Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Iraq Withdrawal Resolution

Rep. John Murtha, D-PA, a former Marine and a well respected member of the Armed Services Committee in the House, introduced a plan to pull out our military from Iraq within 6 months, citing a belief that we can no longer win militarily. The problem with this idea is we must win. We broke it, so now we have to fix it on behalf of the Iraqis and their neighbors, even if they don’t want us too. Murtha deserves nothing but respect for having the guts to come out and call for a change in direction for Iraq, which is sorely needed. Although the House debated this issue on Friday, the bill actually voted down was a Republican version introduced by Duncan Hunter that would have called for an immediate withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. The strategy used by the majority party was a ploy to make illegitimate any notion of leaving Iraq prematurely and staying the course the President has set. However, there is no doubt that something must be done to reverse the course of this war, and pave the way for an Iraqi government to take charge of its own security. Our current course has left American soldiers in a position of attrition. The troops clear out the insurgents in an Iraqi city, leave, and the insurgents simply return to refortify their position. The borders of Iraq also remain porous, especially along the Syrian border. There are simply not enough troops to secure the borders from foreign terrorist incursions. Unfortunately, the Secretary of Defense has resisted any alteration to the current strategy.

What needs to happen is the right-wingers need to stop attacking their criticizers and start devising an overwhelming force that includes more troops from allied nations in order to secure Iraq long enough to rebuild its own security forces and infrastructure. The costs Americans are burdened with will overwhelm future generations in the form of a massive national debt and a weakened economy if this administration does not find a way to bring in international relief for Iraq. The failure of the war strategy, the intelligence misinformation, and prewar miscalculations of the difficulty of stabilizing a post-Saddam Iraq is now irrelevant. The war hawks need to understand they made a mistake, apologize, and move on by making things right in Iraq, and getting our troops home when the job is done. The global war on terror cannot possibly proceed without a stable democracy in Iraq at this point, and a war of words is not going to make this happen. Put up or shut up already Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice, and Mr. President. Same goes to those Democrats who don’t seem to have a viable plan to get Iraq stabilized. Everyone needs to just shut up and listen to Mr. McCain. Start a draft if you have to, just get it done!

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