Thursday :: Jun 16, 2005

Iraq


by eriposte

Atrios notes the formation of the "Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus" by a group of House Democrats and offers some comments from them about its mission.

I have no real ideas at this point on how to rescue ourselves from the massive terrorist breeding ground that George Bush has created in Iraq. I was opposed to this ruinous war from Day 1 because I knew that not only was it morally and factually unjustifiable (on the whole), but I also knew that an administration that not only slept at the wheel on/before 9/11, but followed that up by underfunding and under-resourcing the crucially important Afghanistan campaign, is definitely not to be trusted in properly executing the aftermath of an invasion that was much bigger and had much larger consequences. Abject morons like Tom Friedman may get pleasure in trashing liberals who were right all along, in order to cover up the fact that he was morally, spectacularly and repeatedly *wrong* to support (t)his "experiment" despite how it was engineered (under visibly false pretenses). But it gives me no pleasure in being right about Bush and Iraq.

It gives me no pleasure at all. This is a catastrophe that makes me deeply concerned not just for the security of America but also for the security of the innocent Iraqis that Bush wanted to "liberate" from "terror".

It troubles me deeply also because of how callously the Bush administration has treated the servicemen and servicewomen who are out there in the war zone fighting for something they were told is a must for America's national security ("9/11"). Whether it is the issue of putting their lives on the line for his grand experiment, or giving them insufficient armor, or insufficient forces (due to the lack of a *real* coalition) to secure Iraq's enormous weapons caches, or sub-par treatment of veterans, or the scapegoating of rank-and-file soldiers for obeying orders (to torture) that came from higher up, the administration never lost an opportunity to show its contempt for America's best (its courageous troops) - while simultaneously reveling in chicken-hawkery. Self-serving assertions of "supporting the troops" - by the administration and its brown shirts in the media, to cover up their own lies and incompetence - just doesn't cut it any more.

It also gives me zero pleasure to see how Bush could take the world's most powerful army and make the world and the enemy think the army is so easy to bog down. This was entirely predictable because of the administration's contempt for any real post-invasion planning, but that doesn't take away from the fact that every tin pot dictator and terrorist around the globe has become aware of how the American army can be more than kept at bay or pushed to the edge because of Bush's incompetence. Even a novice would have known that we don't live in a world where you can level entire cities to defeat the enemy, considering that today's enemy is comprised less of cities and countries and more of terrorists who use civilians as shields for their deranged crimes.

I admit I don't know the solution to the quagmire we are facing in Iraq. I am torn between a desire to support a withdrawal of the armed forces to end this ruinous war and a desire to keep the promise we effectively made to the Iraqis to make sure they don't fall under another terrorist or dictatorial regime (or get pulled into full-blown civil war). We are at a point where withdrawal could be catastrophic for ordinary Iraqis; but not withdrawing isn't exactly great either. So, I just don't know what the best course of action is.

But, there is one thing I would like to say to Democratic leaders who want to propose a plan. Talk to the Iraqis. The ones who are not Bush's puppets. The ones who will tell you the reality there. The ones who will tell you what they *really* need to succeed and allow American troops to return. And talk to the American troops - not Bush's puppets in the armed forces but the troops in the frontline. Ask them what it would really take to help them safeguard their lives and that of everyday Iraqis (so that more Iraqis don't use their frustrations to become insurgents) while defeating the terrorists who are trying to wreak havoc among the Iraqi populace. Then tell the American people what you hear. Every day.

P.S. Also, perhaps a name change to something slightly different (e.g., Caucus for American Servicepersons in Iraq) could be considered. This group can drive not just a plan for withdrawal but also Bills to bring more financial support for troops, their families and veretans families and to find ways to increase their security and protections in Iraq.

eriposte :: 9:15 PM :: Comments (25) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!