Lietta Ruger to Wamfso
I don't know if her position is evolving, but I do know she is now at least talking about her position on Iraq war. From what I am given to understand that is not something she has done these past months. I've been a participant in 2 of the 3 meetings with the Senator scheduled specifically to discuss her position on Iraq. I've now heard her first hand on two separate occasions in these meetings.
My participation in both meetings with Senator Cantwell has been representing Military Families Speak Out. We do have a chapter in WA state with 60 + WA military family members. That means military families with loved ones who have or will deploy to Iraq/Afghanistan, have returned and will redeploy in repeat deployments, or have died in Iraq/Afghanistan deployment. I posted my perceptions of that second meeting with the Senator on April 10 at Washblog; Sen. Cantwell explains her position Iraq war in Monday meeting with us April 10, 2006.
Prior to the third meeting of May 6, 2006, which came about as her response to a sit-in that took place in her Seattle office April 25, 2006, Senator Cantwell placed her own guest op-ed article in Seattle Times, May 4, 2006; The year of transition in Iraq stating in her own words her position on Iraq. Another article in the Seattle PI, May 4, 2006 Cantwell clears the air on her Iraq stance addresses what the Senator has now publicly stated as her position.
Then another article in Seattle Times on May 5, 2006, a day before our third meeting w/ Senator Cantwell; Cantwell's stance on Iraq keeps volunteers away, party chief says
Reporting on the May 6 meeting with the Senator, Seattle Times on May 7 Cantwell speaks to party faithful, then meets with critics in private
My husband attended with me the May 6 meeting with the Senator and posted his perceptions of that meeting also at Washblog; It wasn't Camp Casey and Maria Cantwell is not George Bush.
At this point, the Senator and I share common ground on one point; she feels a responsibility to her Senator's vote in favor of U.S. invading Iraq and believes stability and security of Iraq must be established in this year of transition 2006; I feel a responsibility for my vote of confidence in the Senator in the last election and believe stability and security of our U.S. troops and Iraq must be established by responsible Congressionals taking a leadership role in defining a clear exit strategy in bringing them home now. Furthering this catastrophe furthers continuing catastrophic devastation to our troops who have become targets in what looks like civil war; and to the Iraqi people who become the collateral damage to our troop presence in Iraq.
Questions and information were shared with the Senator in all three meetings and in some instances she was given room to address and respond. Other times, imo, she was not given nearly as much opportunity to respond as I would have preferred. Essentially though, with her now stating a position, what is not yet clarified for me is the definition of Iraq stability and security in the year of transition 2006. In the second meeting with Senator Cantwell, April 10, 2006, it was shared with her by Iraqi/American citizen participating in the meeting that the 'standards' of what defines for the U.S. and what defines for the Iraqis are very different standards. In other words,if training Iraqis according to U.S. standards to take over their own security/stability is the objective, has consideration been given to the Iraqi standards as they define it for themselves?
Somehow to me, that is a relevant question that provides far too much wiggle room for Congressionals to take the 'safe' stand and continue to push the timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops further into 'indefinite' future.
Lietta Ruger, military family with 2 returning Iraq veterans facing multiple deployments;
Since March, 2003, on average, over two service men and women have died each day as a result of the war in Iraq; that fatality rate continues in May, 2006. Discussions in Congress about the war in Iraq and exit strategies include many proposals for bringing troops home after the mid-term election in November, 2006. If Congress waits until November to act, it is likely that 350 or more U.S. servicemen and women will die along with countless Iraqi children, women and men.
"This is a poignant and painful addition to the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, but one that all decision-makers should see," stated Larry Syverson of Richmond, Virginia, whose son in the Army is currently serving a second tour of duty in the Persian Gulf. "I hope every member of Congress and Senator visits this exhibit and reflects on the urgency of ending this war. Their failure to act could mean that the next pair of boots that is moved from this section to the section devoted to the boots of the fallen could be my son's."
quoted from Military Families Speak Out press release, May 10, 2006 announcing 'Silence of the Dead; Voices of the Living' vigil in Washington DC May 11-14. Senator Cantwell was given personal invitation to attend at our May 6 meeting with her, and I sincerely hope she will take up that invitation as a time for reflection.
my blog Dying to Preserve the Lies "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Ghandi