But aren't fact-finding trips supposed to, I don't know, find out facts?
Here's something that might be of interest to Rep. Whiplash as he goes to Iraq (he's meeting with General Petreus, by the way. Make sure you let him know Senator Messiah says hi, by the way). Since the surge began in early '07, violence in Iraq has gone down. I know, inconvenient for your position, but facts are stubborn things, right?
Another thing they'll tell you (of course, you won't put it in your press releases, and even if you did, I doubt your admiring press would print it) is the Awakening Movement, and the formation of the Sons of Iraq. These are Iraqis who are 'doing more for their country' as you put it. You should perhaps ask a couple of the Sheiks in Anbar Province about it-or their next of kin, since by standing up for themselves against Al-qaeda they've been targets.
Recently, the Iraqi Army and Security Forces took the offensive to Al-qaeda in Basra. Combat units in the Iraqi army are capable of pulling off that; the main thing that they lack is logistical capability. Even as you were there, the Iraqis were taking bids on opening up oil fields.
See, they've been doing that for a while, and I think they'd resent how you're portraying them, as essentially a bunch of welfare cases suckling off of the American teet. You just have to read deeper into things than you obviously do. I realize you're playing to the isolationist streak in rural Northeast Mississippi, and I note that you want the troops home "safely and honorably." I do too.
Here's the difference between you and me. I understand the consequence of leaving too soon means that Iran-who I'm sure you've been briefed is the major backer of terrorism in Iraq-gets stronger and al-Qaeda has a large base of operations. But I'm just one of those flyover country peons, certainly not as smart as the San Francisco crew that you've been provided by the DNC. I'm not so sure they-or you-adequately grasp the existential struggle we're in.
But enjoy the rest of the trip. Remember, FACT finding, FACT finding.