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Letter To Senator Schumer 10/01/07


"New US battle rule: No fighting near Afghan homes"

27 June 2009

United States Senate Armed Services Committee
Room SR-228
Russell Senate Office Bldg
Washington, DC 20510-6050
Attention: Senator Carl Levin
Senator John McCain

It is my troubled heart that commands me to address this Committee and Senators Levin and McCain. Attached please find an article dated June 22, 2009, Christian Science Monitor, entitled "New US battle rule: No fighting near Afghan homes". As the daughter of a WWII Navy Veteran, the sister of a Marine, Vietnam, and the mother of a son who has served 4 deployments, Bronze Star Recipient, in this "war on terror", I reach out to each of you as a very proud Patriot whose family has fought the fight for freedom for the oppressed and who risked their own lives for the safety and protection of this great country.

I am deeply troubled and quite frankly, outraged, by this "new rule". What troubles me most is what appears to be the cause of this new policy in fighting the terrorists:

"Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pressed U.S. forces for years to reduce civilian casualties, but his pleas have done little to stem the problem. The U.N. says U.S., NATO and Afghan forces killed 829 civilians in the Afghan war last year."

Where is the outrage from President Karzai and the entire Muslim world over the enormous deaths of their Afghan and Iraqi brothers by other Muslims, ie the Taliban and suicide bombers? What is that number and why isn't your committee pounding on this fact daily. What is going on here? There must be more dialogue and vocal outrage by this Committee and you Senators! There needs to pressure from this government on President Karzai and Iraqi Leaders to express outrage every time another suicide bomber kills hundreds of Afghans or Iraqis! This is ludicrous that now our Soldiers are told to "to break away from fights with militants hiding among villagers". AND the General plans to measure his effectiveness by:

"Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who took command of international forces in Afghanistan this month, has said his measure of effectiveness will be the "number of Afghans shielded from violence" not the number of militants killed."

What is going on here? Are we fighting a war or not? So our troops are going to run away from the terrorists now, who for certain will be hiding in the houses of civilians, so the terrorists can fight another day. Where is the logic here? If I were the terrorists, I would love this "new rule." Even Ms. Holewinski of Victims For Conflict sees this as a drawback: "Still, she said the policy has potential drawbacks, specifically that once Taliban fighters learn of the directive, civilian homes will be the perfect place to seek cover."

Further, and what is really concerning, is we are going to step up these operations:

"Smith said McChrystal will address in the coming months how U.S. and NATO forces are deployed around the country, and forces could be withdrawn from remote regions in order to concentrate troops around population centers."

Senators and members of this Committee, I suggest to you that this will not save the lives of Afghan civilians, this new rule will further endanger the lives of the civilians and our troops. This new rule will only encourage the Taliban to further exploit their own people. What do you think will happen to these civilians when these savage and brutal terrorists invade their homes? Does rape, torture and murder come into your mind? What I fear the most however, is that our troops will be framed and blamed for the deaths of these civilians and now we will see more of our brave and noble Heroes heading off to Leavenworth for killing civilians.

This is outrageous and unacceptable and so very hard to take! The time has come to stop appeasing President Karzai and the Muslim world! The time has come to stop tying our Soldiers hands behind their back as you hand them a gun. This is the time for frankness and truth from this committee.

I implore you to put the pressure where it belongs, on the Muslim leaders such as Karzai, who should be required to demand the Taliban stop killing their civilians!!! This Committee should be putting the pressure on all Muslim leaders to express their outrage every time a Muslim suicide bomber kills hundreds of civilians.

Lastly, I find President Karzai's statements to be so very offensive in that so many brave Americans have given their lives so that his people can live without brutality and oppression. So many noble Americans have lost their precious limbs and will never be the same, and where is Karzai's appreciation and gratitude!!! I find this reprehensible and quite frankly, it makes this mother's blood boil.

A very dear friend and Vietnam veteran pointed out to me recently that we fought WWII in less than 4 years and we won. However, those brave men and women were allowed to fight the war and the objective was to win and come home! This is a new kind of war you are all fighting and I ask you to stop appeasing the enemy and put the safety and welfare of our troops first and foremost. I can tell you, as the founder of The Band of Mothers, I am involved in a huge troop support network and this new rule has enraged many. We are Americans and our first concern is for the brave men and women who have done and continue to do an outstanding job keeping this country safe. I ask you to take a serious look at this new rule and ask yourselves one question: Is this in the best interests of the noble and honorable men and women who have volunteered to lay their very precious life down for you and me? That should be the first concern of every member of
this committee!

I would appreciate your response.

The Very Proud Daughter of a WWII Navy Veteran, the Very Proud Sister of Marine, Vietnam, and the Very Proud Mother of a Soldier who served 4 deployments in this "War On Terror",

Beverly Perlson
The Band of Mothers

3615 Blue Ridge Court
Aurora, IL 60504

cc: Senator Lieberman
Senator Graham

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