Mich. Families, Government Leaders React to Bush Speech

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

The president's speech didn't sell Chris Lovell on the plan.

"The things he wants to get done, how can they get them done in that timeframe when it's taken this long to get as far as they are now," she said.

The Lansing woman has two sons serving in Iraq.

"I thought that when he said he's going to send so over many more troops maybe they would, you know, do something and then they could get out of there and come home," Lovell said.

Pam Headley had a different reaction.

"In order to succeed, we have to finish the mission," Headley said.

The Grand Ledge woman is the mother of a marine in Lansing-based Charlie Company.

"He knew full well before he enlisted that this war was going on, it wasn't something that he did half-heartedly," she said.

A spokeswoman for Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is commander-in-chief of the Michigan National Guard, says the governor supports the troops, but not the surge.

"Instead of sending more money over for foreign jobs and a botched war, they should be spending their money on jobs and education here in the United States," spokeswoman Liz Boyd said.

Although she is the official head of the state National Guard, the governor has no real say on where or when the troops go.

Congress has a slightly greater potential for influence.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R), who represents Lansing, said in a statement before the speech he had concerns about the ability of a troop surge to do the mission.

Addressing reporters Thursday, U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D), now the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned the plan.

"Why in Heaven's name are we sending more troops, a greater military involvement, in the middle of Baghdad, in the middle of a sectarian conflict?" Levin said.

Despite mixed reaction, it's unclear if any reaction to the plan, positive or negative, will have an influence on the president's way forward in Iraq.


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