4/09/2005

Trying to do the right thing

From Middle East Online:
US Representative Walter Jones, a conservative Republican, does not hide his anger when he says bad information led him to vote for the Iraq war. "If I had known then what I know today, I wouldn't have voted for that resolution. Absolutely not," he said Thursday in an interview. His comments reflect concerns of other Republican lawmakers in Congress, and polls show a lingering debate over the reasons for going to war have hurt the administration even as the Iraq operation shows signs of success. A day earlier, during House Armed Services Committee testimony on the Iraq war, Jones demanded an apology from the administration of President George W. Bush. "To me, there should be somebody that is large enough to say, 'We made a mistake'," Jones said, almost in tears with frustration. He said he and other lawmakers want to ensure they are never again asked to authorize a war with bad information. Jones felt so bad he decided to write personal letters of condolence to the families of each of the more than 1,600 US soldiers killed. He has so far sent more than 900. "My heart aches every time I sign these letters and I want them to look right," he said. The funeral of a Marine sergeant, among the first US casualties of the war, along with Jones's Christian faith, inspired him to write the letters...The administration has seen its main justification for war evaporate, most recently when a presidential commission found that US intelligence agencies were "dead wrong" in saying Iraq had illegal weapons. That failure doesn't play well in Jones's rural, conservative North Carolina district, he said. The state went strongly for Bush last year and includes the Camp Lejeune Marine base, a major source of troops for Iraq.

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