Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"We Haven't Turned Any Corners"

Some interesting testimony yesterday by General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before two Senate committees. I was particularly glad to see some Senators more insistent about getting information from the American occupation offices in Baghdad that they are entitled to. Restoring the Congress as a co-equal branch of government one hearing at a time!

I was most disturbed by General Petraeus' response to a question from Senator Evan Bayh on the nature of the progress we have made in Iraq. Here is the General's response:
It's why I repeatedly noted that we haven't turned any corners, we haven't seen any lights at the end of the tunnel. The champagne bottle has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator. And the progress, while real, is fragile and is reversible.
What a damning indictment of this whole fiasco! We have been engaged in an occupation of Iraq for five years. Multinational Forces Iraq has lost over 4,000 American, British, Spanish and Polish lives, with another 30,000 physically and mentally wounded. The U.S. government has sent over $500 billion in both military and non-military spending. All this, and we have not turned ANY corners and have not seen ANY lights at the end of the tunnel.

The reason for this is fairly simple. The Bush administration has yet to acknowledge (at least publicly) that we are stuck in a civil war. We continue to support the Maliki government as if it were the voice of Iraq, but it is only one of a handful of factions who are engaged in a systematic campaign to force other factions into submission. Know wonder the Sunni insurgents and Muqtada al-Sadr's Madhi Army are trying to kill us, we are taking sides in their civil war!

I am not a proponent of total withdrawal because of the great damage a failed state in Iraq would do to the Middle East, likely resulting in a regional war between Saudi Arabia and Egypt against Iran that would have larger implications. But we should remove ourselves from the internal conflict between Iraqis until they decide to play nice and form a democratic government or some dictator is able to consolidate power. What that should look like is some sort of redeployment in Kuwait and Qatar with our continued ability to strike at al-Qaeda when necessary or stop any egregious activities among the factions.

What a horrible mess! Impeach Bush and Cheney for lying us into Iraq with WMD!

Mason Slidell

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very sad. I recall five years ago when we European people filled squares demonstrating against war.
Italian, French, Germany governements, NU,people all knew that WMD was a lie.