Is it me, or does each day bring not only more horrific news about the civil war raging in Iraq, the rising number of civilian and troop casualties, more bombings and killings, but also more and more calls for "coalition" troops to withdraw (or at least plan to withdraw within a definitive and prescribed period of time)?
Whether it is US Senators (Democratic or republican), Iraqi civilians themselves, Generals or former generals, the Iraqi government, other countries or the American people themselves, the message is clear. We need to find a way to end this debacle quickly and bring our troops home safely. Or at a minimum, redeploy them and figure out a solution other than "stay the course but with a name other than stay the course".
In all seriousness, this ill-conceived and horribly "implemented" experiment in nation building and "freedom spreading" has failed miserably by every conceivable metric and measure. It is long past time to do something, anything different.
We are not being taken seriously by the Iraqi "government", the Iraqi police is infested with people who are more loyal to their local death squads, and our troops have become sitting ducks. It makes the question of withdrawal not one of "if" or even "when", but more like "how soon".
Let's take out of the equation, just for now, the fact that there was $9 billion unaccounted for or that more recently another $800 million that was supposed to fight the insurgency was stolen. And let's also take out of the equation the fact that our own agencies say that this mess has increased the threat of terror. Or the fact that our military doesn't have enough armor or updated equipment, that our generals warned that we needed at least double the number of troops if we were to invade Iraq.
And let's even forget the fact that this war has cost almost 400 Billion dollars, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian lives, more loss of US troop lives than those which were lost on 9/11 and tens of thousands of US veterans who are permanently disabled (mentally or physically) and facing cuts to their benefits.
Ok, now that we have forgotten these little tidbits if information, let's just focus on the people or groups that want us to get the hell out of Dodge, and get out two times quick.
For starters, how about those whose country we illegally invaded, dropped illegal chemical weapons on and are illegally occupying? Well, as of last month, over 70% of Iraqis want us out within a year. And while this is after we came in and basically completely ruined everything in their country, it is before October, which was the worst month to date with respect to violence against US troops, or Iraqis. The other figures cited are just as telling, so give it a quick peruse. Not only that, but a poll from last week indicated that the Iraqi youth wants us out as soon as possible and that the violence would decrease if we did.
Where to next? Well, our biggest
lapdog, er, partner in the "coalition of the bribed and threatened", the UK, wants out too. Over 60% of British want their troops out, and out as soon as possible. Of course, we can't forget the UK's own army chief, who said the same thing just two short weeks ago.
What about us "cut and runners" and "terrorist sympathizers" here in the US? Well, 58% of us think the war was a mistake and 52% think that it has made us less safe from terrorism. Yeah, and the "troop haters" also include the troops themselves as well as Richard Armitage, former army generals, and republican Senators who happen to be in the extreme minority of those republican senators who have served in the military.
The list just doesn't end. China said it years ago. Hell, as of this past February, over 70% (yes, seventy percent) of our own troops said we should be out within a year. Yesterday, Iraq's own Prime Minister has rejected what the US is saying Iraq should do by certain dates.
The calls are overwhelming. There are many MANY more that I haven't cited here. But the message is clear and consistent. We must leave Iraq. And very soon. It is pretty much at the point where only Laura and Barney want us to stay. As much as Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld think that their opinions are the only ones that matter, that is not the case.
Enough of this. It is long past time. For those who think "it will get worse if we leave" - I have news for you: It is already worse. More deaths and killings won't make this any better.
Bring them home now. Everyone wants it that way. It must be that way.