Saturday, December 10, 2005

Stifling debate on this war is counter to patriotism

(This letter was published in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette on December 13, 2005.)

In Wednesday's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, President Bush cited Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., who sides with Mr. Bush in saying that it is too early for Americans to pull out of Iraq ("Bush Sees Rebuilding Successes in Iraq," Dec. 8). Recently, Sen. Lieberman also said, "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he'll be commander in chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

I disagree. The First Amendment enumerates our right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." If Americans don't challenge a president who is bankrupting our treasury, destroying our moral leadership and jeopardizing our national security, then we fail as patriots.

Joe Lieberman is a member of the "world's greatest deliberative body," yet he is trying to stifle debate instead of becoming part of the solution by joining the majority of Americans in questioning President Bush's foreign policy.

Teddy Roosevelt said in 1918, "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

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