"Regular" people can't be trusted to make their own decisions. If we left it up to the rabble, who just want to peacefully live their lives and be left alone, they wouldn't even let us invade and occupy nations full of brown-skinned people who think we Americans walk too proudly upon the Earth, who won't agree to sell us cheap oil, and who won't allow us to have immense military bases from which we can stage invasions and occupations of other nations of brown-skinned people we don't like.
John McCain says it's "not too important" when American troops are allowed to come home from George Bush's war.
Not important to whom, I wonder. John McCain may be the only American who would actually say those words, whether they believe them or not. I don't think even George Bush is quite that stupid. Because the answer to that question is probably the most important answer for many voters in the next election.
We know it's important to those with family members who bleed and kill and die in the powdery, choking dust of a land 11,000 miles away from the country they love. We know it's important to those who do the bleeding and killing and dying, especially when they come to the realization that the man they just killed never posed even a slight risk to America or to the Constitution they swore to protect. Or when they realize that the death of the buddy who just died in their arms, while a brave and noble act of sacrifice for his brothers in arms, still meant absolutely nothing to the national defense of the United States, or for the freedom of the family and friends who prayed for him to come home alive.
We know it's important to our children and grandchildren who will ultimately pay the ungodly amount of interest and principal on the humongous debt we have incurred to pay for this incoherent criminal clusterfuck. Bush and McCain see eye to eye when it comes to credit card war funding and "pass the buck" presidencies. They're made of the same genetic material as shady used-car salesmen: "No money down! Take years and years to pay!"
Wars are always started by old men who spend their time convincing young men that they must kill other young men because they threaten their very way of life. Sometimes it's true. But this two trillion-dollar tangent was completely unnecessary, and has done absolutely nothing to "make Americans safer." More terrorists have been created as a direct result of the occupation of Iraq than Osama bin Laden could have recruited in 100 years.
And since we created them ourselves, it is laughably dubious for us to continue to call them "terrorists." Just put yourself in their place. If China invaded us and killed my wife and children in the process of "liberating" me, it is the simple, honest truth that I would devote my every waking moment to killing every Chinese soldier I could find until there were no more Chinese soldiers in America, or until they killed me. And if the only way to do it was to fight using guerilla tactics, you can bet that it would be JC Garrett planting roadside IEDs, sniping and disappearing into the crowd, and smuggling weapons in from Mexico. It wouldn't matter to me that China had the best of intentions when they invaded. You wanna see a "radical extremist?" Just watch what happens when a bomb dropped by a foreign nation takes my little girl's leg. That's what matters.
That's also why 9/11 mattered. Conspiracy theories and doubts aside, that's why America's young men volunteered for miltary service. Thousands of our friends and family were brutally attacked, and a yearning for vengeance is a human emotion not easily ignored. But Iraq had nothing to do with it. So take that emotion that Americans felt in the days just after the attacks and multiply it by 333, and you will know how a majority of Iraqis feel. We lost 3,000 people that day. They have lost 1 million. Very few of our citizens were driven from their homes compared to the 4.2 million Iraqis who have had to abandon theirs. That's what matters.
Which brings me to one of the most important answers to the question: Not important to whom?
Despite all the Americans who have been killed and wounded in Iraq, even with all the money we have literally stolen from the next generation of Americans, and even with the trust and prestige America loses with each new day we remain a foreign occupier in a sovereign nation - the question of when America will leave Iraq is by far most important to Iraqis.
And the Iraqis don't want us there.
ABC News polled Iraqis in September of 2007. It found that 79% oppose the occupation, including 80% of Shiites, and 95% of Sunnis.
Another poll conducted in February, 2008, shows that 77% of Iraqis remain opposed to the U.S. occupation, including 77% of Shiites and 95% percent of Sunnis.
Jalal al Din al-Saghir, leading lawmaker from the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, responding to U.S. requests for a treaty of permanent occupation, made clear how most Iraqi lawmakers feel about Bush's proposed "agreement" that would allow U.S. troops to remain in Iraq beyond the U.N. mandate which will expire in January:
"The points that were put forth by the Americans were more abominable than the occupation."