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Comments

Alan Salazar

With respect Donald, Mark Udall never said that the diplomatic process was a solution to the war on terrorism. Those are your words. That's also a Karl Rove line designed to make Democrats look naive and silly. As for Iraq, Mark has made clear that our troops cannot simply leave because there is an obvious military component to the struggle there, but even Secretary Rumsfeld has said that the ultimate solution is political, not military.

Donald E. L. Johnson

Alan,
The Congressman wrote, "In the end, I believe a military solution is not possible in Iraq; the solution to peace rests with a political process that needs broad international support."

I think my assessment of this statement and Udall's refusal to support the invation of Iraq is a fair one, with all due respect. He wants the UN to intervene, or what? Very typical liberal Democrat, don't you think? Are you uncomfortable with his position, as I am?

Don

Phoenix Rising

Iraq != War on Terrorism. Or did you put Bush's speech last night on auto-replay?

The War on Terrorism is a war of diplomacy, a war of economics, a war of ideology, and sometimes a physical war. It cannot be won with diplomacy alone, but neither will it ever be won with force alone.

The Congressman has been up front in his views on Iraq on many occasions; we're there now, and we're obligated under international law and US approved treaty to stay until the situation is stabilized. Having said that, to paraphrase Rep. Udall: the best way to get to a stable Iraq is not to have started by occupying Iraq. The ultimate solution in Iraq is a stable government, a trained Iraqi security force, and us completely and totally out of the country; 14 permanent military bases is not a viable part of the solution. This will involve considerable international diplomacy.

Alan Salazar

Don, I think you are putting words in Udall's mouth. He didn't suggest "UN intervention" at all. He never mentioned the UN or used the word "intervention." What he said is that "broad international support" is necessary to support and sustain the democratic political process underway in a post-Saddam Iraq. I don't know if that is "typical liberal Democrat" or just plain common sense. I think you'll find that many thoughtful Republicans like Senators John McCain, Chuck Hagel and Lindsay Graham have said the same thing. As for "Liberal Democrats", I guess you'll have to include Pat Buchanan in that bunch as well, because he also opposed the Iraq resolution. It is true that Mark Udall opposed the decision to invade Iraq; he did so based on his reservations about the strategic wisdom of making nation-building in Iraq the centerpiece of our struggle against Islamic terrorism, and the distraction away from finishing the job we began in Afghanistan (a military invasion Udall voted for) and against al Qeada. I think it's pretty clear from the situation we are facing that Udall's concerns about Iraq have been borne out.

Alfalfa

When the Iraq resolution was voted on by Congress, the rationale given was that Iraq posed a threat to the United States based on its stockpile of WMDs. Some members of Congress voted against the resolution arguing that we should give the weapons inspections and, yes, diplomacy more time. As it turns out, those people were very prescient because there were no weapons stockpiles - nothing, nada, zippo (the famous 6th Iraqi Marx Brother).

Don, you can argue all you want about what should be done in Iraq now that we are there and now that a quite healthy insurgency has come together to make things very tough. As Alan has pointed out, it seems that Mark Udall is pretty close to your position in regards to the US being unable to leave Iraq before things have settled.

However, even though George Bush tries to get away with it, ultimately history will not allow you to go back and rewrite the truth about the original Congressional resolution and why people voted for it or against it. It was about WMDs. Tarring people being as weak on terrorism for voting against the original invasion is as incorrect as the intelligence Bush foisted on Congress and the nation to sell his folly.

Donald E. L. Johnson

Having debated online the War on Islamic terrorism since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq since it was first proposed, I believe that anyone who voted against giving the president the authority to invade was on the wrong side of history. You had to be a real lefty peacenick to cast such a vote.

And no one had any idea that the international intelligence community had completely screwed up on the issue of WMD. Nor could anyone forecast what would happen after the invasion with any certainty. As in all wars and battles, there were hundreds of unknown risks, and it took a courageous president and prime minister of the U.K. to do the right thing to protect the security of their nations and of the world.

Hugo O'conor

Finally something Don and I can agree on!

The President made the best decision possible with the information provided. Every one can Monday-morning-quarterback but ultimately he made the best choice that he could make.

Alfalfa

If the intelligence worldwide was so wrong, why were we so alone in our efforts to stop the terror that was Iraq?

If everyone was reading off the same playbook and saw the same material, why were so many people both in the US and around the world arguing in favor of the inspections, which were working, and diplomacy?

And, if the President and Prime Minister are to be commended for using force to stop the terror that was Saddam Hussein, where is the hue and cry over their inability to stop North Korea (which HAS nukes) or Iran?

I guess George and Tony are just a couple of "lefty peaceniks" because they haven't taken similar action in those two countries - probably want to offer Kim Il Jong therapy or something.

Mark Udall

Phoenix Rising, I missed answering your three part question yesterday. Here goes. On the issue of congressional travel, House ethics requires disclosure and some members have gotten themselves into trouble by failing to report their trips and who paid for them. The safest way to avoid any ethical difficulty is to make sure the travel is work-related and paid for by official federal agencies (as with my two trips to Iraq). On the issue of biodisel and renewable energy you touch an issue close to my heart. It's why I co-chaired the renewable energy ballot initiative with Lola Spradley in Colorado, which Steve Welchert and John Britz did such a great job with, and why I have led the renewable enery caucus in the House. Is the will developing in Congress to help? Nothing makes more sense for our national security, but sadly, the leadership in Congress hasn't the will to move boldly and the energy bill moving through Congress continues our dependence on fossil fuels. On immigration identification I am stil learning about the complexities of the issue, but ICE will tell you that they are underfunded and we don't have the best systems in place to identify immigrant labor. How to pay for what we need in the era of Bush tax cuts is a significant problem.

Donald E. L. Johnson

Tax cuts are the solution, not the problem. The tax cuts stimulate our economy and are the reason that our deficit is coming in lower than projected.

Trying to tie tax cuts to social problems seems to be the Dems' big lie strategy of the 21st Century. They lost the 2004 elections advocating more taxes and still they want higher taxes and more spending (as if they can outspend the Rs). Will they never learn?

No, they're lawyers and vote-buying politicians who need our money to buy our votes, and just as they're more interested in winning power than in promoting unity in our war against terrorism and economic prosperity, the Dems continue to call for higher taxes.

Truly amazing. But keep it up; you're taxman strategy will keep the Rs in power for decades.

Alfalfa

Leave it to Donald to be able to tie the soft on terrorism charge into a post attacking Dems as being pro-tax. Dude, you are so on message!

But, what happened to bashing us as being pro-illegal immigration. You're slipping, son.

Gloria Violette

Is it possible to gain help from the UN to stop the genocide going on in Darfur, Sudan or can we do something to help on our own? G. Violette

Monty Grubbs

Please work to revise the Stimulus Bill, removing the Pet Projects and Pork items. It appears that one-third to one-half of the House Bill has nothing to do with syimulating the econcmy, but is just Pet Projects that will expand Government.
I don'y want my children and grandchildren having to pay for this reckless spending.

Monty Grubbs
Aurora, CO.

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