Monday :: Feb 28, 2005

Iraq Car Bombing Kills At Least 115, Nearly 150 More Injured

by Steve

I was preparing to write a post this morning about how I was feeling more optimistic about how things were going in Iraq of late when I saw this horrible story come across the Internet: a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside a crowded health clinic in central Iraq today, killing at least 115 and wounding another 148 in the deadliest day since the fall of Saddam Hussein. This follows on the heels of other recent bombings that demonstrate the challenge that Iraqi security forces and our military still face in bringing safety to the streets of Iraq, even after the interim government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had claimed success of late in improving security in Iraq. Allawi, in a bid to appeal as a compromise candidate for PM, had stated recently that he was best able to build a coalition that would maintain security in Iraq while dealing effectively with the Americans. But anyone who has seen this uptick in violence since the election would conclude that the Iraqi security forces, despite claims from the White House, are still unable to provide even basic security and gather intelligence to stop these attacks

The level of coordination and ease at which these cells in Iraq can operate unimpeded in many parts of the country tells me that despite having 150,000 troops on the ground and allegedly nearly a hundred thousand Iraqi security forces (by the White House’s claims) we are still months away from crushing the insurgent network.

As much as anyone, I want our troops out of Iraq sooner rather than later. Polls here in this country show that while many now want our troops home now, just as many if not more poll respondents want our troops to stay until the new Iraqi government is established with their own political bodies and constitution. The American public seemingly has adopted a sober view of our future in Iraq, and has resigned itself to seeing this tragedy through until the Iraqis have a new start, even if these attacks continue and our ability to stop them continues to escape us.

But does anyone think there really is any support in this country for a permanent American presence in Iraq, including the establishment of more than a dozen bases as the Pentagon is undertaking now? If Democrats are going to fight the Bush Iraq policy successfully, I don't think calling for an immediate withdrawal in the face of these attacks and still-failing security will have the support of the American people. What will have the support of the American people in my view is a policy of:

-establishing a date certain for withdrawal privately with the Iraqis;

-acknowledging that the war was sold to the country on lies and questionable intelligence;

-pointing out that the war will do little if anything to improve world security;

-making the case that "liberation" does not mean permanent occupation and military bases.

Our battle remember is not with the troops, but with those who use them callously as tools to pursue failed policies in support of empty rhetoric and greedy empire packaged as security.

Steve :: 7:06 AM :: Comments (30) :: Digg It!