September 02, 2007
An open letter to Sen. Warner ... arner.html

letter to the editor

Although Larry Craig's ‘bathroom gate" non-political sensational story took up the news cycle the last week, I suggest a sober look at the next media cycle sensationalistic senate story; the announced retirement of John Warner. I wrote to him following his call for troop withdrawal (prior to his announced retirement).

As I connect the dots, his last session in the Senate was not as exemplary as the media will suggest and for which media will swoon over him this next week. Unfortunately, I believe his overall positive contributions will be relegated to secondary attention as the media frame his "withdraw troops now" message as that of a "serious senior Republican wise man" who will be a major loss to both antiwar Democrats and the mainstream media, excuse the redundancy. Will his twilight year in the Senate move him to embrace ill-thought moderate positions? What follow-on positions will he embrace? It is sad to see what frustration and lack of imagination can do after 28 years in the Senate. Perhaps another argument for term limits. My letter follows:

Dear Senator Warner:

Once again you are moving in the wrong direction; last time it was your support of the immigration bill, which was a total failure and a nontransparent effort to go around the will of the majority of the American public. Now your call to withdraw troops, even a token number, is an effort to go around the will of the American troops, the Commander in Chief, and the will of an unknown silent majority which supports the surge, at least until a final report from the general on the ground.

Your efforts to be politically correct are all too transparent with regard to your support for the immigration bill. Now you are in an unstated coalition with Sen. Levin and his ilk to undermine the recent positive trends with the surge in Iraq. As a Navy veteran married to a Navy veteran and father of a Naval Academy student, your failure to support the chain of command is a terrible example of fortitude, persistence, or leadership.

Other options outside of calling for a troop withdrawal should have been explored, but what measures to inform your constituency other than stepping into the DC/Hollywood spotlight have you taken? Other options could have been financial reductions and specific, non-troop related items. Reduce the size of the embassy which is still in construction, not reducing the number of the troops who are vital to the defense of fellow personnel.

Other options than the DC/Hollywood publicity should or could have been taken. Perhaps you enjoy being used by anti-war media in framing the issue as bring the troops home now or later regardless of the consequences. What ideas have you formulated or informed your constituency about the consequences of an early exit without satisfactory security which the President strongly stated in his VFW address?

Have you warned publicly what will happen when millions of the new "boat people of the "desert" of Iraq request asylum into the United States analogous to the Vietnamese? Have you publicly stated that many of the "refugees" will indeed be jihadis with the intention of doing harm on US soil?

Again Sen. Warner, your contributions in the past have been formidable, but your more recent actions remind many of the numerous tainted military men and civil servants who "recognize" the errors of their youth in their twilight years and repent. There may be little pressure constituents can place on you in your lame duck phase, outside the loss of integrity and respect that many of us held you in, but this latest poor decision combined with your fluctuation on the failed immigration bill, do little honor to your remaining time in congress.

Please reconsider the damage you commit by unwise decisions in your last days of Congress.

Pat Smith