THE GATES OF HELL AND BEYOND
I have been listening to all the arguments about staying the course, leaving now, or some combination of these concepts. I have come to realize that this president has led our military to the gates-----no, not the gates, into the pits of hell. We cannot get out and we cannot stay in Iraq.
The most potent argument about bringing the troops home is that this was an illegal, immoral and ill-conceived war; it must stop now. We have spent over two thousand American lives, hundreds of billions of dollars, our reputation damaged and our country ripped apart. The cost to the Iraqis is staggering; as many as 100,000 civilians may have been killed by our invasion and the continuing battles in the cities and towns throughout Iraq. Torture, lies, corruption is at every level of the new government. Our military is overextended, we should get out now or as soon as possible.
The most potent argument for staying the course or staying in Iraq is based on this concept--- we must win this war! A loss in Iraq would have terrible repercussions. There would be a civil war, our reputation as a defender of freedom would be so damaged we would be seen as a paper tiger. We must have a hold in the Middle East because of its strategic importance (OIL). We must honor our men and women who gave their lives by winning the war or completing the mission.
This is where this president has led our military, we cannot win and to continue is to postpone the inevitable; there will be a civil war in Iraq.
Most military experts in the coming weeks and months will say that we cannot sustain this level of commitment in Iraq much longer. Recruitments are down and the only alternative is to bring back the draft. There is not a politician who wants to tell the people of the United States we must now send your sons and daughters to Iraq, there would be riots in the streets. All of this begs the question, what is the solution to Iraq?
There is no simple or good solution to this mess, and the American people should be outraged by the action of this administration, they should be very, very worried for their sons and daughters. One thing we should all do is demand that this president say clearly if we intend to stay or leave Iraq. I suggest this because the answer to that question has very different directions for our country.
A decision to leave Iraq would have to be made with as many people as possible; this cannot be made in the White House alone. The Congress must be brought into the decision making process, past presidents should be invited, and people who we Americans trust. We should announce to the world, as a sign of good faith, we are no longer interested in any permanent bases in Iraq, all oil deals are now up to the Iraq people to decide. That would be a good start; we could involve the rest of the world if they believed that we were truly saying this slaughter must stop.
A decision to stay in Iraq would also include a clear plan to secure the safety of the people of Iraq. We would have to do what Senator McCain has called for, increasing the number of troops to make Iraq safe. I believe to do this we would have to call for a draft. We would have to convince the American people that we will be in Iraq for a long time, maybe as long as Germany or South Korea.
There are no good choices, this president has led us off the cliff, it is going to hurt when we hit the ground and that alone is enough to be very angry with a man who calls himself the President of the United States. My vote, let us get the heck out of Hell.