Dear friends,

I have never done this before, but I have never felt so strongly about issues affecting our country. I am sending this to absolutely everyone on my e-mail list, urging you to protest against the deployment of more troops to Iraq. Protest in any way you can, as loudly as you can to prevent this huge mistake.

I am on record as being against this war from the very beginning. Some have accused me of being unpatriotic-peace is patriotic. My arguments against the war have been two:

First, that we had no way of predicting the problems we would get into, and

Second, that whereas it was easy to get into the war, it would be very difficult to get out.

At this point, we need to develop a strategy for the earliest possible withdrawal. I do not know enough to know when we can start the withdrawal and when we can be completely out, but it is perfectly obvious that sending in more troops will certainly make getting out more difficult.

We got into this war through a combination of ignorance, arrogance, deception, and a poor sense of history. Had the Congress (or the American people) been given the true facts, or had they made some reasonable projections of the true costs), Congress would never have voted to support this war. Yes, we got rid of Saddam, but was it really worth the cost?

3,000 American dead (

45,000 American wounded (

600,000 Iraqi dead (N.Y. Times, Oct. 11, 2006, Tavernise and McNeil)

Total cost projection: $1 Trillion (N.Y. Times, Oct. 24, 2006, Nicholas Kristof)

The last Congress just did not do their job. Certainly we should support our troops, but saying OK to $500 Million for a U.S. embassy (Washington Post, July 11, 2004) that may never be used just does not make any sense.

Now that we have a new Congress, not willing to simply rubber-stamp every administration decision, we have a chance to put a brake on the escalation. The president is commander-in-chief, but the Congress and the American people have substantial moral suasion.

Please, please tell your friends. Write your senators and representatives. This war has got to stop.

Bill Dring
Oak Park

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