Attack on Stearns was unwarranted

Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 12:19 a.m.
In a Dec. 22 letter, a failed congressional candidate sought to disparage President Bush for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Iraq, and attack both Congress and our own Congressman Cliff Stearns.
From the rhetoric during his campaign, one would think that the writer would be pleased that the president has decided to reassess the situation and propose changes in strategy in Iraq. In the campaign, it was Stearns who said that we need to alter our course in this conflict and come up with new ways to measure success.
This former candidate makes the presumption that he alone needs answers to two questions: Who is the enemy? How do we know when we have won?
First, the enemies in Iraq are the same extreme Islamic terrorists that are devoted to killing Americans and others around the world.
Second, we will know we have won in Iraq when the Iraqi people can live and choose their own leaders, provide for their own security and develop their own economy to compete in a world market. If we settle for the immediate withdrawal, then we will lose the war and the area will become a base for extreme Islamic terrorists. Many bordering, moderate Muslim countries would be undermined.
He calls on Congress to pass legislation to end dependence upon foreign oil, but his party has opposed the development of resources in this country, particularly in ANWAR and offshore drilling even 285 miles off the Gulf coast of Florida, which would reduce that dependence. Congress is on record for ending dependence with its alternative energy incentives through the marketplace, and not through government mandates.
With his kind of thinking, it appears obvious why the voters have rejected him three times.
Stafford Jones, Chairman, Alachua County Republican Party, Gainesville

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