Thursday, August 10, 2006

Baghdad Jim

Three weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed a resolution (HR 921) which supported Israel's right to defend itself against its enemies (Hezbollah, Hamas). I noticed that my representative (who I would never vote for) voted against the resolution. He was one of eight "no" votes.

So I asked him why.

He finally responded today. Here is his reply, in full:

Dear Mark:

Thank you for your recent communication regarding the conflict between Israel and the terrorist forces of Hezbollah and Hamas. These attacks make it even more urgent for our government to pursue an even-handed foreign policy in the Middle East, a goal that has yet to be embraced by the House of Representatives.

Recently, the House voted to pass House Resolution 921, which guaranteed American support for Israeli military action anywhere in the Middle East. One clause in the resolution said that we "support Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it." I have unwavering support for Israel, its safety, security and right to exist, but I also know from experience how this kind of language can be interpreted. I voted against this bill because it is a blank check that could include such rash actions as a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.

A resolution in the House of Representatives will not change what the world already knows about U.S. support for Israel's right to exist, but it might encourage what the world already fears: a wider war with greater casualties, undermining fragile but crucial support for Israel among Arab nations, and further endangering Israelis and other innocent civilians across the region.

As rockets continue to kill innocent civilians in both Southern Lebanon and Israel, lasting peace in the Middle East might seem like a pipe dream. The United States, however, cannot sit idly by and condone further killing on both sides of this conflict. At the recent talks in Rome, American diplomats failed to support a cease-fire proposal that was supported by the majority of the 15 other nations participating in the talks.

It is with this in mind that I have signed on to co-sponsor H. Con. Res. 450 calling for an immediate cessation of violence. We must use our influence as the world's only superpower to foster peace in the world's most violent regions.

Thank you for writing and I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind as the 109th Congress continues.

Jim McDermott
Member of Congress

Maybe I should ask him what he thinks of Frank J's proposal.

Nah. Here's the response I sent him:

In the world, there are good guys and there are bad guys. Do not treat democratic, free nations as equal to repressive, theocratic regimes. If you truly want peace in the world, you must defeat the bad guys. Otherwise, we're just their dhimmis, bowing our heads till they chop them off.

Mark Knoke


Geographicallychallenged said...

Hey, Soto
I didn't know what Dhimmi is and had to look it up on Wikipedia. I'm much too simple of a person to delve into the subject. I'm going to leave it up to you to summarize it for me.

Pedicularis said...

Baghdad Jim contradicts himself numerous times in his letter. He says he supports Israel, but he wants us to be more "even handed." Also, his fear of making the terrorists angry at the U.S. seems a little silly to me. They already are, and have been since Reagan was president. Appeasing them is never going to ease the tension, only embolden them to kill more of us.

Geographicallychallenged said...

Your "since Reagan" isn't accurate, Ped.

From Frontline:
Nov. 4, 1979 - Fifty-two American citizens were taken hostage when militant students of radical Islam stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Pedicularis said...

Ah, yes, Carter. And he is *still* trying to appease them.