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April 25, 2007

What Year Is This?

One wonders whether Sen. Hutchison has changed this letter in two years:

Dear Mr. _____:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the situation in Iraq. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

I am grateful for the service and sacrifice being made by our soldiers and their families. Even though Saddam Hussein has been brought to justice and his criminal regime removed from power, Iraq is still a struggling democracy in need of economic, political, and military support.

Our Armed Forces continue to work alongside Iraqi forces to overcome sectarian violence and defeat the brutal insurgency targeting innocent Iraqis. I recognize that success requires course corrections over time. However, I believe setting an arbitrary timeline for withdrawal of our forces would embolden the enemy and jeopardize all the progress made in Iraq. It is critical that we do not allow Iraq to become the new safe haven for terrorists who seek to harm America. A stabilized Iraq will contribute greatly to regional security and, most importantly, will make America safer as well. Success in Iraq requires difficult work but will be a major victory in the War on Terrorism. Millions of Iraqi citizens have participated in their nation’s first democratically elected constitutional government. They deserved the opportunity to determine their own destiny, and America has provided it for them. Now it is up to the Iraqis to navigate through their differences in order to usher in a bright future for their country, and America must be there to assist them in this process. This is a critical time, and we must remain strong as a nation, have patience and faith as a people, and believe in the work and progress our military members have accomplished. You may be certain I will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep your views in mind.

I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Kay Bailey Hutchison

If nothing changes with regard to American policy in Iraq, Sen. Hutchison will be responding to constituents with a nearly-identical letter next year, three years from now, seven years from now. It’s the terrible logic of the war: “We must occupy Iraq until we defeat those who are fighting our occupation. Once those who want us to leave are defeated, we will leave.” But since us leaving is exactly what the enemy wants, they will declare victory whenever we leave – even if its ten years from now. Our presence is the very cause of the instability that prevents us from “winning” the war, but if we ever leave, we “lose” the war.

As Chuck Hagel wrote in an Op-Ed piece months ago, “There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis — not the Americans.”

This is why it is better to get out of Iraq sooner than later. And the best way to do this is to de-authorize, and then de-fund, the war. You can tell Congress to do this by clicking here.

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