George D.H. Hertzberg

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"What about issues like Iraq?"  July 8, 2007.

Claims by media and Republican pundits that all Democrats wish us to depart from Iraq now, precipitously are distortions. This Democrat, opposed to the war from the first, believes that America is obliged to leave Iraq in some semblance of the condition in which we found it. We owe it to the Iraqi people, and to the honor and reputation of our nation.

Saddam's police forces were vicious, but they did maintain a kind of order. Enough to permit orderly routine tasks. The war eliminated the Iraqi police without successfully replacing them. There can be no rebuilding of a viable economy or infrastructure without the security only professional national and local police personnel can provide. I believe it is possible to train cadres of professionals out of country, in allied nations willing to sacrifice to keep Iraq from total chaos. These cadres must then train police recruits in Iraq. This must be incorporated into our strategy now.

George Hertzberg, Norwood Democratic Municipal Chair, 24 Carter Street, Norwood   201 767 9411

"Norwood Dems Announce 2007 Ticket?" July 9, 2007.

In every campaign, the question arises of candidates walking door to door to meet with voters. The upcoming campaign for Mayor and Council is no exception. The process is time consuming for both the candidates and for those they visit. It is hard to know when folks don't wish to be disturbed. But some political professionals consider it to be essential for success. It is important to know what specifics townspeople desire beyond less taxes and better services. It is just as important for voters to get to know the candidates, their strengths and where they stand. Norwood is a friendly town where people enjoy knowing each other better.

To resolve this dilemma I suggest that a questionnaire be included in the next issue of "The New Norwood Newsletter". Each voter could indicate when he'd like to be visited by candidates, if at all, whether she would rather be called, or would prefer to meet the candidates at some public forum, such as the monthly Democratic Club meetings on September 18 or October 16. When I ran for the Norwood school board 28 year ago, I called voters and found that many were pleased to receive the call.

George Hertzberg, Norwood Democratic Municipal Chair, 24 Carter Street, Norwood   201 767 9411

"Investigating How and Why the War in Iraq was Started"

The commutation of Scooter Libby's prison term has aroused suspicion that Libby's knowledge could hurt the Vice President or President. Speculation questions the reasons for starting the Iraq war. It appears the administration knew that testimony that Saddam still had a nuclear weapons program was uncorroborated and highly suspect. Iraq had finally admitted UN investigators. Early searches indicated that all WMDs had been destroyed and no programs restarted. It also appears that all Cheney's claims of Iraq-Al Qaeda connections were fabrications.

Iraq presented no clear and present danger to the US. Moreover, the search for Bin Laden, permanent eradication of the Taliban and assuring Afghanistan's unavailability as a base for terrorism, were, and still are, uncompleted tasks. So the question remains, why did George Bush want this war so badly, that he could not wait until the UN inspectors had finished their job?

Rumors abound that Carl Rove had advised the President that war would help Republicans win elections. Other rumors claim the pentagon felt that Afghanistan lacked clear targets to sustain popular support for that war. A Dick Cheney close friend describes his obsession with restoring all the presidential powers removed in Watergate's wake. Wartime allows presidents to gather more power from Congress and the courts. Is this why we went to war in Iraq?

All of this is based more upon rumor than corroborated fact, but truth is the best cure for rumor. America is sick of polarization and an investigation into these facts could further exacerbate the current partisan vitriol. But the rumors may not stop growing without an investigation by the committees headed by Congressman Waxman and Senator Schumer.

George Hertzberg, Norwood Democratic Municipal Chair, 24 Carter Street, Norwood   201 767 9411



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