to the system...not challenge it.
      •  Another Vet Thanks You! (none)
        It takes one person and one action at a time like yours, directly from the people and by the people, to give us a chance. It will take veterans and the serving military to win this struggle with the liers. My hat is off to all of you in your beautiful pacific city! And as the disgusting "administration" continues its relentless fear and smear campaign, it will take thousands more of these citizen actions to show the way. Never forget nor fail to mention that this shirker put on a combat flight suit, one he disgraced when it was his turn, for a photo op. One action at a time.....vetfordean
      •  We can speak out (none)
        as family members. We have more leeway to voice political views than our loved ones who are in the active military .

        In my experience, good military officers and enlisted personnel try to keep politics separate from doing their jobs. They do the best job they can with the situation they're given. They do not pick and choose which wars to fight because they are professionals, not politicians. In this sense, they do not have a voice in the political sphere of the war.

        However, family members and veterans have every right to speak out and need to hold the politicians accountable for the poor planning and failed execution of the war in Iraq.

        I want George Bush and his advisors to explain to me why, if we are succeeding in Iraq as they claim, we are still losing service members at a rate of at least 2 per day.  The status quo is unacceptable and we need to hold their feet to the flame until they make some changes.

        "The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars." - William Westmoreland Jr

        by pacific city on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 11:55:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, Pacific City (none)
      And the other brave family members like you.

      If you aren't completely appalled, you haven't been paying attention.

      by bunny on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 02:10:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  THANK YOU from a New England & Holland family (none)
    Great Work! Thank you! My youngest brother, a mid-level career officer, is currently serving in Baghdad with the U.S. army.  

    Please visit: SHOW THANKS to find out more about how to support our troops.

  •  From the AP story (4.00)
    One waived a banner that said "Condi Lied. Thousands died."

    That was me!

    I also went a lttle over the top getting in a Young Republican's face demanding he go with me to the recruitment office, even had enlistment forms. Of course he had "other priorities".
    Police felt they had to seperate us.

    •  Ah, BOHICA! (none)
      So we were both there!  Thank you, by the way.  You did a good job and didn't lose your temper with that young Republican.  He was probably 18 or 19 years old, wouldn't you say?  He's the prime age to volunteer to fight the war his hero, GWB, started. But sadly it is more likely that he will follow in his hero's footsteps and become an armchair chickenhawk. Or continue to act like a thug toward anti-war protesters.

      Did you listen to the OPB sound clip? Because you can hear the chanting "Condi lied. Thousands died..." in the background.

      We need to do more of this. We need to keep the pressure on Bush and push the local media to cover the dissent in the military community.

      "The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars." - William Westmoreland Jr

      by pacific city on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 02:11:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes he said he was in College. (none)
        By the way do you know Tina? She is with Military Families Speak Out. Her son is a West Point grad who was called back to Iraq via stop loss.
        I had to take off my Veterans for Peace hat for this event, I'm Pres of the local chapter. I have it back on now and will continue to get in the face of the new Hitler Youth. Although that's unfair to Hilter Youth since they actually put on a uniform.

         

        •  I don't know Tina (none)
          but I'm interested in hearing about that organization.  I heard about the candlelight vigil on Thursday night--I wish I could be there but I run a Kerry phone bank on Thursday nights.

          If you have any more information, you can email me at pacific.city@gmail.com. I'll be in keeping in touch with Terry with Vets for Kerry and we will be doing some future events similiar to Tuesday's action.  We have to keep the pressure on Bush and keep the war in the public consciousness.

          Take care.

          "The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars." - William Westmoreland Jr

          by pacific city on Thu Sep 09, 2004 at 12:19:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's to hoping (none)
    That your husband and all the other brave men and women in Iraq come home safe and sound and soon.  Thank your husband and his comrades for their service.

    You can't complain if you don't vote. This is no time for apathy!

    by mlk on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 02:58:37 PM PDT

  •  You should (none)
    send a copy of your letter to Olberman or Lou Dobbs ... they might be sympathic to your cause and give you some national exposure ...

    Thanks for standing up ...

    "Don't judge men's wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance." - Benjamin Franklin

    by Madman in the marketplace on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 04:42:07 PM PDT

  •  great work! (none)
    now will someone please do this in ohio?

    get US troops out of iraq and into sudan

    by zeke L on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 05:38:45 PM PDT

  •  If this site is at all representative (none)
    there are a lot of us around - military families as well as veterans who are Democrats, along a wide spectrum of the Left. In the few hours that my diary poll was up, 50 respondents about equally self-identifying as having military service or relatives in the military, going all the way back to Korea, among dKossacks.

    The rules have changed. Bushco and Cheneyburton talk about this a lot, but they don't get it. They don't understand what the internet has done for real (not Hegemony-funded) grassroots organization.

    "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" - T. Pratchett (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Wed Sep 08, 2004 at 05:58:45 PM PDT

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