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Sunday, March 19, 2006

End the War

I apologize for the lack of bloggy-goodness lately. Life has been interesting.

But this got me (and has had me) riled up. This weekend is the three year anniversary of our illegal invasion of Iraq. What have we accomplished? What does the future hold? Why are we still there? These are questions that our leadership cannot, and is not qualified to, answer.

There have been many rallies to end the war all around the world, including Sydney, Australia, Tokyo, and Turkey. Sunday, they protested in South Korea, Sweden, Denmark, and London.

All protesting under one theme: Get the US out of Iraq. I think that it would come as no surprise to most of you that popular world opinion is against this war. Popular opinion in the US has turned against the administration, and against our occupation. Blame can be spread around for this. Bush wanted to take us into Iraq from the moment he took the oath of office (and probably before). Rumsfeld, our Secretary of Defense, has botched the war planning on every level.

From the NYTimes:

"Many who supported the invasion have taken this anniversary to argue that it all would have been worthwhile if things had been run better. They argue that if the coalition forces had been large enough to actually secure the country, to keep insurgents from raiding Saddam Hussein's ammunition depots, to give the people a sense of safety, the country might well be on the road to a hopeful future. We doubt it. The last three years have shown how little our national leaders understood Iraq, and have reminded us how badly attempts at liberation from the outside have gone in the past. Given where we are now, the question of whether a botched invasion created a lost opportunity might be moot, except for one thing. The man who did the botching, Donald Rumsfeld, is still the secretary of defense."

"Chances are that at the time George W. Bush did not have an inkling of how badly he was being served by the decision makers at the Pentagon. But the fact that Mr. Rumsfeld continues to hold his job tells us that Mr. Bush doesn't care, that he prefers living in the same dream world that his secretary of defense inhabits. In their wishful thinking, Mr. Bush and Mr. Rumsfeld undoubtedly tell themselves what they tell us: that the Iraqi people are better off than they were under the brutal dictator, that the Iraqi security forces are gradually learning how to take over defense of their own country and that a unified government is still a good possibility. It's true that many Iraqis are better off. Others are in far worse straits — their homes have been ruined, their relatives killed, their jobs evaporated and their ability to walk the streets in safety obliterated. Women's rights are being threatened in the south, and sectarian warfare has put families with mixed Shiite-Sunni ancestry at risk in their own neighborhoods. It is hard to quantify relative degrees of misery and pain in these circumstances. But unlike the horrors of Saddam Hussein, the horrors of the present can be laid at America's doorstep." [NYT]

There are several conclusions that we can draw from all of this, but I'll leave most of that for the historians. One, Bush got us into this war on false pretenses, and to disasterous results. Two, Donald Rumsfeld is a terrible decision maker, and lives in the same fantasy-world that Bush lives in. They call it "Everything-is-fine-land."

"The most important quote in it was this: "It is impolite to criticize your host; it is militarily stupid to criticize your allies." By that rule, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is not competent to lead our armed forces. First, his failure to build coalitions with our allies from what he dismissively called "old Europe" has imposed far greater demands and risks on our soldiers in Iraq than necessary. Second, he alienated his allies in our own military, ignoring the advice of seasoned officers and denying subordinates any chance for input. In sum, he has shown himself incompetent strategically, operationally and tactically, and is far more than anyone else responsible for what has happened to our important mission in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld must step down." [NYT]

Please...let's show our brave troops that we really support them, not with car magnets, but by bringing them home.

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