Virginia Rep. Thelma Drake has a new idea to maintain congressional support for the war in Iraq: Call in Angelina Jolie.
The movie star-- half of the ``Brangelina" power couple that rules Hollywood-- recently returned from Iraq in her role as a United Nations goodwill ambassador.
In an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, Jolie called for increased humanitarian support to help Iraqi refugees and said last year's surge of troops appears to be working.
Drake, a Norfolk Republican, is pushing to get Jolie to testify to the House Armed Services Committee.
``Sadly, Ms. Jolie's positive perspective on the current security situation in Iraq has gone largely unnoticed by the mainstream press," Drake wrote in a letter to Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., the committee chairman.
``Ms. Jolie's experience as a U.N. goodwill ambassador has given her the opportunity to travel to Iraq, speak with our military leadership and gain a ground-view understanding of how our long-term strategic objectives in Iraq and the region are met," Drake said. ``As co-chair of the Human Trafficking Caucus, I too share Ms. Jolie's concerns about the humanitarian aspects of the conflict in Iraq and the well-being of the refugees in neighboring countries."
Drake added, ``I believe the membership of our committee would gain crucial insight into another important aspect of the conflict from Ms. Jolie's testimony."
Asking celebrities to testify before Congress is hardly unusual. Many Hollywood figures routinely parade themselves before various committees in pursuit of funding for pet projects or to promote myriad causes.
MIchael J. Fox has lobbied for funding for Parkinson's disease research and for funding embryonic stem cell research. Everyone from Mary Tyler Moore to Bonnie Raitt and Martin Sheen have made the rounds.
While few celebrities offer any real expertise on policy matters, lawmakers know that the very presence of Hollywood stars will attract hoards of media attention for whatever cause they are pushing.
Jolie, of course, can attract television cameras from around the globe.