Why I am NOT a Traitor

I find it hard to believe that I actually need to title my blog entry in that way. But, since I agree with Tom Daschle’s assessment of the Bush administration’s catastrophic failure to use diplomacy, I must consider myself painted with Denny Hastert’s traitor brush. This war, which I suppose we must expect to start sometime this evening, will be commenced by an illegitimate administration bent on slaughtering innocent people in the search for WMDs–weapons for which the administration has offered no convincing evidence actually exist. I am heartsick about this approaching war, and thoroughly ashamed of my country for being so determined to start it.

I think former Vermont governor Howard Dean, now Democratic candidate for President, said it best in his response to Bush’s Monday evening speech:

“Tonight, for better or worse, America is at war. Tonight, every American, regardless of party, devoutly supports the safety and success of our men and women in the field. Those of us who, over the past 6 months, have expressed deep concerns about this President’s management of the crisis, mistreatment of our allies and misconstruction of international law, have never been in doubt about the evil of Saddam Hussein or the necessity of removing his weapons of mass destruction.

“Those Americans who opposed our going to war with Iraq, who wanted the United Nations to remove those weapons without war, need not apologize for giving voice to their conscience, last year, this year or next year. In a country devoted to the freedom of debate and dissent, it is every citizen’s patriotic duty to speak out, even as we wish our troops well and pray for their safe return. Congressman Abraham Lincoln did this in criticizing the Mexican War of 1846, as did Senator Robert F. Kennedy in calling the war in Vietnam ‘unsuitable, immoral and intolerable.’

“This is not Iraq, where doubters and dissenters are punished or silenced –this is the United States of America. We need to support our young people as they are sent to war by the President, and I have no doubt that American military power will prevail. But to ensure that our post-war policies are constructive and humane, based on enduring principles of peace and justice, concerned Americans should continue to speak out; and I intend to do so.”

So here you have it folks–this is the voice of my conscience.

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