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CHICAGO - Tammy Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot who lost both legs in a grenade attack in Iraq, is now leading the charge for the Fighting Democrats.

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Duckworth narrowly won the Democratic nomination for Congress in a primary race Tuesday for the House seat held by Republican Rep. Henry Hyde (news, bio, voting record), who is retiring after 32 years. She is the best-known of the Iraq war veterans who want to go to Capitol Hill this year.

"My experience in Iraq made me realize, and during the recovery, that I could have died," said Duckworth, who was wounded in 2004 and now gets around by using either a wheelchair or metal prosthetic limbs and a cane. "And I just had to do more with my life."

About 10 veterans of the current fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are candidates for Congress, all but one of them Democrats. The Fighting Democrats, as they are being called, contend their battlefield experience will allow them to criticize the war without being written off as naive and weak on defense.

Duckworth, a 38-year-old major in the Illinois Army National Guard, has strong backing from big-name national Democrats, some of whom recruited her to run in the traditionally Republican district in Chicago's suburbs.

On the campaign trail, she has portrayed U.S. involvement in Iraq as a mistake. She has faulted U.S. intelligence and accused American politicians of making poor decisions.

But she has nothing but praise for the U.S. fighting men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has cautioned against quick withdrawal.

"I just thought that we never should have invaded Iraq. We should have gone after Osama bin Laden and our enemies in Afghanistan who attacked us on our soil here in the United States," she said in suburban Downers Grove on Wednesday after edging out businesswoman Christine Cegelis for the nomination.

At the same time, Duckworth, who is married to a captain in the Illinois National Guard, said: "I was proud to serve. I'd do it tomorrow. I'm still in the Army National Guard. If my unit were deployed, I would go again. I think it is important to do your duty."

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said he would be surprised if Duckworth won in November. But "she serves a function for Democrats even if she loses," by helping the Democrats compete with the Republicans on the issue of national security.

Similarly, Stephen Hess, a professor of media and public affairs at The George Washington University, said that most of the veterans seeking House seats this cycle are "running in places where they're sacrificial lambs."

In November, Duckworth will face state Sen. Peter Roskam, a well-to-do lawyer and conservative from Wheaton who ran unopposed in the GOP primary. Roskam also drew support from Vice President Dick Cheney, who helped with a fundraiser that brought in an estimated $200,000.

"How much is this going to be a national election? Clearly, the Republicans will hope it's not. `All politics is local will be their mantra,'" Hess said.

For her part, Duckworth has tried to talk about more than just the war.

"I think we need to stop giving money to oil companies at a time we are cutting funding for education," she said. "We need to stop giving tax cuts to the very wealthiest Americans."

She does acknowledge what some critics say privately: That she would not have become a candidate had it not been for her catastrophic injury.

Had she not been wounded, she said, she would have started a nonprofit agency or gone back to her job at Rotary International's world headquarters in Evanston, where she was a staff supervisor and was working at the same time on a doctorate on Southeast Asia's economies and public health.
 

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[Q]CSLUG originally wrote:
About 10 veterans of the current fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are candidates for Congress, all but one of them Democrats.
[/Q]How can this be true? It goes completely against what Frank and Fritz have been trying to force-feed us.
 

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[Q]captaingeorge originally wrote:
[Q]CSLUG originally wrote:
About 10 veterans of the current fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are candidates for Congress, all but one of them Democrats.
[/Q]How can this be true? It goes completely against what Frank and Fritz have been trying to force-feed us.
[/Q]
John Kerry could be a poster child.
Wow so many Vets hate the war, its a real shame they hate it so bad that they are reupping. Like lots of positive stuff in Iraq, you just dont hear about it on the lib news media outlets....
 

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[q]'Law & Order' actor: I know more about war than troops
NBC's Richard Belzer dismisses '19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job'

Posted: March 19, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Richard Belzer as Det. John Munch
According to actor and comedian Richard Belzer, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are too uneducated to be expressing support for the U.S. military mission since they're just "19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job" and "they don't read twenty newspapers a day."

Belzer, who's best known as Detective John Munch on NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit," is a frequent guest on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher." On one previous appearance, he threatened to walk off the set when told columnist Ann Coulter was also appearing, calling her a "fascist party doll." On Friday night's live broadcast, Belzer attacked claims by fellow guest Florida Congresswoman Ileanna Ros-Lehtinen's that U.S. soldiers continue to express support for the war.

In the lively exchange, captured by the website NewsBusters, Belzer dismisses Ros-Lehtinen accounts of meeting with troops in Iraq and their credibility as "bull----."

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: "Having been in Iraq a few times, and Afghanistan, having met the troops one-on-one with free reign and asking them what they're doing, they're saying 'We're proud of our mission, we know what we're doing over here. We don't want you guys in Washington to lose it over there'. And there is a great sense of determination that what they are doing is making a difference. And yes, it has been an important mission what we're doing ... come on."

Richard Belzer: "Yeah, come on. Our soldiers now are at ..."

Ros-Lehtinen: "Are a volunteer force, a volunteer force."

Belzer: "Okay, fine. No one questions the nobility and the honor that these men and woman who are serving and what they're doing. No one questions that. But now they're targets, they're not going out. Now they're just protecting each other and they're in the middle of a civil war. So it's really not fair to have these people who volunteered their lives to protect our nation under false pretenses to now be a target ..."

[Loud applause for Belzer]

Ros-Lehtinen: "Ask them. Ask them if it's fair! Wait a minute, wait a minute. My stepson, wait a minute, my stepson ..."

Belzer: "That's bull----: Ask them! They're not .. they don't read twenty newspapers a day. They're under the threat of death every minute. They're not the best people to ask about the war because they're going to die any second."

Ros-Lehtinen: "Wait a minute! You are talking about my stepson, my stepson who just finished last week eight months of duty ..."

Belzer: "God bless your stepson. Doesn't mean he's a brilliant scholar about the war because he's there. And God bless him."

Ros-Lehtinen: "Oh, you are though! You are though? Okay."

Belzer: "Well I have more time, I'm not there. My life is not under threat."

Ros-Lehtinen: "Thank you. Thank you. I'm glad."

Bill Maher: "I think the point he's trying to make is that a 19-year-old who is in that army because he probably couldn't find other employment ..."

Ros-Lehtinen: "He's a college graduate. He's a Marine officer. He volunteered for the Marines."

Belzer: "He's the exception for the rule."

Ros-Lehtinen: "He's not the exception for the rule. I've been there ..."

Belzer: "You think everyone over there is a college graduate? They're 19 and 20-year-old kids who couldn't get a job ..."

Ros-Lehtinen: "Yeah, you know because you've been there and ..."

Belzer: "What, I don't f---ing read!? Don't do that!"

Maher [to Belzer]: "Woe, woe, woe. Come on. Wait, wait, wait. That ... Don't."

Belzer: "Pardon my French."

Maher: "Yes ... that was over the line and now you're going to lose ..."

Belzer: "It's this patronizing thing that people have about if you're against the war everyone's lumped together. You know, the soldiers are not scholars, they're not war experts ..."

Maher: "You're going to lose even me like Michael Moore did when he came down on Charlton Heston in Columbine."

Belzer, a conspiracy theorist who once hosted several conspiracy-themed specials for the Sci-Fi Channel, is the author of the 1999 book, "UFOs, JFK, and Elvis: Conspiracies You Don't Have to Be Crazy to Believe."
[/q]
 

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[Q]Capt Frank originally wrote:
Like lots of positive stuff in Iraq, you just dont hear about it on the lib news media outlets....
[/Q]Good boy, Frank, doing your homework. Number one talking point this week.
 

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Those Wacky "elitist" Left Wing Libs Dont Get It either. But then again they've always known whats best for the uneducated public. Their vast knowledge of politics and the common man makes them experts, doesnt it SLUG.
 

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Do some more homework, Frank. And don't get it from the radio from 12-3. Army reenlistments are, in fact, up. For the same reason they always are, when they are. Reenlistment bonuses are VERY high right now. A necessity since recruitment of new soldiers is so low. These cycles occur naturally, war, or not. It's about money for soldiers and thier families, Frank. The average soldier doesn't give a rats ass about politics and doesn't have the time that you and I have to sit around and beech.
 

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cg, Fritzer just pointed out the left elitists have figured out why these uneducated kids are joining. Maybe Belzer should get on CNN or Larry King or any of the lib talking heads outlets, and tell those unemployed servicemen why they've joined the military. Just maybe he should get on the circuit with the other elitists, and put out some infomercials on why Vets are too stupid to understand why they've joined. Would have thought you would have been agast at this post, having served all those years. Guess he indicated you couldnt get a job, as well. Belzer and SLUG have much in common, they are still searching for the mother wheel with screwy Louie.........
 

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The thread was about REAL veterans and REAL upcoming Congressional elections. Why do you and Fritz insist on spinning things to talk about the political opinions of actors who play fictional cops. Don't answer...I know the reason.
 

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[Q]captaingeorge originally wrote:
The thread was about REAL veterans and REAL upcoming Congressional elections. Why do you and Fritz insist on spinning things to talk about the political opinions of actors who play fictional cops. Don't answer...I know the reason.
[/Q]

The thread was about those whacky left wings nuts that don't get it. I though Slugg would appreciate another fine example. You just can't make anyone happy anymore...
 

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The problem for me Georgy, is when they play hereos like Jimmy Doolittle for financial gain, then go out and blast our Vets, their acting value just went out the sheitter. Remember, all they are is actors, and their political views, totally meaningless of course. Except that they get a stage to air their views....
 

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[Q]captaingeorge originally wrote:
Seems you have a low opinion of mutilated vet's ability to think for themselves.
[/Q]Not at all. But how many were approached to get those who accepted? Just thought it was an interesting question.
 
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