Last week, in London's grand Westminster Hall, I had the distinct privilege and honor to represent Vets for Freedom during a debate hosted by Intelligence Squared, the most prominent debating forum in Europe. Along with my esteemed debating partner William Shawcross, we were able to achieve a dramatic and unexpected victory with the sold-out audience of over 2,200 by overwhelmingly swaying them to defend the motion, "The surge is working, let's win before we leave."
Of the 455 undecided voters who arrived in the hall, over half (234) later voted to support victory rather than defeat. By contrast, only 131 voted in favor of the motions "leave Iraq now" or "negotiated settlement."
Overwhelmingly, previously undecided voters left the hall convinced that we must win in Iraq. I was expecting a hostile audience, but these results prove that, with the credibility that we as veterans bring to the debate, it is not too late to shape the public's perception of the war in Iraq.
The debate will be shown in its entirety on BBC World during the weekend of January 5th, and Vets for Freedom will send out a notice when it appears. In the meantime, visit this website for a podcast of the debate.
In other news, I am proud to announce that Vets for Freedom recently released an ad titled "Senator Mitch McConnell" to thank and recognize the steadfast support Leader McConnell (R-KY) has given to the brave men and women who have and are currently wearing our nation's uniform. The ad will be running in the Louisville and Lexington markets in Kentucky through December 18th. To view the ads, please visit our website.
In addition to the op-ed from last weekend's Washington Post op-ed co-authored by Major General John Batiste, USA (Ret.), and myself, Vets for Freedom made headlines in the Washington Times on December 11th. Titled "American Troops are Winning," the piece argues that Congress needs to fund the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan before they go home for Christmas.
Finally, tomorrow Vets for Freedom will be launching our new website. This has been a work in progress for the better part of two months, and I'm confident you'll enjoy the new site.
THIS WEEK'S ACTION ITEM - GET AT LEAST 5 FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS AND/OR VETERANS TO SIGN UP ON OUR SITE.
The men and women who wear our nation's uniform represent the best America has to offer. As we all sit down with our friends and loved ones this holiday season, it is my hope that all Americans give thanks to the sacrifice bore by soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. May we pray for their safe return, and for continued victory in the battlefields of the Global War on Terror.
A very Merry Christmas, and a Happy, Healthy & Safe New Year to each of you.
Vets for Freedom