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Opinion – Doug Thompson

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No Exit

I’m opposed to kidnapping.
I would pay ransom for any of my kids, however. I’d sell my house to do it if I had to.
The fact that I would ransom a child of mine is not a sign of weakness or an acceptance of kidnapping.
For very similar reasons, I cannot agree with those who confronted Sen. Mark Pryor in Rogers on Saturday night and demanded that Democrats cut off funding for the Iraq War.
I hate this war and have actively opposed it from the first time anyone mentioned the possibility of it. I have the newspaper columns to prove it.
This tragic misadventure would not be helped by leaving 170,000 of my friends, neighbors and countrymen stranded in the middle of a civil war while cutting off their pay and ammo.
Want to make a dramatic political point and force the president’s hand? Stop the mail. Shut down air travel. Shut down the inland waterways system and ports. Shut down national parks. Shut down Congress. Shut down the mint, or space shuttle flights, or Amtrak. Shut down any blasted thing the federal government does — here. Don’t cut off the troops over there.
Let’s do our own suffering for our beliefs for a change.
The Iraq War is not the troops’ fault. The fact they are still stranded there is not their fault, either. It’s ours. We failed to stop this. Then we failed to end it.
Now the rest of the country has caught on. We want to flip some switch that ends it all. There is none. War is not some utility that cuts you off when you stop making the payments. It is an evil, powerful thing. It has to be killed.
Peace is not a matter of “Just say no.”
Pass a bill appropriating money to bring the troops home and for no other purpose, if you can. I’d go for that. It would never survive a Senate filibuster, however. Even if it did, the president would veto it. Then it’s either a matter or passing an appropriation for the war, or cutting off the pay and ammo.
So now what do we do? Well, I’m willing to do without my mail, and so forth.
Failing that, we try to hold down the number of people who get killed while we wait for the next presidential election.
George W. Bush cares more about his place in history than our troops, our country or the Republican Party. The tragedy is, his place in history is decided. He won’t like it. Unless we’re willing and able to impeach him, and then Dick Cheney too, there is no exit.
As Bill Clinton once said about the presidency when he seemed marginalized in 1995, I believe: “The Constitution makes me relevant.”
We can’t wait until Bush and Co. leave? I’ve waited for four years, though it’s been in the in the comfort of my own home. I’d love to be wrong, but I’ve written in each of those years that sanity wouldn’t make an appearance in our war strategy as long as this administration was in charge. I don’t blame Bush for it all anymore. After all, it was the Democrats who nominated John Kerry.
War is hell because there are no easy answers.
Welcome to it.
That’s all I have to say on that. I guess go into this presidential election. Nothing can get done in Washington until it’s over, apparently.
We’ve all read a great deal about how Sen. Hillary Clinton became more vulnerable after she “stumbled” in the last debate.
This is bunk. Stumbles don’t blow a double-digit lead. Basically, don’t waste your time reading this bunk until and unless she jumps off a bridge.
The real news is in the Republican race, where Rudy Giuliani’s only serious rival appears to be Mitt Romney.
Romney, a Mormon, is running in a nation where only 38 percent of adults answered “Yes” in a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll to this question: “Do you think the voters of this country are ready to elect a qualified Mormon as President, or don’t you think so?”
And it’s still more of a race than Clinton’s.

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