That's the message one retired Marine sounds like he'd like to deliver to all Congressional Democrats.
While Michael Arcuri seems to be hearing both from supporters and opponents of the US mission in Iraq (see next post), it sounds like Paul Hodes - a freshman Democrat from New Hampshire - may be hearing a stronger message from constituents angry with his vote for a date certain for withdrawal:
Hodes defended his support for U.S. troops by pointing to bill provisions that set aside money for better troop training and equipment. Gerry Duncan, whose husband fought in Afghanistan and whose brother-in-law is serving in Iraq, said that the issue wasn't about troop preparedness.
"The majority of our soldiers have what they need," said Duncan, of Nashua. "What they don't have is support of Congress."
"I disagree entirely with your characterization," Hodes said.
Members also questioned Hodes about the bill's provisions. The bill would require the complete withdrawal of the troops by September 2008.
"The worst thing to do was to put a date certain" for withdrawal, said John Rogers, a retired Marine colonel. You don't tell the enemy that, 'We're quitting at halftime, so if you're ahead, you win.' That's B.S. If you don't want to fund the war, have the nads to end it now."
Rogers said that if U.S. troops left too soon, Iran and terrorists could overcome an unstable Iraqi government.
Hodes tried to find common ground with troops' families, but he also was blunt in explaining his positions.
"I think there are no good options" in Iraq, he said.
"I think winning is a good option," Healy said. The other members applauded.
The article in the Monitor notes that the meeting was scheduled specifically for supporters of the war - so there was no way it could have gone well for Hodes. However, Members of Congress react to what they hear from constituents. And this meeting could only make him less likely to support a forced withdrawal the next time he votes on it.