Saturday, November 26, 2005

Any excuse will be good enough, let's get out now.

Today, the President's radio address said that we need to stay in Iraq because of the 2,100 casualties we have sustained. That is the worst reason yet. If they were sent there chasing WMD's that didn't exist, and are now fighting terrorists who wouldn't be there if we hadn't invaded the country, and we have helped Iran establish the fundamentalist Islamic government in Iraq that they fought to create for a decade in the 1980's but failed to create, saying that we need to lose more soldiers because of those who have already died is like sending your horse into quicksand to try and rescue your ox. And as often as the mission has changed, it's hard to know what the 'course' is, but the President insists we have to 'stay it' anyway, whatever it is.

And there is, in fact, some good news from Iraq today. According to breaking news, apparently US forces killed al-Zarqawi's number 2 during a raid in Iraq last month.

Now, this is a good thing. Zarqawi and the rest of his organization are murdering thugs and anytime our soldiers are successful against them, that is a good thing (although, like Patrick McGoohan's character in the 1960's show, 'prisoner,' it seems that we have now captured or killed at least a half dozen 'number 2's' and one wonders how many number 2's we will go through before we get to number 1).

Now, hopefully we will soon get Zarqawi or have an elected government or achieve someother kind of a success so that President Bush can declare victory and GET OUT ! It is accurate to point out that had we not invaded Iraq in the first place, no one would ever have heard of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the organization he put together would not exist at all, nor would all the people they have recruited in Iraq (as I pointed out a few days ago). Our presence there helps them as much as it hinders them, so the sooner the President sees this and finds an excuse to leave (and any excuse is good enough) the better.


NYC said...

Greetings to all,
I second every point you made Eli,
very well said, indeed!

Unfortunately, I believe the war to be one of political leverage, once Bush pulls the troops out, he may very well return to being the fodder of jokes as he was before 9/11, or before he declared himself to be "a wartime president". Remember the television show on Comedy Central called "That's My Bush"? That's how he was jokingly regarded by so many, as not much more than a gomeral.

In these days of his falling poll numbers, I expect only a symbolic troop rotation, with some number pulled out, only to have fresh troops rotated in to take their place at a time determined to have the proper disconnective quality (not associating one event with another). In the meanwhile, the smaller number of troops will make it increasingly difficult for our forces who do remain in the region, and could very well lead to an eventual increase in number, as it happened during the Vietnam years.

I am 100% in favor of bringing our troops home, however I believe anything short of bringing them all home at once, will not work, even bringing them all home at once will create a bad situation in the country for the Iraqi people, possibly civil war with an unfavorable outcome. The situation is bad either way, made worse by the apparent lack of a viable exit strategy which should have been planned early, then adjusted as the situation changed.

It is naive for the administration to believe that Democracy will flourish in that country, western styled government has been tried there before, afterall the country was founded by the British in 1920. 83 years later, when this war started, was there a democracy? No, not even close. After we've finally found a way to get out of this sticky situation created by our current leaders, will democracy flourish? If history does indeed repeat itself, or does serve as prologue by examples of the past, I regretfully say.. no.

Read this brief history of Iraq compiled by the BBC, if considered in a present tense, it is almost uncanny.

Have a good weekend,
all the best,

Mark said...

Zarqawi was a wanted terrorist before we invaded. One of the accusations and reasons for invading that Bush claimed was that Saddam was giving aid and shelter to Zarqawi. I would say that one has proven true.

Anonymous said...

Federal Funding for Alcoholics Anonymous won't work because that would be mixing State and Church, since AA is a 12 step program that encourages reliance on God. The extreme in our country who are against any mixing of Federal Dollars with any religious organization would oppose it.

Eli Blake said...

Hate to tell you, Mark but you were wrong twice:

1. Zarqawi entered Iraq in December 2002. This was two months after the Senate resolution authorizing the use of force, and several months after we had been building up our army in Kuwait. So, the fact that the U.S. would invade Iraq was pretty much a given. Although officially he went there seeking 'medical treatment' it is pretty clear that he went there to do what he has done-- build a terrorist organization after the invasion. But the fact that he didn't even enter Iraq until December prior to the invasion means that Saddam giving 'shelter to Zarqawi' could not have been used as a pretext for invasion since that the pretexts were already being given. And yes, there was a terrorist training camp in Iraq, but it was within the independent Kurdish zone, hundreds of miles from any square foot that Saddam or his army controlled.


2. If Zarqawi was already considered a serious terrorist threat by the Bush administration then explain why they chose to let him go in the immediate wake of the invasion, thinking he wasn't that important.


Good point (although AA is not specifically affiliated with any particular church and only makes reference to a 'higher power' which could mean a lot of things to a lot of people.) However there are many similar programs, and at the risk of revealing a little about a past that I'm happy to say is in the past, I've been at a twelve step meeting that was held in a (state) government building. Granted, this isn't the same as funding, but clearly there is some room for compromise here.