A Few Honest Questions
269 Russell Office Building
My name is Milo Freeman. I am a Michigan native and longtime supporter of your work in the U.S. Senate. I am also an enlisted U.S. soldier, writing under an assumed name and serving an active-duty tour in Iraq.
I am writing today with two concerns regarding your positions on national security as head of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The first pertains to your recent trip to Iraq; the other regards the current state of relations with nearby Iran.
Firstly: In one of your recent newsletters, you informed your constituents of progress being made on the ground here in Iraq. You advised, so far as I could tell, a course of action which primarily involved ousting current Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki. You also included a blurb recommending a drawdown of troops in the near future, but as to the nature or timeline of that drawdown you gave no further indication.
I am concerned about these statements. I have normally been a staunch supporter of your work in the Senate, and am proud to call you my representative in that legislative body. However, I must raise issue with what I see as being an overly vague reccomendation for pullout that, in addition to seeming toothless, also plays directly into the intentions of GOP interest groups on Capitol Hill.
I am given to understand that lobbying groups associated with the President are currently undertaking a press campaign to malign Maliki, in an effort to secure the position for former PM Iyad Allawi. Allawi, as you are no doubt aware, is half of the reason why we are still here. Why is talk still being made of Maliki's ouster, when the simple fact is that a cessation of military activities in this theater is what needs (and indeed, what the American people DEMANDS) be undertaken?
For all the talk of wanting to refocus our energies in the "War on Terrorism," (a suspiciously Reaganesque phrase, don't you agree?), I am disappointed to see such weak effort being put forth by the newly-Democratic Legislature. I understand that with the lack of votes necessary to sustain a quorum, crafting progressive policy can be a difficult exercise. That being said, I fear that if more firm action is not taken regarding Iraq in the near future, the situation for my fellow troops on the ground will only continue to deteriorate. I can personally attest that our supplies are lacking, our morale is low, and our family lives are crumbling in the prosecution of this (frankly illegal) venture.
This leads into my second concern. Why, after nearly five years of a bungled war in Iraq, do I now begin to read reports in the News of the White House planning for a first-strike attack on Iran? Why do I now hear saber-rattling from the White House press secretary, not to mention the President himself, seemingly welcoming a war which would not only be foolhardy in the present environment, but would needlessly endanger countless lives, to include my own.
Mr. Levin, I am proud to call you my Senator. I regard your work and positions, for the most part, very highly. However, I am concerned, after the weak performance the Senate gave on the FISA sunset extension/expansion, that your peers may be unable to effectively combat the President's machinations, or for that matter mount an effective resistance to a war-in-the-making.
Sir, I am twenty-four years old. I have a wife. I haven't even had a child yet. I am willing to risk my life for my country, but I cannot accept my leaders wasting it on folly.
On behalf of my friends, my fellow soldiers, my spouse, and of all the family members waiting back home for their loved ones; I ask you:
Do not allow my training, and possibly my life, to be risked on such a fruitless venture.
Milo Freeman, SPC, USA