April 25, 2007

Iraq continues to be a state awash in both blood and chaos, months after the President’s so-called “surge” strategy to tighten up security there began. There are huge problems there, and I don’t, and won’t, claim to have all the answers. Once the Pandora’s box of sectarian violence and terror was opened by the U.S. invasion more than four years ago, as the old saying goes (and to mix metaphors judiciously), once the toothpaste is out of the tube, it’s impossible to put it back. Unfortunately, whether it be because of poor planning, a lack of resources, or (as in my view) an unwillingness to engage in all-out war with overwhelming force and firepower to achieve total victory – perhaps, a little of all of the above, the damage has been done, and there seems no good way out of the mess that has resulted.

While, to a certain extent, I feel sorry for the President, for the Iraq clusterf*ck will be the only thing his Presidency will be remembered for, guaranteeing him a legacy somewhere akin to the likes of Warren G. Harding and James Buchanan, I also blame him for not only getting us into this mess, but getting us into this mess without a clear exit strategy. I blame Donald Rumsfeld, too, and his legacy will also be measured by the mess that’s been created. But most of all, I feel badly for the families of those who are fighting over there. To me, the worst thing battlefield generals can do is fight with one hand tied behind their backs without a clear mission, and it’s the families that suffer the most because of it.

What, if I may be so bold to ask, is our mission in Iraq at this point, exactly? What has it evolved from and into – if anything? To me, that’s the biggest problem. When fools (and, arguably, traitors) like Harry Reid go defeatist on the troops solely for the purpose of political gain (after all, Reid knows there’s no way the Senate or Congress would ever approve the current war spending proposals before it beyond party line, so therefore his latest words are only for political theater) I say, a pox on their houses, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. The last thing the American people and our troops in the field need right now is bitchy political infighting absent of any real purpose other than to politically humiliate and wound the Commander-in-Chief.

If the Democrats really believe the only way out of the quagmire that is Iraq is to withdraw our troops – either immediately or on a regimented timetable, they should be bold and put a simple piece of legislation before Congress calling for exactly that. Don’t be cowardly and bury it in some kind of omnibus bill filled with spending and pork and various other crap, have some balls and introduce a simple bill before the Congress, setting a timetable with specific guidelines for disengagement. And turn it into a national referendum on the war. Not the President. Not Dick Cheney. Not Halliburton, or Saddam, or WMDs or lack of evidence thereof. Make it a simple question: do we stay, or do we get out?

And then let’s debate the damned thing out on national television, in prime time. Get the President to testify. And the generals. And the Secretaries of State and Defense. And the policy wonks and advisors. And Iraqis representing both sides. And let’s have it out, without politics, the only concern being what the situation is, what it will be if we leave, what it will be if we stay. And then, when the time comes, let every member of Congress vote his conscience. There’ll be nothing for them to hide from, and neither should they; after all, both they and their constituents would have heard the same evidence. Just a vote of conscience by every member of Congress. And then make a decision. Make it the ultimate decision – the act of a strong and resilient democracy in action. The troops on the field deserve as much, as do the people of Iraq.

And then, whatever the majority, let’s make the decision and live by it. Those who have given their lives for the cause of freedom and future of Iraq deserve to have their stories told alongside the living. And the only way that can be accomplished is to have a genuine dialogue about the war – what it’s all about, what we’re all about as a nation. And, for God’s sake, let’s keep the petty politics out of it – let history judge those who got us to this place in time, but let’s not do it now while our men and women are fighting and dying thousands of miles away.

I don’t know what to do about Iraq. I’ll bet most people – on both sides of the political aisle – feel the same way. But what I do know is that what is missing most amidst the political follies of Cindy Sheehan, John Murtha, Harry Reid, and the President’s civilian and military advisors is an honest and open debate about the war. As a nation, we are hopelessly paralyzed and divided; meanwhile there are plenty of other things being allowed to let slide both domestically and internationally, and it’s all because of Iraq. It’s time to end the stalemate and for our elected leaders to show courage and fortitude at a crucial time in our nation’s history.

Unfortunately, I don’t see the President or either party having the political courage to take on such a formidable undertaking – after all, there’s a high-stakes Presidential election next year. But, by avoiding the issue out of a desire to maintain a hostile Beltway climate of “politics as usual”, it is our country, and our brave military men and women putting their lives on the line, who suffer as a result.

And both we and they deserve better.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:10 | Comments Off on A Man With A Plan
No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info