As my favorite professional journalist turned DFH blogger noted, today’s hearings are descending into restatements of questions already asked yesterday. One notable exception, though, was Robert Wexler. I’m not usually a fan of Wexler’s emotional displays. But Wexler boiled down the question everyone is and has been asking.
General Petraeus, last week in anticipation of this hearing, I sent an urgent email asking my constituents and other Americans if they were serving on this committee, what is the one question they would pose to you. There was an extraordinary response, with more than 5000 questions submitted. These emails and phone calls expressed deeply held frustrations about the War in Iraq and reflect the feelings of millions of Americans who feel that their opinions and concerns are cast aside by the Bush Administration. I want to thank everyone who responded and submitted a question for today’s hearing. While many of the respondents rightfully highlighted the bravery of our troops, a majority of the emails expressed a strong desire to see a withdrawal of American soldiers from Iraq and an end to this five-year war that has cost our nation so dearly.
Most of the questions boiled down to this: General, we often see President Bush and Senator McCain say we must win in Iraq. What is the definition of winning? What would a military victory look like that was sufficient enough to allow us to begin leaving?
Then, in a horrific turn of events, two of my constituents, Esther and Len Wolfer of Boca Raton, Florida, learned that this past Sunday their son had been killed for this war. Major Stuart Wolfer was a 36-year old Reservist on his second tour. He was married with three young children, ages 5, 3, and 20 months. His family was relieved that he was in the Green Zone, for they hoped he would be safe there. He was not. I spoke to Mr. Wolfer yesterday–last night–who asked me to ask you simply, "For what? For what had he lost his son?"
So allow me to combine if you will the questions of the people that responded to me and Mr. Wolfer. What has all this been for. And please, respectfully, don’t tell us as you told Senator Warner yesterday, "to remove a brutal dictator." That’s not good enough. There are many dictators in the world. Read more