In the end, all this hoopla over who's running for president means nothing if no one takes the steps to actually end the carnage. I'm not talking about symbolism either. Because without a leader that has the courage to put action above political posturing, a new policy that leaves troops in Iraq simply is just more of the same, change the name.
"Our media's message is to broadcast the voice of the resisters to the American and Iranian occupation, to reveal the crimes of Badr Organization and Moktada's army and the gangs of Maliki," the representative said, citing two prominent Shiite militias, "and document it and work on forming a legal directorate to prosecute them in international courts for the crimes of genocide against the Sunni Arabs in Iraq." ... ..
Mr. Bush is evidently going to talk about health care on Tuesday.
Senator Clinton said over the weekend, in her announcement to run for president, "let's talks." Okay, let's.
Men and women are dying. Others are coming back with injuries that would have killed them in previous wars. The rehabilitation, lifetime of physical therapy and the mental health care they will need to deal with these injuries overshadowing any benefits we are getting from this war at this point. We may have to wait until the next world crisis to understand this fact, but reality will dawn eventually. When you add in the expense and damage to American prestige, it's unfathomable that we still have smart people in Congress still pressing on with pressing on.
But getting back to the soldiers for one minute, I've had many conversations, but last week on radio one veteran called in to say that one of the worst things happening to our troops is the feeling of what happens when your tour of duty is extended, sometimes right at the moment when a soldier believes he/she is coming home. It's a morale killer. It's also a trust buster.
The sophisticated attack hinted at what could be a new threat for American troops as they start a fresh security plan centered on small bases in Baghdad's bloodiest neighborhoods, where soldiers will live and work with Iraqi forces. Military officials have said that one of their greatest concerns is that troops will be vulnerable to attack from killers who appear to be colleagues.
It is not uncommon for gunmen to impersonate Iraqi security forces, but this seems to be the first time that attackers have tried to disguise themselves as Americans.
Somewhere along the line our leaders will have to make a choice between keeping faith with our troops, or keeping redeployments going to prop up a country not our own. That fundamental decision will have lasting impact on our long-term national security status. There are many ways to support the troops and this country. Depleting our own force strength isn't one of them.
Adding to the mixed messages on leadership, soldiers volunteer to serve so we don't need to do what Katrina vanden Heuvel said last week on "This Week," which is to "protect our troops." They don't need protection, because they know their jobs, know the risks and are proud to serve this country. But they do not deserve to be put into harm's way for a reason that is not tied to American national security. Continuing the path that from the beginning had nothing to do with this country doesn't make our mission more righteous. If you were wrong from the start, continuing the fight that long stopped being ours doesn't make you right about a war that is now bringing regional involvement closer to a reality. Our policy ineptitude in Iraq has been on parade for years.
The media pictures currently being broadcast in Iraq are only going to incite more violence between Iraqis. The escalation that is in the works puts our troops amidst this personal grudge match that's been waiting to explode for decades. Instead of Mr. Lieberman's demand that doubters of Bush's escalation plan be made to offer an alternative way to win, I'd like him to tell us where we get off this merry-go-round. If you listened to Senator Clinton on CNN's "This Week at War" yesterday, she said flatly she has no "faith" in Maliki or the Iraqi government anymore. She then said that we should never take funding away from our troops who are in harm's way, but instead threatened to defund the Iraqis if they don't step up.
Excuse me, but I don't understanding either way of thinking. Lieberman asks for a plan to "win" in a situation that has become no win for us, unless we stay another 10-15 years. Clinton wants to keep U.S. troops in Iraq, but if the Maliki government doesn't do what we want, take their money away, leaving our troops to deal with the aftermath. This idea is so frightening and incomprehensible that I simply don't know where to start.
Mr. Lieberman and the Bush escalation supporters evidently are hoping that a never ending commitment to stay in Iraq will make the outcome different and history's judgment less lethal. That's impossible, because that unfolding is not in our hands and never was, because even after we entered the country preemptively to save the world from Saddam, or whatever fantasy reason you choose, it was from that moment on the Iraqi's willingness to fight for a new life on which our victory stood. Senator Clinton and others evidently believe that if we continue to fund our troops continual redeployments, the senators of both parties who voted us into this mess will one day get off without having to watch the stark outcome of preemptively invading a country to change who's running it when the national security of America is nowhere in the mix. Saying it is now doesn't offer a way through when the basic decision to go to war was wrong and based on an untenable policy, which has long ago unraveled. Not knowing then what you do now, but still funding that vote in the present, regardless of your willingness to take responsibility for that action, does not absolve you from having to take the bitter pill of correcting that mistake and watching the consequences that you helped unleash. There is no good way out of Iraq. Someone needs to swallow this poison pill.
Insurgent TV may be banned, but it will be there to catch it all. If you think the picture showing on Iraqi screens is bad now, just wait until more American troops get thrown into the mix.