The outcome of the November elections can mean the difference between life and death for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tuesday I attended the debate in Coos Bay between Congressman Peter DeFazio and his challenger, Jim Feldkamp. As the mother of an Iraq combat veteran and an active member of Military Families Speak Out I was deeply disappointed to hear Feldkamp, a veteran himself, spewing the typical Rumsfeld-Pentagon non strategy rallying cry of ‘stay the course’. The last thing our troops need is continued governance by platitude, they need people in Congress who will listen to the troops themselves as well as the numerous high ranking military personnel who continue to demand the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld often points to our all volunteer military forces and once said they are “doing what they want to do”, as if our troops are trained bird dogs happily flushing out wingless pheasants for Dick Cheney to ground sluice. The tactical disconnect between this administration and the gravity of the predicament we have placed our troops in cannot continue.

Most chilling to me was Feldkamp’s comment ..”we are fighting a new type of war here, one that our Constitution was not designed around”. He then went on to defend the Patriot Act, “What have we seen that has been such an excessive intrusion on your civil liberties?” He wrapped these comments in a warm fuzzy blanket stating that we have not had “a terrorist attack in the last five years. So we are doing something right.” Under that line of reasoning Bill Clinton has already bettered George Bush and, whether you like him or not, he did it without trampling on the constitution.

President Bush once stated that the terrorists hate us because of our freedoms. If this is true then we have already lost to the terrorists by allowing our constituion to be ‘redesigned’.

Our men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan are fighting and dying for their government, not their country as they would like to believe. We, the citizens they hope and believe they are fighting for, must ensure that our Congress is not so cavalier with their lives as the current administration and GOP held House and Senate. Cast your vote in November for someone who really cares about our troops, for Peter DeFazio.