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opednews.com Headlined to H4 3/31/09

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In a recent interview, Secretary of Defense Gates hinted that the withdrawal of combat brigades will be accomplished through "an administrative sleight of hand rather than by actually withdrawing all the combat brigade teams."

Appearing on Meet the Press Mar. 1, Gates said the "transition force" would have "a very different kind of mission", and that the units remaining in Iraq "will be characterised differently. They will be called advisory and assistance brigades," said Gates. "They won't be called combat brigades."

Uh...okay?????? But there are a lot of unanswered questions here. These remaining 30,000 to 50,000 men and women, American troops, still working in Iraq, though not "fighting???"

Hey You

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Let me get right to it. My concern is this:

The Iraq War is, and always has been, a "wrong" war, an illegal war. Bush/Cheney went there for one ... okay, maybe two ... reasons: oil and Israel, regardless of the short- and long-term cost to Iraq, the US, the coalition, and the World in terms of lives and money. They just didn't care about those things. Focused guys...just wanted the oil and to appease Israel. Okay...we knew that. Here's the thing, which is a DIRECT result of the Bush/Cheney administration's decisions:

The US and World economies are suffering beyond our wildest imaginations (yes, even those of us who've been predicting this "doom" for years, particularly based on the incredible amount of money spent per day on this "wrong war" in Iraq, are mind-boggled). They're tanking. But this we know, and this is a HUGE part of the economic problems:

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The US spends $720 million dollars PER DAY in Iraq! AND THIS MUST STOP!

Imagine if the US hadn't been spending that on an illegal war over the last six years...and, oh, by the way... the US government under Bush/Cheney got that money from China (borrowed it) to the tune of more than $1 Trillion, and China is about ready to ask for it back. They want their money (who knew? the US doesn't pay BACK things, we pay FOR things...you know...that ol' Capitalism thing)! Anyway, back to China and the Iraq War and the old Bush/Cheney administration.

In the present "combat" situation in Iraq, China will be attempting to get blood from a turnip, because as you might have noticed, the US doesn't have it! But wait...the Fed can print it, just like they did to bail out the "bad boys" of Wall Street and the auto industry...but I digress.

Okay, let me just be really clear. I don't know about you, but as a dead-serious US citizen, I want honest, straightforward, and transparant answers to the following questions from President Obama, who I voted for, contributed to, wrote eloquently about, believe in immensely, and want to continue to support:

Will this shift to "advisory and assistance brigades" status in a "transition force" reduce the money we spend per day in Iraq? And if so, by how much? And if so, where will it go? And if not, why are we doing it this way now? And if we fully pulled out of Iraq instead (call me naive...I'm not in government...just a citizen professor), wouldn't we be able to use that $720 million per day for some of these budget spending items President Obama is asking for, such as, revamping healthcare, bolstering education, helping the least among us who are homeless (because of crimes of the corporate "big boys"), and other very honorable and correct-thinking items?

I gotta say this one more time, and loudly ... we MUST leave Iraq NOW! The fierce urgency of NOW is upon us in this regard like a sledge hammer on molten iron.

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Now, don't get me wrong here; I like what President Obama has done thus far with regard to the economy, and I'm with him, but I want more answers about Iraq NOW, and those answers need to include: why we REALLY aren't pulling out completely as planned, what this means to our economy, our troops, and more. I have fought against this war from the beginning and will not stop...no...not EVER....

And then, I want to know why, why President Obama has not had the Justice Department indict and arrest Bush, Cheney, Rove, and all those who served in that White House administration for their egregious crimes against our US Constitution, humanity, and the planet. Why are some of these people still in office? still holding key positions in the new administration?

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Professor Nan Fandel teaches communications in Iowa. She is also a journalist who has been an op-ed columnist for the Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper. (more...)

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