Walsh says it's time to withdraw troops
Rep. Jim Walsh, in a dramatic break with the White House, returned Monday from a trip to Iraq saying it's time to bring troops home and stop funding the war. The moderate Republican from Onondaga representing New York's 25th Congressional District has struggled for months with conflicting emotions about the war. "Before I went, I was not prepared to say it's time to start bringing our troops home," Walsh said. "I am prepared to say that now. It's time." Walsh's announcement came as Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, told House members that the troop "surge" has made progress. But Walsh said he saw little evidence that much has changed in Iraq since he last visited four years ago. He said he hopes to meet with President Bush to convey his change of heart. Congressman James Walsh of New York served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal in the 1960's. Read more.
Congressman Jim Walsh takes a special interest in Nepal
It goes back a long time. When I was just finishing up my college, I applied for the Peace Corps, and I was accepted in an agriculture program, which surprised me because I had very little practical agriculture experience. I was sent to Nepal. I lived in Nijgarh, Bara. Our district capital was Kalaiya. We had a dera in Birgunj that we shared with four-five of my Peace Corps friends. When we went to the district krishi bikas meeting, we would stay in the dera, and would take the bus back and forth to Kalaiya. It was a very bumpy ride. I worked with farmers in Nijgargh Pachayat. I worked with people who moved down from hills and people who were indigenous in the terai-- the tharus. I grew wheat, corn, rice vegetables. I did a little bit of everything. I was able to see a lot of Nepal while I was there. I traveled to the West: Pokhara and Annapurna, and to Namche and the Everest region. I try to, as best I could, maintain my ties with friends whom I lived with. I email back and forth. I obviously follow the politics and the recent changes in Nepal.
My hope is that I could go and observe the elections. That would be ideal. I think the elections are the critical event in the near term history of Nepal. But when I first came back here in 1991, and the government changed and democracy was established, we wrote to the king, and asked the king to respect the students and people who went to streets asking for democracy. And I saw the impact that the United States had, and I think that the United States continues to play a positive role encouraging democracy. So if I could go for the election, that’s when I would go. Dherai namaskar and namaste to mero daju bhai, didi bahinii, and I miss Nepal, and I am looking forward to coming back. Read more.
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