Tomorrow, Senator Hillary Clinton is visiting Portland for a campaign fundraiser. A group of Oregon veterans who supported the John Kerry presidential campaign released a letter yesterday criticizing her visit.
The Oregonian has the story. Here at BlueOregon, we're posting the full text of the letter below. Discuss.
As Oregon veterans and members of military families we are concerned with your fundraising trip to Oregon on two counts; your strong support for the immoral war in Iraq and your plan to take Oregon donations that are needed elsewhere.
Many of us are decorated combat veterans who have experienced the pain and loss of war. While we support a strong defense and an aggressive pursuit of Al Qaeda, we view the war in Iraq as a diplomatic disaster for our country, a drain on our treasury, and an unnecessary waste of American and Iraqi lives. The fact that you continue to align yourself with the Bush war is disturbing. Most other Democrats in congress who did not oppose the war from the beginning now admit that they made a mistake in voting for the war or have begun to side with those like Representative Murtha who are calling for an organized pull-out. While we appreciate your concern that we not abandon the Iraqi people since our President created this mess, our experience leads us to believe we must consider this as damage that has already been inflicted. Whatever happens will happen whenever we leave, now or later, just as in Viet Nam. We urge you to reassess your position on Iraq and join the rest of your party in opposing this blot on American history.
We stand at a critical point in our democracy. It is vital that we take back control of the U.S. House and the Senate. In Oregon we also need to wrest control of the Oregon House from Republicans so they do not continue to block adequate funding for schools and health care for low income Oregonians. Instead of helping fellow Democrats support these efforts you are holding a fund raiser here in Oregon for your own election in New York. Since you have significant cash resources and face a weak opponent the effect is to remove political contributions that should be directed to those who truly need them.
We urge you to donate the entire amount of funds that you raise here to support the Democratic Party of Oregon or to help those candidates who need all of our support in the battle to win back the House and Senate. As veterans we are particularly interested in seeing support go to those courageous individuals like Iraqi veterans Paul Hackett in Ohio, double-amputee Tammy Duckworth in Illinois, and Paul Evans in Oregon who will replace Republicans if they win.
We yearn for the peace and prosperity and the respect for individual rights that existed when you and your husband were in the White House. We yearn for leadership that will help end this nightmare we live in today. Senator Clinton; provide that leadership!
Name Oregon Residence Branch/Dates of Service
John Calhoun Portland US Army ’68-70
Ted Quackenbush Sherwood US Marines ’68-69
Jim Rassmann Florence US Army ’66-69
Doug Snider Medford USN ‘ 67-71
Ken Royce Ashland USN’ 67-87
Lori Larson Central Point USN ’75-79, Mother of Iraqi vet
Lester Hoyle Cave Junction USAF ’50-53
Leonard Porter Medford USN ’69-70
Ron Betts Waldport US Army ’66-68, Son in Afghanistan
Harlan Moore Medford US Army ’50-52
Bruce Freeman Newberg USN/MC ’71-74
Wayne Kelley Ashland US Army ’68-71
Mike Mattingly Portland USN ’65-72
Eric Kees Medford USN ’75-98
Joel Haugen Scappoose US Army ’68-71
Dan Davis Jacksonville US Army ’65-69
Eugene Rosolie Portland US Marines ’67-70
Jim Schmidt Eugene US Army ’71-72
Robert Serra Westlake US Army ’69-70, ’85-93
Tom Dew Medford USN ’66-70
Anne Haley Portland Mother Iraqi vet
Elaine Hamilton Medford USN ’82-83
John Duggan Jacksonville US Army ’66-69
Chuck Keil Ashland USN ’68-88
Joseph Zajac Grants Pass USN ’60-80
Anne Philiben Bend US Army ’66-88
Ben Butzien Lostine USAF ’64-67
Larry Slessler Medford USAF ’62-72
Steve Haley Portland US Army ’98-05, Iraq vet, West Point ‘98
Thomas Smith Eagle Point USMC ’60-69
Bill Kroger Beaverton US Army ’61-02
Bettye Ingram Central Point USN ’54-56
John Vandermosten Gresham USN 1960-63
John A. Czekala Central Point US Army ’69-05
JD Van Doren Milwaukie US Army ’64-67
David Bishop Enterprise USN ’44-46
Hal Anthony Grants Pass US Coast Guard ’69-75
Rhonda Loftis Medford USN ’73-84
Gerry Lukos Beaverton USAF ’72-77