Rep. Don Young (R-AK) held a town hall meeting at the Alaska Business Roundtable last week where he covered a variety of issues in discussions with his constituents, including his intention to vote against any funding for combat operations in Libya.
At one point, Benjamin E. Brown, a member of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, asked Young for his feelings on Western military intervention in Libya. Before the congressman addressed Libya, he pointed out that he supported the war in Iraq but opposes the war in Afghanistan, citing imperial blunders by previous world powers in the region:
YOUNG: I’m a hawk. I supported the Iraqi war. I think it was the correct thing to do. But this [referring to Libya] deeply disturbs me. I do not support the war in Afghanistan. Because there is no way you can be successful in that arena. Alexander the great tried it, the British tired it, the Russians tried it, now we’re trying it.
Young’s criticism of the Afghan war is laudable, especially at a time when polls show that two-thirds of Americans want an end to the conflict. There’s just one problem: Young’s voting doesn’t match his rhetoric. Exactly one week before the event at the Alaska Business Roundtable, Young voted against a resolution calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan — and when he was campaigning for his seat last fall, he claimed that leaving Afghanistan would be tantamount to “surrender.” Young’s constituents deserve to know the truth about his voting record and he shouldn’t tell them he believes one thing and then vote a different way.