"By his own admission the past four weeks have been difficult, troubling and frustrating for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus," says the Southern Illinoisan.
I would hope so. Following allegations that Representative Shimkus knew, long before any other member of Congress, even another member of the page board, that Foley was having inappropriate contact with pages, I would hope that his life has been a little bit more frustrating.
(more below the fold)
From his interview (linked in the first paragraph of this post), one thing is even clearer than before - John Shimkus is not on the ball.
Like his genius answer to the comment that October has been a terribly deadly month in Iraq -
Noting that October has been one of the deadliest months this year in Iraq, Shimkus said he believes the increase is taking place "to affect our election."
"The signal we will send if we just leave is to say that we are not committed to democracy and freedom," he said.
I think we as a world, not only as a country, will be harmed exponentially more by allowing a failed state to arise in Iraq."
First of all, who's been saying "immediate withdrawal," because his opponent surely hasn't been? From Danny Stover's "Issues" page:
We need to support our troops, but that does not suggest that we must blindly follow a president that we disagree with.
We need to accomplish our mission with honor.
What about "accomplish our mission with honor" suggests "immediate withdrawal?" John Shimkus, once again, is mischaracterizing the nature of the argument.
Second of all - the people in Iraq are killing each other because they hate each other and have accepted a US-approved constitution that enhances discord between Shiites and Sunnis. They aren't trying to affect our election. Do you really think the death squads are having a "Democrats for Congress" rally in Ramadi? It's a ridiculous notion, a scare tactic straight from the Karl Rove handbook, to suggest that terrorists are hoping for a Democratic win.
Anyway, it is clear that Shimkus has no concept of the gravity of the situation in Iraq. For instance:
Shimkus also said he does not buy into the comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam, noting that the latter was a country divided in half while in Iraq "one percent of a population of 25 million will do anything, blow themselves up for a cause. I would rather win than retreat."
Denying the fact that there's a civil war doesn't make it untrue. Sunnis, Shiites - sounds a lot like a "country divided in half" to me (not exactly half, as the Sunnis are a minority, but they're killing each other at a pretty high rate on both sides), not to mention the lack of a good exit strategy. No end in sight? People killing each other with American troops stuck in the middle? That doesn't sound familiar at all. And these aren't just the terrorists going after loyal Iraqis - these are Iraqis killing each other, every single day, because of age-old political and religious grievances. Not your run-of-the-mill one sided terrorism - it's a civil war.
A little less angering, but no less a misrepresentation, is Mr. Shimkus even mentioning the GOP energy bill that he helped draft and saying that it proves his record on alternative energy to be a positive one. Maybe if you knew nothing about the GOP energy bill, you'd think that he's telling the truth. The real truth of the bill? It gives billions to big oil corporations with very few, very weak stipulations for research and development. It doesn't come close to the grandly touted goal of making America "independent of foreign oil." It is ridiculous, and John Shimkus knows it.
There is honestly too much in this article to challenge everything, but I'll leave you with this:
It is estimated that 1000 Iraqis died this month (October). Over 120 Iraqi police officers are killed or wounded every day. Iraqi deaths by American soldiers in combat, however, has decreased significantly since the start of the war - Iraqis are killing Iraqis. There are death-squads going around the cities kidnapping people from their homes and work for the purpose of killing them, based upon their Shiite or Sunni affiliation. This is a civil war.
What's worse? A lot of reports that death squad militiamen wear police uniforms. There is no control.
Our policies have failed in Iraq. The Bush administration, and rubberstamps like John Shimkus who have no stomach for standing up to failed leadership, are to blame. It's time to hold them accountable.
PS - by "his constituents asked him to seek another term," he means his most important constituent, President Bush, who personally asked him to run this year. A picture's worth a thousand words...