George W. Bush's decision to frighten this nation into an illegal, immoral, ill-conceived war against Iraq, which posed no real threat to us, will haunt him throughout history. Most Americans now believe the United States should never have undertaken this calamitous military misadventure and support bringing our troops home.
Here's the current reality in Iraq.
- In April, an average of 25 American soldiers died each week, a rate that could bring the total to more than 4,000 by year's end.
- The unrelenting violence (read: civil war) currently claims over 50 Iraqi lives daily, with more than 60,000 civilian deaths.
- Our allies in Iraq are drawing down their forces.
- The various factions in the Iraqi government continue to squabble rather than deal with urgent issues.
Aware that the American public no longer believes his original pretext for war (WMDs, al-Qaida/Saddam connection), Bush and his apologists have fabricated an inventory of dubious justifications for "staying the course."
1. We must give the "surge" an opportunity to work.
One definition of insanity: Continuing to do the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result.
2. A bloodbath will ensue if we leave.
If the warring factions in Iraq are intent on more sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing, keeping our troops there only forestalls the inevitable.
3. Leaving will embolden the radical Islamists.
Actually, they want us in Iraq. It's great for al Qaeda recruiting efforts, and it accomplishes another of their goals -- the slow bleed of American lives and money.
4. If we leave, they'll follow us home.
Does anyone remember any Viet Cong tagging along when we left Vietnam?
5. We must stay to stop the advance of radical Islam.
Ah, yes, the old domino theory. Didn't hold up with the communists, nor does it in this case.
6. American interests must be protected.
If you're talking about trading the lives of our youth for the continued flow of cheap oil, I say "no dice." Anyway, it's high time we weaned ourselves from this greasy addiction.
Let's express our gratitude to the men and women of our military who have served admirably. Let's tell the Iraqis they now control of their own destiny.
Then, let's declare victory and come home.
We the people, voted for this course of action in the 2006 elections. It's time the politicians in Washington carried out our will.
Larry Brophy, Payson