Public confirmation that the White House sees an American military presence in Iraq without end is the single greatest motivating and recruiting tool given to insurgents in the history of the war, and must be recanted.
Yesterday, the president's press secretary, Tony Snow, said the president envisions the length of US military involvement in Iraq to be similar to Korea. The United States has maintained a presence in Korea for more than 50 years.
The president and vice-president like to say that insurgents in Iraq listen to what we say over here. If they do, there's no question that this morning, those who seek to kill our troops are buzzing with talk that America plans on occupying Iraq forever. The bulls-eye on the back of our troops just got a whole lot bigger, and the president is to blame. He has to recant these kinds of statements, so he doesn't embolden the enemy more than he already has.
Additionally, this notion that Iraq can even come close to something like Korea is insane. Maybe the White House hasn't been keeping track of the news, but American troops haven't faced constant fire from insurgents in Korea, and the Koreans have asked us to stay there. Not to mention that there's no thousand year religious conflict that shows no signs of calming down, in Korea.
But, back to the Iraqis ... poll after poll shows we are not welcome by the majority of Iraqi civilians, and saying that we're going to stay for fifty years -- whether they like it or not -- just serves to create enemies at a faster clip. We cannot overestimate how incredibly irresponsible and dangerous the president's stated position is.
A USA Today Poll this year showed 78% of Iraqi adults oppose the presence of coalition forces in Iraq; only 22% support it. Only one percent of Iraqis want the US military presence to go on without end.
How many of those, reading the White House position today, are more inclined to join the insurgency and kill Americans?
On behalf of our troops, thanks for nothing, Mr. President.
Here's something you can do for VoteVets.org. If your Representative or Senator has been voting to give the President a blank check on the war, call them up and ask if they endorse the President's vision of a war without end in Iraq (and use the comments below to report back on what they say).
If they say they do not support the president's vision, urge them to put out a public statement rebuking the him. Enough public statements like that will help show Iraqis that America does not support the president's vision of endless military involvement in Iraq.