The Intelligence was flawed, Not just US Intelligence. We all know that. That Bush manipulated it to enable us to go to war? Not likely. But even if he did, what's the point? We're there! We toppled the most ruthless dictator since Adolph Hitler.
And now we need to stay and finish the job. It could take a while, too. Maybe five, maybe ten years. Not for the faint of heart. Maybe Bush should have laid the groundwork better on that score, I don't know. There are plenty of critics around, but with almost no exception, they seem to be long on criticism and short on quality ideas for better alternatives and real leadership.
If we leave Iraq now, or even in the next year, there is a real likelihood of a civil war; the kind that could draw, at the least, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in, either as sponsors or possibly as active participants.
Iran, which is currently on the brink of being a terrorist nuclear state with publicly espoused policies of wanting to destroy Israel and the Jewish state, would be vastly emboldened.
It is quite possible that some currently moderate Middle Eastern governments could become more radical. It is likely that the Palestinians could renew their intifada against Israel. Hamas is up for election soon. Not "good timing".
We will have managed to take most of Al Qaeda from far-off, impoverished Afghanistan and Pakistan, to centrally-located, oil-rich Iraq and provided them with a carte-blanche rationale to build a Middle East launching-pad of global destruction the likes of which 9-11 pales to by comparison. Do you like Al Zarqawi? If we get out of Iraq now, you just voted for him, pal!
It isn't beyond my imagination to envision Al Qaeda with its own oil reserves. The US position in the world would be badly damaged and our efforts to gain a grip on global terrorism would be set back by a decade.
If you think we need to get out of Iraq, I agree with you.
But, we need to get out of Iraq when the job is done properly, not because George Bush "Lied" or because some American troops are dying, or an election is coming up. This was our initial goal, and it hasn't changed. We were in Japan and Germany for many, many years after the war. It took a very long time. They are now solid Democratic allies.
We can do the same with Iraq, and set the tone for a more peaceful world in the future. We can do it. But, we have to have conviction and patience. We can't just "bail out" in mid stream as in Vietnam or the Bay of Pigs; this spells disaster.
Too expensive, you say? Nope. No price for Democracy is too high. Sell me War Bonds, I'll buy them. Do it more efficiently? Waste less money? Sure, I'm for that.
BUT GET THE JOB DONE, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES.
It's easy and its understandable for people to get all hopped up by emotions. The media is showing us this every day. They don't report the progress or the good news; it doesn't sell commercials very well.
When I was a little nerdy kid in high school I learned one lesson well: If you don't learn to stand up to bullies, you're TOAST. Al-Queda, Iraqi Insurgents, Iran, N. Korea -- they are all just bullies.
It's only if we are weak, lose our resolve, and back down, that they win. Democracy works. And illogical though it may seem, sometimes you have to get involved in a war to bring peace. Humans have been fighting for 45,000 years. When you sit down in a restaurant for lunch, don't you realize that subconciously you still "scan the horizon" for enemies? It's in your genes, you cannot change the human condition.
You can "Bash Bush" until your face turns blue. But until you can come up with a clear path and a detailed strategy that's actually better than what we have now, I suggest you shut up, and go back off and think.
The world has changed since 9-11. There are bad people who have no sense of morals or humanity, and who want you dead. You cannot appease or negotiate with maniacs who are willing to die to see you dead because they believe they will go to Heaven and have eternal life. The only thing you can do is track them down, and kill them before they have a chance.
If we leave Iraq, we are doing the exact opposite. We are telling them, "we give up, you win". Do you think they'll be "good guys" and stop? Better think again. The US Military recently found a letter from one of the top Al-Queda leaders telling his people exactly what to do when the "Americans leave". They have been just waiting for us to give up and get out of there to put their plans into place.
Somebody needs to analyze all the facts and the scenarios, and present them to the American people in a non - threatening way that they can understand. Because if we don't get our collective shit together and take care of business, painful though it may be, we very well may be dead.
What did Lincoln say?
"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." --Abraham Lincoln