20070729_baghdad_street_ce.jpgPolitics is so often a game of theory and postioning – played on a field removed from the lives of real people. And, like the YouTube debate, it’s often startling – and then energizing – when we do hear real voices.

Last week, we heard the genuine voice of Maryam from Iraq – and I would like to thank her again for her willingness to speak with us.

Today Iraqi voices are raised in joy at the victory of the Iraqi team in the Asian Cup – what a good moment in the midst of all they live each day.

Iraq’s 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia on a 71st-minute header by captain Younis Mahmoud was an inspirational triumph for a team whose players straddle bitter and violent ethnic divides. After the game, Mahmoud called for the United States to withdraw its troops from his nation.

“I want America to go out,” he said. “Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn’t invade Iraq and, hopefully, it will be over soon.”

This week many voices will be shared at YearlyKos and one event will give us an unusual chance to hear another set of voices speak of their experiences in Iraq.

Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, from the Center for Media and Democracy and authors of The Best War Ever are hosting a “Coffee with the Troops” on Sunday (8/5/07) at 9:30 AM. They will be “joined by Garett Reppenhagen, Aaron Hughes and other soldiers who are the backbone of Iraq Veterans Against the War” to discuss “how online activists can better support our troops in their own resistance to the war in Iraq.”

John has raised some provocative questions in advance of Sunday’s discussion:

What’s up with the Netroots and the war? Is stopping the war still an over-arching issue that unites liberal bloggers? Or will the online partisans be taking their lead now from presidential candidates and Party strategists? What can bloggers do to hasten the end of the war and support our troops’ own resistance?

The soldiers from IVAW have been speaking with great courage about the horror of this war – and they are raising their voices for clear action by Congress:

With the House of Representatives about to begin debates on the issue, and the Senate soon voting on the amendments to the military budget, Iraq Veterans Against the War hopes that our elected representatives will have the courage, common sense, and decency to vote against continuing this conflict.

Iraq Veterans Against the War stands firm in the belief that funding the war is killing the troops – and delaying further any prospects for real diplomacy, reconciliation and peace.

I’m looking forward to that discussion – and to hearing more voices speaking out with such clarity about Iraq.