Sunday, February 11, 2007

Boxers or Briefs?

No this isn't about personal choice of undergarments -- it's a brief of comments made by the Oklahoma Congressional delegation to the Oklahoma Press Association's Midwinter Convention in Norman yesterday. One prescribes Prozac for the whole nation and another said Bush is doing what he believes is right for Iraq. Really?

Briefly, in their own words ---

U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, CD2, said everything in President Bush's agenda is tied to the war...a new strategy is needed....past troop surges have not been successful....we need to win the war in Iraq but redefine what winning is. (Thank you Congressman Boren, we must redefine what winning is and change course, which means changing some policy. I am confident that you and the other Democrats in Congress are making the protection of Americans and the restoration of our global reputation policy priorities.)

Sen. James Inhofe "If we lose in Iraq, we will have serious problems in this country." (Senator, we have serious problems now. Our brave troops are in the middle of a religious civil war in the middle east and you have mortgaged our children's future and the security of our country to pay for this, this mother of six, one of them a soldier, says we already have serious problems. Stop defending the President's failed policies. Change the course.)

Tom Cole, CD4, says "sometimes you just have to suck it up and get it done." (Congressman, the American people have sucked it up and we are sick of it. Change the course.)

In brief, put the boxing gloves on and get the job done or we'll elect someone else to protect our interests.

Read the story from the Tulsa World below or click here.

Boren says he backs resolution on surge
By BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau

NORMAN -- U.S. Rep. Dan Boren said Saturday that he supports a resolution opposing a surge of U.S. troops headed for Iraq.

Boren, the only Democrat in the state's congressional delegation, said everything in President Bush's agenda is tied to the war. An immediate withdrawal is not necessary, he said, but a new strategy is needed. Past troop surges have not been successful, he said.

"We do need to win the war in Iraq, but we need to redefine what winning is," Boren said.

A vote is expected in the U.S. House of Representatives this week on a nonbinding resolution expressing disapproval of the president's recent decision to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq. The measure also affirms support for the troops.

Speaking at the Oklahoma Press Association's Mid-Winter Convention, other members of the state's congressional delegation expressed support for the president's plan and warned of possible consequences of failing in Iraq.

"If we lose in Iraq, we will have serious problems in this country," said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole said Bush is doing what he believes is right for the country. But Iraqis need to undertake a number of measures to help themselves, he said. About a year ago, the nation had free elections and a government was coming into shape, Cole said. But inside Iraq, things change politically, he said.

Currently, political factions with private militias are working outside the system, Cole said.

Winning means a democratic government, stability and the ability for Iraqis to defend themselves, Cole said.

"Sometimes, you just have to suck it up and get it done," Cole said.

Benchmarks need to be set to ensure the Iraqis are doing their part, he said.

Like Inhofe, Cole believed there were serious consequences for the U.S. if it loses the war. One of those consequences would be terrorists who set up training camps, he said.

Cole said Democrats, who took control of Congress after the November elections, should do something about the war rather than just complaining about it.

"We know what everyone thinks on Iraq in the U.S. Congress," Cole said. "The real debate on the floor ought to be about policy."

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn said the country needs to rebuild its confidence.

"We are in a position in this country today, we all need to be on Prozac, we are all so depressed," he said.

To deal with the situation, Coburn said, Congress needs to deal with the real problems like government spending.

Boren, a conservative Democrat, said the delegation works well together.

"Even when we disagree, it is in a very cordial way," Boren said. "We never question each others' patriotism. We want to support the troops."

Also present were U.S. Reps. Frank Lucas and Mary Fallin. U.S. Rep. John Sullivan did not attend.

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