Monday, September 04, 2006

What if they threw a war, and then they just went home?

My dislike of the Republicans is outweighed only by my contempt for the Democrats*, and this new letter from Pelosi and Reid to Bush calling for the pull-out of Iraq sums it all up well.


September 4, 2006

Dear Mr. President:

Over one month ago, we wrote to you about the war in Iraq. ... (W)e called upon you to change course and adopt a new strategy to give our troops and the Iraqi people the best chance for success.


In the five-week period since writing to you, over 60 U.S. soldiers and Marines have been killed, hundreds of U.S. troops have been wounded, many of them grievously, nearly 1,000 Iraqi civilians have died, and the cost to the American taxpayer has grown by another $8 billion dollars.


With daily attacks against American and Iraqi troops at close to their highest levels since the start of the war, and sectarian violence intensifying, we can only conclude that our troops are caught in the middle of a low-grade civil war that is getting worse.


We propose a new direction, which would include: (1) transitioning the U.S. mission in Iraq to counter-terrorism, training, logistics and force protection; (2) beginning the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq before the end of this year; (3) working with Iraqi leaders to disarm the militias and to develop a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the Constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources; and (4) convening an international conference and contact group to support a political settlement in Iraq, to preserve Iraq's sovereignty, and to revitalize the stalled economic reconstruction and rebuilding effort. These proposals were outlined in our July 30th letter and are consistent with the "U.S. Policy in Iraq Act" you signed into law last year.


We also think there is one additional measure you can take immediately to demonstrate that you recognize the problems your policies have created in Iraq and elsewhere –consider changing the civilian leadership at the Defense Department... It is unacceptable to dismiss the concerns of military personnel and their families when they are affected by the consequences of these failures, as the Secretary of Defense recently did in Alaska by suggesting that volunteers should not complain about having their deployments extended. While a change in your Iraq policy will best advance our chances for success, we do not believe the current civilian leadership at the Department of Defense is suited to implement and oversee such a change in policy.


Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (full signature in above link).

Once determined to repeat Colin Powell's Pottery Barn rule hourly, the Democrats now have decided that the US broke Iraq but can just duck out the back door without owning it.

I was against the Iraq War as much as anyone else out there was, but once you're in, you have to stay in. Rumsfeld's handling of the war has led perilously close to failure, and that means that an effective and intelligent alternative would draw up new and better plans - plans to win, and succeed, not advocate dropping out altogether.

"Re-deployment" resulting in full-out, no-question civil war in Iraq would ruin the US's image for years, and the memory would linger for decades.

I don't envy the US's position in Iraq - it's an awful, awful situation to be in. But re-deploying is not the answer. A new strategy to win and to prove success is. Part of that success is a new Secretary of Defense. At least they got that right.

They're damned lucky that people are so fed up with the Republicans - because this kind of strategy is not leadership.

*This not an endorsement of the Republican Party.


Blogger SouthernOntarioan said...

Excellent point Jason, I agree that while I don't think the post-war era of Iraq has been well handled, "re-deployment" is not an option. Unless of course a 3-way civil war is an acceptable result.

But to Democrats/NDPers the well-being of people across the world doesn't matter.

Monday, September 04, 2006 4:13:00 PM  
Blogger Jason Bo Green said...

Unless of course a 3-way civil war is an acceptable result.

Exactly. If John Kerry thinks the US's image abroad is tarnished now, wait til "re-deployment" happens.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006 6:39:00 AM  

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