A letter in today's Raleigh News & Observer regarding Rep. Walter Jones, N.C. Republican and Iraq war critic. Apparently there is dissension in the ranks:

Courageous Jones

A politician who stands for what he believes and not what he thinks will get him re-elected seems to be a rare commodity. North Carolina should be proud to have such a man in U.S. Rep. Walter Jones.

I am dismayed with my own Republican Party for turning their back on one of our own. Jones is a thoughtful and sincere man who has taken a stand that he believes is the best for our country and our men and women serving in Iraq. He has joined with a bipartisan group requesting that we have a plan for withdrawing our troops. He is not asking for the troops to be pulled out tomorrow but simply that we should have a plan for getting our troops home.

His ideas are not in agreement with those of the administration, and therefore many have shunned him. Apparently there are people who believe you must never disagree with the president on any issue if you are a Republican.

I am proud to have Jones representing the state and am glad he is there to stand for true conservative values.

The Republican Party is supposed to believe in reducing the size of government, increasing freedom and individualism. But lately it seems these ideals are being pushed aside in exchange for bigger government, more spending and more giveaway programs. Jones has stood in opposition and should be applauded.

Chris Mintz
Chairman, Wake County Republican Men's Club
Raleigh

There's certainly dissension in the ranks on the Democratic side.