Tuesday, May 01, 2007

4 years later...

Mission still unaccomplished. Today marks the 4th year since the man who holds the office which is officially known by the acronym PoTUS, George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq whilst standing below a huge banner of "Mission Accomplished" while partaking in a little photo-op moment.

Clearly there was no "Mission Accomplished" at that point, well unless you count the mission of getting Bush reelected, and keeping Republic* politicians in control in the 2004 election. Officially, however, according to repeated statements from Bush & Co. the mission in Iraq hasn't just been to topple Saddam, eliminate WMD's, or open up a front against Islamic terrorists. Nope, it was to spread democracy, to see a free, stable and Democratic Iraq become a reality.

Well, it is some 4 years, nearly 3,400 dead American soldiers, and 50,000-55,000 dead Iraqis since Bush's photo-op, and that mission is beyond any doubt not even close to being accomplished. In fact, as time has gone on and more has been learned about the history of Iraq and the ancient hostilities there, and of course the worsening realities there now, it seems more like mission impossible.

Keith Olbermann gives a really good rundown of Bush and his Mission Accomplished

So here we are four years later, and Bush is still giving his same old line that we just need to give it more time, one last surge. As if this time, just like all the rest, this time is going to make the difference. How long will we go on with this?

While I opposed the Iraq war back when Bush & Co. and seemingly everyone else was saying it was absolutely necessary; something we had to do and had every moral justification in doing. I knew that Bush and worse still his Neocon backers —Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, et al.— had been planning years before Bush came to power. I knew that the so-called intelligence on Iraq having WMD's and connections to al-Qaida was bogus. I knew it was bogus all this talk of spreading democracy. Of course, I also felt that it wasn't the responsibility of our country, nor ethically right to "spread democracy" through force of arms. I also felt that it was wrong for this nation to declare war preemptively, and it was unethical to attack and destroy a country in order to force regime change. In short, I never supported this war.

I also have been opposed to many of the tactics this Administration has used in Iraq, with the incompetence of Rumsfeld and others. But while I have always been opposed to the war, nonetheless, for a long time, until the past year as a matter of fact and even more specifically until Bush's weak troop surge, I have disagreed with the war but have been opposed to pulling out because of the chaos that it would likely leave behind. While the liberals and anti-war crowd has insisted we leave now, I felt that we had a duty and responsibility to try to fix what we fucked up. Now I think the situation has become one in which repairing our mistakes is not a possibility. Bush & Co. are too incompetent. I have no faith in their ability to do the right thing in Iraq.

So as this situation has continued to deteriorate, and this troop surge has been far too low to accomplish much of anything, I've decided that we are not working to correct past mistakes, we are simply prolonging the inevitable. As such, I do believe we need to start to withdraw our forces. What will be left behind, now that Bush's war has created first a magnet to draw terrorists in, but also ultimately a vacuum for them to prosper in? Likely Iraq will be a haven for terrorists. Maybe the government and local factions will take control and kick the extremists out of their country. I don't think that is likely. I'm sure it will be years, decades even of work to get the upper hand on these groups. But I am positive that the desire to destroy the West among the common people will continue to be reinforced the longer we occupy and wreak havoc on Muslim countries.

I think a pull back and a new strategy diplomatically is in order. As well as doing our best to contain the civil war that is Iraq today. And it cannot be stressed enough that we the United States, via our President, his war, their incompetence, and our consent of it are to blame. Another 60,000 to 100,000 troops, with the proper strategy might have turned the tide. 20,000 to even 30,000 isn't going to do it. A continuation of the al-Maliki government and their divisive policies is not going to see a positive change in Iraq.

Keith Olbermann talks with Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in an interview in which they discuss the cover-up of the killing of Pat Tillman by friendly-fire as well as the strain on the military.

Here is an article on the Huffington Post that Paul Rieckhoff wrote about the 4th anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" moment.

When it comes down to it, there was one crucial failure from the Administration. Outside of being lied to about the justification of war, and outside of the gross incompetence the administration used in waging this war {improper planning, not enough occupation forces, not enough reconstruction, disbanding the government}, perhaps the biggest failure was Bush & Co. not being honest enough to make it clear that this war was not going to be a "cake walk", it was going to be a long, painful, arduous, costly battle that would wage on for a decade or more. An insurgency from regime change in a nation such as Iraq, and the ensuing occupation was inevitable. Poor planning ensured it would be a major insurgency. Major insurgencies take years, decades perhaps to vanquish. This could not be accomplished in 4 years, it can't be accomplished in 8.

They didn't tell us that, of course, and now they are paying the political price for that and more. But Bush keeps claiming that "stay the course" means support the troops, while looking for a solution beyond the military is "admitting defeat". Bush and his gang gave us defeat when they committed us to this war and turned it into the fiasco it has been for over 2 years now.

I applaud the Congress for standing up to Bush, FINALLY, and trying to put a stop to his insanity. I'm afraid it won't last long, though. Before long I'm afraid the Dems will give up and let Bush has his way, yet again, as the easily dissuaded America public buys the same old "support the troops" canard.

Bill Maher was on Hardball with Chris Matthews discussing Mission Accomplished, as well as the "gay" obsession with Reagan. Hilarious! Chris really needs to have Bill on the show more often. The public could use more straight-forward talk about the lunacy, perhaps even criminality of Bush & Co. and their apologists...

* An increasing number of Rethuglicans, even Bush insists on using what is to them a pejorative term like "democrat" party, "democrat" congressman, etc. I must say that it is so fitting that they would find the word and concept of "democratic" as something to be avoided....... Because of this, I figure one good turn deserves another and therefore I apply their logic in response by depicting Republican politicians as "Republic" politicians, and of course the "Republic" party. Sounds extremely petty & ridiculous right? Yep, my point exactly!

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