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(DV) Richards: Marine Open Letter





Marine Open Letter: Make the Bold Adjustment Necessary in Iraq by Voting Against the Supplemental 
by Marine Corporal Cloy Thomas Richards
March 26, 2007

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An Open Letter to the U.S. House of Representatives 
From Marine Corporal Cloy Thomas Richards, March 22, 2007,

For Marine Corps riflemen, the best shooters in the world, the technique we use for proper engagement of targets is to make drastic adjustments if you are missing you mark. Whether it's because of windage or elevation, you cannot keep firing off-target making small adjustments and hope to hit your target. The legislative and executive branches have continually missed the target in Iraq. 
Our troops have done a superb job, despite Congress's bickering, ineptitude, and inability to work together, to ensure their best possible efforts to end the Iraq problem. But our president has offered a petty 21,500 troop escalation, which is equivalent to pouring a thimbleful of water on a forest fire. The supplemental is yet another small adjustment to the "misfiring" the Bush Administration and Congress have made in regards to our policy in Iraq. It is unconscionable that this bill has any pork attached to it. This bill is supposed to determine the safety of our troops, but you dare to disgrace them by hanging their lives in the balance with pork-barrel legislation. 
I stay in contact with many of the active duty marines from my old unit, and the resounding consensus is that we won the war in 2003, but Capitol Hill and the Bush Administration have lost the occupation. How dare you take our victory from us! 
I am telling you this because I am a mouthpiece for hundreds of active duty troops who cannot say this publicly for fear of retribution. Do right by them. Do not continue funding this war. Work together to come up with a bill that honors the sacrifices that our troops have made. Either declare our victory that we have already earned or commit to the Iraq occupation fully. If only one percent of our country is fighting the war on terror, then reinstate the draft, stop giving tax breaks to the rich, and let's win this occupation. 
Either way the ball is in your court. Will you make the bold adjustment necessary by voting no against the supplemental, or will you support this bill simply voting along party lines and exposing your true cowardice? Make the right choice and vote your conscience -- thousands of lives depend on it. 
Corporal Cloy Thomas Richards, USMC has served two tours of duty in Iraq.