Republished from here.
- Boris Epstein
As a New Yorker who lived through the horrors of September 11th firsthand; who lost a family member in the chaos that ensued; and who had colleagues, friends, and fellow students whose lives were forever changed by the actions of a small group of terrorists, I find your comments to the nation tonight, September 13, 2007, to be galling, tactless, and above all else, incredibly insulting.
Your repeated allusions to Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the completely misguided insinuation that our troops are somehow stationed there because of this new terror group is bewildering and enraging. The brave men and women who find themselves in the midst of ethno-sectarian violence and a full-blown civil war are not there because of any Al-Qaeda threat. Instead, they risk their lives daily because of your stubbornness and unwillingness to admit the validity of any position divergent from your own. Your continued poor judgment has wounded over 27,000 servicepeople and stripped over 3,700 families of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers.
In the face of all who have lost loved ones so near and dear, both on 9/11 and in this misguided arm of your "war on terror," it is reprehensible to suggest that the motivation behind leaving 130,000 troops on duty in Iraq has anything to do with Al-Qaeda or terrorism. Prior to our invasion, Al-Qaeda in Iraq simply did not exist. The quagmire you have inspired has lead to the creation of this offshoot organization--distinct from the Al-Qaeda that has struck us in our country and elsewhere--and to what is quite arguably the most effective, free recruitment campaign that terrorists could have ever dreamed up.
If your decision is to lie unabatedly to the American public, please retain at least a shred of dignity by not invoking Al-Qaeda so incessantly in your rhetoric. We are not an ignorant people, we know when we are not being told the truth, and we are outraged that you continue to denigrate the memory of the innocent men and women who died in what was a legitimate terrorist act. Mr. President, we are not in Iraq because of Al-Qaeda, nor shall we remain there because of a nonexistent threat, and for you to suggest these falsehoods should be an impeachable offense.
A Loyal American