Is this what the President envisaged when he sent the American Army rolling into Baghdad, that three years after the invasion, the elected government of Iraq would be asking The Mahdi Army for help? This is the same Army we had surrounded inside of a mosque two years ago and that we allowed to walk out with their weapons. This is a close ally of the Shiite led Iranian government. This is the same Army that we have been blaming for random killings of Sunni's in Baghdad and other cities.
When Bush tells the American People that we "have to stay the course in Iraq", is he talking about making The Mahdi Army and Moqtada al-Sadr part of the solution? After all that Bush has said about this Shiite extremist, are we now accepting that he should be the one that pulls Bush's feet out of the fire? Are we still saying that Iraq is not in the midst of a Civil War when International agencies are reporting over 600,000 Iraqi's dead from insurgent activities and sectarian violence? What have we accomplished in Iraq? What will be the end result? The end result seems to be that we are substituting one tyrant for another in a war without end, or even a plausible reason for us to be there in the first place. Yet we are reminded again and again how this is part of a broader war on terrorism.
What part of this broader war is the war in Iraq? Don't tell us that we are winning "hearts and minds" over there. I heard that when we were making excuses in Vietnam. We certainly are not winning any hearts and minds in Iraq or in any other country in the Middle East. This is a failed policy of a failing administration, that is responsible for over 2,800 American soldiers losing their lives and up to 600,000 Iraqi's losing theirs depending who you listen to. It has been reported that for every terrorist we kill, they recruit two more because of the hatred of America that this intervention in Iraq has caused.
There was a time, not too long ago, that the Iranian government was worried about its under 30 population that make up 70% of it's population. They were wearing American style clothes and listening to American music and demanding greater freedom from their theocratic government. There was a real threat that Iran would be facing a social upheaval because its disproportionate number of younger people were demanding western consumer goods and western freedoms. That has changed with this war that Bush has started. From people who have reported from Iran, America is now scorned by the majority of Iranians, young and old. This does nothing to bring stability to the Middle East.
Now elections are just a few weeks away. Are American's going to demand that the political party that gave us this war in Iraq be thrown out of power, or are Americans going to sit comfortably in their living rooms watching TV and assuming that others will go to the voting booth and do that necessary task for them. Don't leave this to chance. Get up and vote. Republicans that still support Bush will. On election day, just think of the Iraqi President of what President Bush calls "this young democracy" asking Moqtada al-Sadr, a man who is responsible for hundreds of American soldiers deaths, for help. Think of the Mahdi Army, people who have killed thousands of Iraqi Sunni's patrolling the streets. This is Bush's failed vision. He should be held responsible and punished by voting in a Democratically controlled House and Senate.