Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lou Correa Called, Here's the Response

For the last eight days, we have all been wondering why State Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) voted against SJR 1, the resolution opposing the escalation of the Iraq War. I especially wanted to know why Lou Correa voted against this bill, since he is my State Senator. And now, I have an answer.

Lou gave me a call, and I picked up the phone. He gave me that answer. Follow me after the flip, and I'll explain it to you...

Here's what Senator Lou Correa had to say to me:
"The issue for me is this: Are we in or are we out, and if we're out, how do we get out? And until we decide to get out, we have a commitment to our troops."

What Lou was saying here was that until we, as a nation, decide how to leave Iraq, we should honor our "commitment to the troops". I guess he felt uncomfortable voting for the resolution because, according to his reasoning, this was sending out "the wrong message" to the troops. He said that he's personally against the war, and that he'd like to see an end to the war sometime soon. However Lou also told me that he feels that we should not withdraw our troops immediately, and that we need to develop a good plan to bring the troops home without leaving too much damage to Iraq. Actually, Lou made a good point. We shouldn't just withdraw our troops immediately, and without a plan to leave while leaving minimal damage to Iraq. However, I do think that we need to begin planning as soon as possible, since right now all our troops are doing is fighting Iraq's civil war.

Lou told me about a military widow that he met while he was County Supervisor. He was telling me about all the hardships that she's had to endure since his death, and about the kid that she now has to raise... And she's only 20. He told me that considering her, and other military families, he felt uncomfortable voting against "the mission" so long as there are still troops serving that mission, and the federal government has not determined how to end the war. Now I understand that we have a commitment to these military families, and that we should honor the service of our troops. However, I don't think that we have a duty to honor the mistake that George W. Bush made in sending these troops off to war, the mistake which is causing so much grief in the lives of these military members and their families.

I guess Lou also made a valid point that until Congress decides when to bring the troops home from Iraq, we should support the troops. However for me and many others, we feel that the best way to support the troops is by bringing them home. And for me and many others, we appreciate the effort of the majority of the State Senate to urge Congress to act in bringing the troops home as soon as humanly possible. We so desperately need an end to this war, and we appreciated the twenty-two State Senators who called on Congress to stop the escalation, and to end this war. It's just too bad that my Senator did not feel comfortable being the twenty-third.

Although I still disagree with his vote, I certainly appreciate Lou Correa's willingness to discuss his vote with me. It helps me reestablish my faith in him as someone who cares about our community in Central Orange County. I hope he continues to respond to all the other calls and letters that he has received from constituents about his vote on the Iraq resolution. And yes, I hope that he continues to stay in touch with the concerns of the people who live in our community. And yes, I hope he issues a public statement that everyone else in the community can see. Lou has conversed with me about it, and now I only wish that he will let all the rest of his constituents in on the conversation.

(Cross-posted at Calitics)

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