Last night at the Women's City Club in Grand Rapids, Democracy for America's Kent County chapter held a panel discussion titled "Searching for a Constructive Response to our Entanglement in Iraq." The panel featured two West Michigan area professors and a former military chaplain, all of who gave twenty-minute talks on the conflict in Iraq followed by a question and answer period.
Surprisingly, Grand Rapids area congressional representative Vern Ehlers who has recently stated his unwillingness to listen to protestors, attended the event. While it is nice to see Ehlers out in public engaging the current situation in Iraq, the fact that Ehlers chose to attend this particular event--and not any of the other numerous teach-ins that took place before and after the start of the war--is somewhat troublesome for those who have been pressuring Ehlers to end the occupation of Iraq as the three panelists basically echoed Ehlers' position that the United States has a "moral obligation" to the Iraqi people and that the United States must stay in the country to attempt to mitigate the effects of what is for the most part now a civil war. To be fair, Democracy for America cannot be blamed for Ehlers' attendance, but it was unfortunate that all three panelists represented what was at best a "centrist" position on the situation. There was no voice for an immediate withdrawal on the panel, nor for that matters were there any voices calling for a timetable for withdrawal. Ehlers will likely see the panel as bolstering his position, he has recently claimed that he will only listen to "facts" when making his decisions about the war and now he has three area "experts" on record essentially supporting his position on the conflict.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Ehlers attends Iraq panel discussion
Media Mouse has an excellent round-up of a recent panel discussion on the Iraq War. Guess who showed up?