By Zach Colick
Taylor House/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Rep. Raśl Grijalva speaks to local news media last night in the Social Sciences building before his talk about his opposition to the war in Iraq. Grijalva reaffirmed his opposition to President Bush's invasion of Iraq and called for immediate troop withdrawal.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, December 2, 2005
Whether the Bush administration manipulated facts given to the American public regarding the Iraq war was the topic of discussion last night when a state representative spoke about withdrawing from the region.
Rep. Raśl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said he thinks the American public continues to be compounded and disturbed by the indecisiveness of when President Bush will choose to withdraw troops from Iraq in a discussion titled "The Iraq War: Reality Not Politics."
Grijalva, who has opposed the war from the beginning, said to a crowd of more than 150 people that Bush must provide troops with an orderly, safe and quick withdrawal from Iraq, and hopes steps can be taken by the middle of this month with no more than a 120-day withdrawal period.
"Our men and women have been serving with honor, valor and courage, and we owe them this gratitude," he said. "These troops are making the ultimate sacrifice, and we need to repay them by bringing them home."
Student reaction was mixed over whether Grijalva's rhetoric was merely repeating what liberal pundits have been saying since day one.
"I wanted a more localized view of politics on the war and hear something new, but it seemed to be the same rhetoric as usual," said Derek Jordan, a journalism sophomore.
Whether Grijalva was unprepared, pressed for time or simply conducting himself in a typical public setting, Jordan said Grijalva wasn't well-spoken or auditory for the crowd to hear his points, and oftentimes used statistics aligned with death rates and costs for the war as a rallying point.
"He just seemed to touch on the hot button issues," Jordan said, adding that he thinks a withdrawal is necessary but improbable for years to come because of the current levels of violence and unrest.
Clay Shirk, a political science freshman, said he attended the talk because he was interested in Grijalva's opinion and said it's important the public know the expenditures the Bush administration is using in war spending, which Grijalva estimated could add up to more than $700 billion when all is said and done.
"It's important for the United States to withdraw to help stop the violence and insurgency going on in Iraq," Shirk said.