Recipe For Quagmire
AP Photo of today's destruction in Kirkuk
We are over three-and-a-half years into Bush’s failed occupation of Iraq, and his stated rationale for why we can’t leave is that if we leave, they will follow us over here. But of the three groups fighting in Iraq right now, the Sunni militias, the Shiite militias, and Al Qaeda in Iraq, the only one that would follow us back home is Al Qaeda in Iraq. The other two don’t give a rat’s ass about us inside our country. So why aren’t we pulling our troops back to seal the borders, working towards a cease fire with the militias to mutually go after and kill off Al Qaeda in Iraq to build on local Sunni efforts to do the same, and immediately calling for a regional security conference to build the institutions and support for an Iraqi state in whatever form it takes? This approach, by the way, is totally consistent with what both Chuck Hagel and John Warner said today on the Sunday talk shows. Political incentives must be developed first for the militias to work with us on eliminating the Al Qaeda threat first as a precursor to regional economic and security support for each side, rather than through the barrels of American guns and oil companies.
Instead, we are committed to failing strategies that ensure that the civilian deaths and the losses amongst our military continue unabated for no realistic military objective.
At least 83 people were killed during a two-day spree of sectarian revenge killings, as Iraq's government said Sunday it was indefinitely postponing a much-anticipated national reconciliation conference.
Separately, the U.S. military reported the deaths of a Marine and four soldiers.
A brief statement from the Ministry of State for National Dialogue said only that the Iraqi political powers conference planned for Saturday had been put off because of unspecified "emergency reasons out of the control of the ministry."
Oh, and Al Qaeda in Iraq has now announced that they are so threatened by our renewed military action in Baghdad that they have been able to set up an “Islamic Iraqi state” right under our noses in central Iraq.
An Iraqi militant group that includes al-Qaida in Iraq announced Sunday in a video that it has established an Islamic Iraqi state, comprising six provinces _ including Baghdad _ that are largely Sunni and parts of two central provinces that are predominiately Shiite.
And with Kirkuk now being drawn into this bloodshed, how long will it be before the previously peaceful north also goes up in flames?
The death toll in two days of bloody fighting between two Shiite and Sunni towns in the north rose to at least 80 on Sunday, a hospital official said, with more bodies allegedly lying in the streets and unable to be retrieved.
In all, at least 110 people had died since Saturday in the surge of violence in and around the northern town of Balad, in the northern oil center of Kirkuk, and in Baghdad and other cities, authorities said.
In typical Bush fashion, when something goes wrong, it never is the fault of those close to Bush who cooked up the failed strategy. Rather, it must be the fault of others, so we must discard the “purple finger” revolution and toss the Iraqi government out in order to install our homeboys. I’m sure that will demonstrate to the Arab world our commitment to democracy and their liberation, and I’m sure Muqtada al-Sadr will sit by and let us install our choice directly.
Matthews: David, do you believe the President is looking for an out from his doctrinaire policy of staying the course?
Brooks: Not really, no I don't. I think they're looking at policy options. One of those options is trying to replace the current government which seems to be doing nothing. The second option is some sort of federation which–Joe Biden has suggested as separating Iraq. A third option and by far the least likely is going in with more troops, So there's all different three options…We have much less control over Iraq than we did two or three years ago…
No shit David, but thanks for playing.
John Murtha calls it like it is.
Our troops who are putting their lives on the line deserve a plan that matches our military prowess with diplomatic and political skill. They deserve a clear and achievable mission and they deserve to know precisely what it will take to accomplish it. They deserve answers, not spin.
Our military has done all it can do in Iraq, and the Iraqis want their occupation to end. I support bringing our troops home at the earliest practicable date, at a rate that will keep those remaining there safe on the ground. It's time that the White House and the GOP start working with Democrats in Congress to come up with a reasonable timetable for withdrawal and for handing the Iraqi government over to the Iraqis.
The administration's use of Rovian catchphrases is nothing but propaganda designed to stifle the loyal opposition. We Democrats are determined to restore our nation's military strength, refocus on the real terrorist threat, bolster security safeguards at home and reestablish the credible standing we once had in the world. That is not defeatist. It is a call to formulate and execute a winning game plan for the War on Terror.
The administration's "stay-the-course" strategy is not a plan for victory. It's not even a plan. All we have is a new military blueprint to keep 140,000 troops in Iraq through 2010.
Now, Karl Rove may call me a defeatist, but can anyone living in the real world deny that these statistics are heading in the wrong direction? Yet despite this bleak record of performance, the president continues to stand by his team of failed architects, preferring to prop them up instead of demanding accountability.
Democrats are fighting a war on two fronts: One is combating the spin and intimidation that defines this administration. The other is fighting to change course, to do things better, to substitute smart, disciplined strategy for dogma and denial in Iraq.
That's not defeatism. That's our duty.
Well said Congressman. But you will be ignored until you are part of a new Democratic House leadership after November 7th.