War and politics don’t mix | TahoeDailyTribune.com

War and politics don’t mix

Gregory Crofton, Tahoe Daily Tribune

A Nevada lawmaker said comments made this week by a United States senator attacking President Bush’s diplomacy regarding Iraq were cheap political shots.

Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., made the statements on Monday several hours before the president announced in a televised address that a 48-hour deadline to war would be set for the Iraqi government.

“I am very disappointed,” said Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Reno. “It’s offensive. This is the time when we need to be united as a country and a Congress. Mr. Daschle is out there trying to do his best to politicize his own future and that’s the worst thing you can do for our nation.”

Gibbons said there is no room for politics in wartime. He backed the declaration by announcing that all of his political fund-raising activities are canceled because of the war. He said it was inappropriate to even address whether he will run for the seat of Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

“This is not the time to be talking about political decisions,” he said. “We need to be united with our nation and troops that are defending freedom.”

As for people who are protesting the war, Gibbons said the right to speak out, no matter what the issue, is exactly what our military works to defend.

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“If it weren’t for our soldiers, sailors and airmen, there wouldn’t be the First Amendment right of free speech,” Gibbons said. “Remember, Iraqis do not have that kind of free speech.”

— Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at gcrofton@tahoedailytribune.com