George W. Bush’s ill-fated decision to frighten this nation into an illegal, immoral, ill-conceived war against Iraq, a country that posed no real threat to us, will haunt him throughout history. Now most Americans believe the U.S. should never have undertaken this calamitous military misadventure and support bringing our troops home.
Let’s look at the current reality in Iraq. Thus far in April, an average of 25 American soldiers have died each week, a rate that could bring the total to more than 4,000 by year’s end. The unrelenting violence currently claims approximately 50 Iraqi lives daily, with total civilian deaths estimated at more than 60,000. Our allies in this conflict are drawing down their forces. The various factions in the Iraqi government continue to squabble rather than deal with pressing issues.
Aware that the American public no longer believes his original pretexts for war (WMDs, al-Qaida/Saddam connection, etc.), Bush and his apologists have fabricated an inventory of dubious justifications for “staying the course.”
We must give the “surge” an opportunity to work. One definition of insanity: Continuing to do the same thing over and over, each time expecting a different result.
A bloodbath will ensue if we leave. If the warring factions in Iraq are intent on more sectarian violence and ethnic cleansing, keeping our troops there only forestalls the inevitable.
If we leave, they’ll follow us home. Does anyone remember any Viet Cong tagging along when we left Vietnam?
We must stay to stop the advance of radical Islam. Ah, yes, the old domino theory. Didn’t hold up with the commies, nor does it in this case.
Let’s express our gratitude to the men and women of our military who have served admirably. Let’s tell the Iraqis they now control of their own destiny. Then let’s declare victory and come home. We, the people, voted for this course of action in the 2006 elections, and it’s time the politicians in Washington carried out our will.
Note: This commentary was published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on April 27, 2007.