Friday, August 31, 2007

Leave now or be in Iraq for at least a decade.

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media. Recommended at Daily Kos

As long as all of the chips are down, or at least $147 billion of them plus another $50 billion of them are, let’s just put it out there. This is the choice we are facing with respect to Iraq. Either Congress gets serious about timelines, cutting off funding and planning on getting our troops out and choosing a “very bad” option as opposed to “much worse” option down the road.

There are a few facts which make this an already impossible situation to have any potential favorable resolution – in any measurable or meaningful way – and these facts give us two options. Those two are simple: make plans to leave Iraq in relatively short order or stay there for ten, twenty, thirty or more years with an overstretched military, hundreds of billions of dollars wasted, hundreds of thousands or millions of lives ruined, and more violence and destruction than anyone can fathom.

I'll say it again, that is the choice we are facing with respect to Iraq, and it is time that these two options are put out there as the choices we are staring at.

Consider the following two positions taken by General Petraeus over the past few months. For starters, he says that this is a “decades long” struggle. And a few months earlier, he said that there is no military solution in Iraq. So right there, we have a decades long struggle that our own military commander indicated will not be able to be solved with his military.

More recently, the NIE released earlier this week indicated the dire political process in Iraq. Nobody, NOBODY in their right minds believes that the United States can positively influence the political process in Iraq – certainly not in the short to mid term. Besides, if the “purple fingers” meant anything at all, then it is really none of our business to stick our noses in where they don’t belong (hear that, Senators Levin and Clinton?).

Violence is out of control. This is the most violent summer yet. More casualties per attack, more lethal attacks, more sophisticated attacks. Borderline ethnic cleansing. Rampant unemployment. Little to no electricity or clean water. The government MIA. Hundreds of thousands of US weapons “missing” (read: lost to or stolen by those who are attacking us and each other). Hundreds of billions of dollars gone.

And now another $200 billion more? For WHAT???? If it isn’t for getting us the hell out of dodge, then it shouldn’t even go any further than that. More of the same is just that – more of the same. No timeline now means what? If not now, then when the hell is it the “right time” to talk about a withdrawal or a real exit strategy?

The GAO report giving the unvarnished truth about how dire the situation is in Iraq is being whitehoused, er, whitewashed and will clearly be more rosy than the truth. As will the Petraeus White House report on Iraq.

And that is the thing, which I will say very clearly - this administration and its supporters lie through their teeth about Iraq. They are using our troops as pawns as they chest thump about something that will never ever ever happen. Wishing and clapping hard doesn’t make anything happen. These are lives at stake – not pieces in a game of Risk™.

You would think that the news that a plane carrying US Congressmen (three out of four who are republicans) was shot at in Iraq would send a dose of reality through these people and jolt the discussion back from the land of make believe. You would think that the steady stream of reports indicating how far out of control things are EVERYWHERE would at least have this outrageous $200 billion demand from Bush be laughed out of the discussion.

Yet here we are, on the eve of Congress coming back into session, and there is not only a risk that this $200 billion request will be granted but that a certain core group of traitors will hijack the debate into a third war with Iran to go along with the other two that we are getting our asses handed to us in.

It comes down to a simple question for those in Congress who are trying to tap dance around the elephant in the room. That includes all Presidential candidates who are in Congress and have a voice, because this will define your presidency as well.

Do you have the courage to act now and make a significant move towards ending the disaster in Iraq and turning this country around? Or do you want to stay in Iraq for decades, sinking hundreds of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of troops into it? Do you want a rebuilt military and the National Guard here doing what it should? Or do you want to continue bankrupting this country and destroying the military as well as what little bit may be left of our reputation around the world?

Do you want to address all of the very important and major problems facing this country? Or do you want to have a draft in order to support another 10 – 15 years of military occupation in Iraq that will only have more disastrous results?

That is the choice. Out now or not for decades. Your actions over the next few weeks will determine what your choice is. And there can be no excuses – you can’t say that you didn’t know this was coming.

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