Dear Senators McCain and Lieberman:

Brian Zick

You are aggressively trying to persuade the American public that a "surge" in military troops will lead to "victory" in Iraq. And thereby, along with President Bush, you have urged a sacrifice of yet more American lives and treasure to accomplish that goal as you foresee it. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Iraq Study Group, an unprecedented number of current and retired command officers on the record, the majority of troops actually serving in Iraq, and an overwhelming majority of the American public, including a great many Republicans as well as virtually everyone in the Democratic Party and many commentators across the political spectrum, is in vigorous disagreement with your optimistic assessment of potential “victory.” Despite the daunting array of opponents, and in the face of the appalling and monumental failures experienced in Iraq to date, you have persisted in declaring your belief in the viability of a “surge” strategy. If you prove to be correct, your boldness of vision surely would - and should - lead to very deserving political reward. However, especially given the enormous variety of risks involved - to the lives of the troops, to the global stature and economic health of the nation - and the magnitude of sacrifice that your proposal entails, I wonder if you are willing to undertake any genuine risk yourselves. Since you demand so much sacrifice from so many others, are you willing to actually put your own personal well-being on the line, to forcefully demonstrate the intensity and degree of faith you have in your convictions? Will you now pledge, should it happen you are tragically mistaken in your thinking, to forthrightly admit the grievous error of your recommendation, to acknowledge that the immensity of such faulty thinking requires your immediate resignation from the Senate, and to concede that such failing plainly disqualifies you from ever again holding any office of public trust? Since people will ultimately sacrifice their very lives in service to the success of your recommendation, certainly you can agree to sacrifice your comfortable positions in public office in the event of its failure. Any unwillingness to make such a pledge shall naturally be construed as a plain admission that you do not in fact stand behind your stated beliefs, that your proposal is in truth not worth the slightest risk on anyone’s part, and a clear admission that your intention is a cowardly demand of sacrifice from others while you stay totally and conveniently free from any actual risk whatsoever to your own personal circumstances. Such refusal shall be recognized as a straightforward display of conceit that people should die for no reason other than to flatter your personal vanity.

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