Wednesday, January 31, 2007

That answer wasn't an answer, Mr. President

Ryan Schmidt has some questions.

Spec. Schmidt is one of the Minnesota Guardsmen who will be retained in Iraq for an additional four months to comprise a part of the shell-game that makes up the "surge" of troops to stabilize Baghdad and Anbar.

Tuesday, one of the extended Minnesotans got to ask a question when NPR's Juan Williams interviewed President Bush. Spec. Ryan Schmidt asked if the president had a plan if his troop surge didn't work. Here's what the president said:

"Well, I would say to Ryan, I put it in place on the advice of a lot of smart people, particularly the military people who think it will work, and let us go into this aspect of the Iraqi strategy feeling it will work. But I will also assure Ryan that we're constantly adjusting to conditions on the ground."

We asked Spec. Schmidt if he was satisfied with the president's answer.

"No, it did not answer my question," he said. "I would have liked to know more so that there will be a plan if this does not work. For some of us that are over here, particularly me, my unit, we all feel, what's the point of us being extended if your initial plan to send more troops over here does not work? What are you going to do, Mr. President?"

This whole thing is getting out of control. (Prolonged war has a tendency to do that.) The troops are questioning and signing an Appeal for Redress from the war in Iraq. They have a right to have their questions answered and their concerns addressed, not blown off and dismissed.

Ryan Schmidt should keep asking his question, and we should be asking it too, until it is answered to the satisfaction of the soldiers in the field.

(Listen Here)