Senators Debbie Stabenow and Ted Kennedy kicked off an effort today to make the voices of everyday Americans heard by the President and Congress. Senators Stabenow and Kennedy held a press conference today to highlight how each and every American, from every walk of life, is impacted by the Iraq war and the failed policies of the Bush Administration. This is the first in a series of events to give a larger voice to Americans across the country who are concerned about and affected by this war. The Senators were joined by teachers, farmers, faith leaders and veterans from across the country including Donn Teske, a Kansas farmer, Anna Burger, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU and Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the Methodist Church.
My wife, Kathy and I, operate a fifth generation farm in Kansas. We have four wonderful children, two of which would… one is draft age, and one would be coming on, and uh…that’s a concern. But uh…we’re a clannish community, we… the town of Wheaton has 97 people in it, and I tell all people all but five of them are my second cousin. That’s probably not far off.
But…virtually everyone that you talk to has a family member that’s been affected by this war, whether their serving, some have lost members of their family, and that’s so sad. And uh… I have the greatest respect for our forefathers and uh… and uh…those who came before us, and what they did to fight for our freedom. And… and… I understand the just causes for that and the need…but, if one of my sons are go to Iraq and lose his life for… a war fo…fought under false pretences, I couldn’t live with that.
The cost of the war has been great for our congregations, synagogues, mosques, and houses of worship. We bury the dead… and administer the wounded…and those whose lives will never again be whole.
A 109 Bishops of my own denomination, the United Methodist Church, have acknowledged… as elected, consecrated Bishops of the church, we repent of our complicity and what we believe to be the unjust and immoral invasion… an occupation of Iraq. In the face of the United States’ administration rush towards military action based on misleading information… too many of us…were silent.
And Ms. Burger:
This Iraq War is a drain on our society, a drain on our world; it’s a drain on our critical resources. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on failed policies on Iraq, while tens of millions of Americans go without Health Care…where our schools are [struggling], [or] have enough money, where our people are living in poverty…and while the American dream is slipping away for millions of America[n]s every single day.”
“We want a new strategy, we want to get out of Iraq now, and we want bring our troops home safely. We want to fix our ou…broken Health Care system, we want to fix our broken education system, we want to recreate the American dream. We call on congress… we call on this President… to end this war to bring our troops home now.
In conjunction with these events, Senate Democrats also launched a website – America Speaks Out on The War In Iraq – today where Americans from every corner of the country can add their voices to the national conversation on the war and how it affects them, their families, their co-workers, and their communities.
The web site can be accessed at: http://democrats.senate.gov/americaspeaks/
The website features webvideos of stories of Americans such as Alma and Brian Hart – parents of John Hart – who spoke out on the equipment shortage problems their sons face while serving in Iraq.
In the coming weeks we will be working hard to bring you the stories of everyday Americans from across the nation as they speak out on the war in Iraq. People from all walks of life are adding their voices to our national conversation on the War and how it affects them, their families, their co-workers and their communities. Please keep visiting http://democrats.senate.gov/americaspeaks/ for regular updates.