Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mission still accomplished?


It has been five years since the latest U.S. invasion in Iraq, so it seems as good a time as any to review where we stand there and what we have accomplished. President Bush made a speech today in which he called the Iraq war "noble, necessary and just." The president also said there will be no troop withdrawals beyond those already scheduled because he doesn't want to "jeopardize the hard-fought gains" made in the last year. Most observers agree that the security situation in Iraq has improved in the past year, but as Bush, himself, makes clear, those gains would disappear in a heartbeat if we so much as reduce our troop levels. One reason is that, despite five years of attempts at recruiting and training, the Iraqi police and military remain woefully unable to handle security in their own country. Bottom line: If we pulled all our troops out today, Iraq would descend into anarchy tomorrow. The so-called Iraqi government has made little real progress toward solving the problems facing the country. There is no real reconciliation among the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, and the moment we leave them to their own devices, it's open warfare time. Bush also asserted today that the troop surge of the past year has set the stage for a major victory in the broader anti-terror war, and that "we are witnessing the first large-scale Arab uprising" against Osama bin Laden and his legions. Really? This proclamation, we must remember, is from the same administration that gave us the prediction that American troops would be "welcomed as liberators" in Iraq. How did that work out? In basic math, it's worked out this way: About 4,000 American servicemen and women dead. About 30,000 wounded, many horribly maimed for life. Tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of Iraqi civilians dead. We now have al-Qaida in Iraq, thanks to the fertile ground our invasion tilled for them. We also have a member of the "axis of evil," Iran, exerting ever-increasing influence on the Iraq government. The spending of billions upon billions on the war has ravaged the economic foundation of our country, unless you're from Halliburton or Blackwater. And we can expect to spend billions more caring for those tens of thousands of soldiers who came back from the war with no legs, no arms, blinded, burned and brain-damaged. Those soldiers almost always say that they support what we're doing in Iraq. To say otherwise would mean that their lives were ruined for nothing, and that's a hard concept to accept. But it may be the truth.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Was going to say that Bush is a hopeless, blind fool But it's been said before. Golly! The "surge" worked but it won't work if it stops! That's like saying the tide will be low when it isn't high. You're thin because you bought a girdle.

As for violence being down, does it really qualify as "down" because Iraqis are being blown up in a different part of town? Again, that's like saying crime has dropped Downtown because the crooks moved to the suburbs.

It took the US what .. 15 years to get out of Vietnam? And 'Nam didn't have oil. Why should we expect to ever get out of Iraq?

March 19, 2008 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I originally supported the Iraq invasion. I was naive enough to think that we might be able to do some good there, maybe bring democracy and freedom to a country that had been held hostage by a despotic, murderous dictator. Like I said, I was naive.

The fact is that these maniacs have been fighting amongst themselves for centuries, and nothing is going to change that. This will sound racist, and it might be, but people in that part of the world are just slightly beneath the rest of the civilized world in terms of being able to function like normal people. I don't know...it could be the oppressive desert heat has damaged a part of their brains.

Whatever the cause of their propensity to violence, we are not going to be able to change it. I tend to not be very vocal about the war since I don't have a solution to the problem, and I certainly don't have an exit strategy that will get our troops home safely and leave that country in anything but a new state of anarchy with another dictator. (I have no tolerance for those who rant and rage about the war and us getting out, but have no solution to offer. Are you reading this, Hillary? McCain? Obama?)

When you're fighting an enemy who considers it an honor to blow oneself up, you're not going to win. Throw in whiny bleeding hearts wringing their hands because they consider a dog barking in a prisoner's face an "atrocity" and you have a no-win situation. Again, I have no solution, but I wanted to express my opinion.

March 23, 2008 at 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no solution to getting out other than wholesale abandonment like we did in Vietnam. Will it make us look bad? Maybe. But what's worse, looking bad for going in in the first place and screwing up "the peace." or loking bad for admitting that we have failed?

March 23, 2008 at 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Zabuda said...

The empire is crumbling. It cannot maintain it's foreign outposts much longer. The President should order this sham to end. It is the only hope for the future. The Iraqi people were better off under Hussein. They has water, electric, education and comparative safety. If one must smash a country to bits to expand the empire's reach, I want no part of it.

March 23, 2008 at 10:38 PM  

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