Monday, July 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Djou: Afghanistan Casualties Teach Nation a Lesson on Shutdown
By Rep Charles Djou @ 4:30 PM :: 5702 Views :: National News, Military

by Charles K. Djou

This past weekend, four U.S. soldiers were killed in the Zhari District of Kandahar, Afghanistan when their vehicle drove over a Taliban emplaced improvised explosive device. Having driven over the same road while serving in the same district in Afghanistan where these soldiers died, I am particularly struck that these soldiers, who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, will return home this week to a nation that initially refused to pay their families the military death benefit used for funeral expenses. This is yet another in a string of political casualties caused by the on-going government shutdown.

Democrats are blaming Republicans saying that Republicans caused the government shutdown. Republicans are blaming Democrats saying that the GOP passed a Defense bill fully funding situations like this during the shutdown. Both sides claim they are blameless, but neither party has demonstrated the courage and selflessness, that those four soldiers exhibited in laying down their lives for this nation. And the political casualties of this partisan war in Washington D.C. are ultimately the American people.

America deserves better than Democrat and Republican politicians, who only know how to point fingers and accept no responsibility. Our nation needs elected officials who are willing to regularly break ranks with their partisan leadership to find common ground and get things done.

Sadly, the overwhelming majority of members of Congress - including all members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation - vote lock-step with their political parties. In D.C., finding common ground with the opposition to produce solutions is all too rare and finding fault with the opposition to produce gridlock is all too common.

We need leaders who are willing to find common ground. A few, on both sides of the aisle, have made reasonable proposals to end the government shutdown. For example, West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchian proposed a compromise that involved delaying the Obamacare individual mandate for one year since the President has already delayed the employer mandate for one year. Likewise, a proposal by Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Charlie Dent includes repeal of the Obamacare tax on medical devices, which both parties agree on. These are reasonable proposals that show us a way forward offered by two of the few remaining moderates in Congress today, but they have been completely ignored.

The ultimate solution, indeed the only solution, to this sorry state of affairs is for the voters to take charge. Hawaii and America need to replace our country’s hyper-partisan incumbents with centrist moderates willing to compromise and put the best interests of our country first.

We deserve better. Those soldiers who died this past weekend in Kandahar and their families deserve nothing less.


Charles Djou served with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10thMountain Division (Light Infantry) at Forward Operating Base Pasab in the Zhari District of Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011-12. He previously represented Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii