Thursday, February 22, 2007

Letter to Norman Transcript Editor

ODP Vice-Chair Ben Odom Sent this letter to the Norman Transcript last week after the paper took a shot at Democratic Congressman Dan Boren and his position against the Bush Administration's Iraq plan.

Dear Editor,

It is a sad day for Norman when our local paper, The Transcript, allows its editorial page cartoon and lead editorial to sink to the level of right-wing talk radio and totally distort the Democratic positions on the war in Iraq and the war on terror.

Not blindly following the failed leadership of George Bush is doing our troops a favor, not a disservice. What really gives aid and comfort to our enemy is knowing that the Administration is without competence, a real plan for a victory in the region, or the ability to persuade allies to meaningfully contribute. Congressman Dan Boren, who is a pro-defense Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, ought to be saluted for his constant efforts to equip our troops, and modernize our defenses. When he points out that the lives of our troops are not just poker chips to be thrown in the pot in an attempt to bluff out a bad hand, Dan Boren ought to receive the praise of this newspaper and its readers, not unwarranted and ill-informed criticism.

Even worse than the editorial was the cartoon of February 12, showing Democrats putting up a flag of surrender. What a horrible distortion of the truth, when Democrats have voted for hundreds of billions in defense spending, backed the war in Afghanistan and the hunting down of Osama bin Laden. Democrats have indeed pointed out that the Iraq war has been poorly conceived and led by this White House, but that is our patriotic duty as the “watchdog” opposition. To suggest that Democrats favor anything but victory in the war on terror however is McCarthyism, and tears at the very fabric of our political system.

All Americans want victory – but how we can best achieve that victory is a proper topic for debate in our system of government. That type of debate has always occurred in past conflicts. It speaks to the very reason we have the best system of government ever devised. But a republic merits honest discussion, not bumper sticker politics.

Democrats, Oklahomans, and Americans deserve better than this level of discourse from your editorial page. Shame at what your editorials have insinuated against your fellow Americans should be your constant companion as the debate unfolds.


Ben Odom

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