State needs to replace Senator Coleman

His representation of our state in Washington is shameful.

Tuesday’s letter from Bethany Dorobiala, “Coleman on tour,” praising Norm Coleman for visiting every county in Minnesota, is a sugar-coating of the senator’s tenure in office, and does nothing to explain what he’s done in Washington.

He was handpicked by President George W. Bush to run against Paul Wellstone in 2002. He campaigned on a strong pro-war stance as Wellstone was poised to vote against authorizing Bush to use force in Iraq. Since being elected, Coleman has supported the President on virtually every critical vote, with the exception of the proposal to drill for oil in the Alaskan wildlife refuge.

When things really began to go sour in Iraq in 2005, as violence escalated and it was made public that a mysterious $8 billion went missing from Baghdad while Americans were in control, Norm Coleman initiated a blatant smokescreen aimed at covering up our mishandlings of the war.

He called it the “Oil-For-Food scandal.” It was believed that certain entities had received kickbacks from oil companies in Iraq; money that should have been spent on food for starving Iraqis. Coleman used the investigation to slander two of the foremost humanitarian leaders on the planet, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and British Parliament member George Galloway. He had no legitimate evidence implicating either of them in any wrongdoing.

On Galloway, Coleman made allegations that he owned an oil company that profited from Oil For Food, and that he personally received kickbacks from the program. He had no basis for these allegations, other than the fact that Galloway’s name appeared on a few of the same documents as an Iraqi businessman associated with kickbacks. Galloway, in fact, never owned any oil company, nor was he ever prosecuted for any wrongdoing. In reality, it is American companies who’ve benefited tremendously from shady business dealings in Iraq. The fact that Coleman toured Minnesota is meaningless. He could have used that time to help solve this mess in the Middle East, the mess created by the president who got him elected.

Minnesota must find a viable candidate to oppose Senator Coleman in 2008. His representation of our state in Washington is something to be ashamed of.

Ben Drewelow is a University student. Please send comments to [email protected]