My Interview With The Reno Gazette Journal

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Nevadamedic, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Nevadamedic

    Nevadamedic Senior Member

    Jul 13, 2007
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    A 27-city tour touting U.S. successes in Iraq kicks off Monday in Carson City with a rally and collection of cards and letters for injured troops.

    Move America Forward's "Fight for Victory Tour" also is scheduled to have a speech by Duncan Hunter, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee and a California Republican representing San Diego County.

    Mobilizing support

    The goal is to mobilize national support in advance of Gen. David Petraeus' mid-

    September report to Congress on the progress of the war in Iraq.

    "We want to get people to focus on Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador (Ryan) Crocker's report that contrary to the popular misperception, we're actually making a lot of progress on the war on terror," said Sal Russo, a strategist for the

    Sacramento-based Move America Forward.

    "We've been defeating al-Qaida decisively. It's part of the story that gets lost because so much of the story has been focused on how Iraq has been developing its own government, which is slower than we like."

    There are counter demonstrations planned as well.

    "We're saying, we support the troops, and we think the best way to do it is to bring the troops home," said Lisa Stiller, a member of the Reno Anti-War Coalition.

    Carson City was chosen by Move America Forward in part because of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid's comment that the war in Iraq has been lost, Russo said.

    "It's because of Sen. Reid's comments we wanted to go to Nevada and inform Nevadans of how incorrect his assessment was," Russo said. Reid, D-Nev., is majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

    Don Alexander of Carson City is a local member of Move America Forward and said it's a good chance to show support for the troops.

    "I'm involved because the Senate and Sen. Reid need to stand behind our troops when they are overseas," Alexander said. "I think it's a way to support the troops and show that we're behind them."

    Stiller said the best thing for the troops is to start leaving and strengthening Iraq's army so it can defend itself.

    "We're attracting more al-Qaida people there," Stiller said. "They're coming in like flies."

    Stiller, on the other hand, praised Reid's efforts and asked U.S. Sen. John Ensign and U.S. Rep. Dean Heller, Nevada Republicans, to "examine their consciences" and reevaluate their positions on Iraq.

    Both sides recognized the other's right to protest as a part of free speech.

    Alexander, who said he was not speaking for Move America Forward, said of the counter demonstration: "I feel it's a slap in the face for the troops and the brave men and woman who died or got seriously injured defending our way of life."

    Russo said counter protests miss the point.

    "The problem with their protests is that they don't have any answers on how to defeat terrorism," Russo said.
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