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Friday, July 20, 2007

Plan B? What About a Plan A?

Iraqi man grievesWhat do you do with an unpopular war that serves no real purpose? It doesn't seem like it's all that difficult a question -- you stop it.

Some don't see it that way. See, that's too simple and obvious. The question all the big fans of the war are asking is, you pull out -- then what? White House Press Secretary Tony Snow told FOX News recently:

To walk out of Iraq right now would plant a seed that ultimately would lead to destabilization there, hundreds of thousands of deaths, loss of our influence in the region, would create instability throughout the Middle East throughout East Asia, throughout Europe.

The problem with this scary scenario is that it's a damned good description of Iraq now. The newest argument in favor of the war is that people who want withdrawal don't have any plan to deal with the violence afterward.

The most obvious answer is that we don't have any plan to deal with the violence there now. If we pull out, will the sectarian civil war in Iraq turn into a sectarian civil war in Iraq or is that a really stupid and redundant question? "I am convinced based on everything I have read it won't be a hell of a lot worse than it is now," Rep. John Murtha told a reporter for the L.A. Times.

In fact, that quote comes from a Times story titled, 'Pullout proposal lacking a Plan B' -- the subheader reads, 'Those who want troops out of Iraq acknowledge that sectarian violence will likely follow.' The problem is that the premise assumes an entirely unrealistic situation -- that Iraq is manageable now, but difficult. That's not the case. Iraq is a failed state and neither we nor the iraqi government have any control over what happens there. Pro-war people get to talk about 'Plans B' when they come up with their own 'Plan A.'

The mistake has already been made. Asking what we'll do about the violence after we leave is like asking how we plan to unmix paint. Worse, it's a way for the pro-war nuts to slough off their own responsibility for this bloodbath and the initial mistakes that brought us to this point. They started this tire fire and now they fault us for having no way to put it out. All you can do with a tire fire is let it burn itself out.

Which brings us to this letter antiwar dems in the House sent to President Bush yesterday:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to inform you that we will only support appropriating additional funds for U.S. military operations in Iraq during Fiscal Year 2008 and beyond for the protection and safe redeployment of all our troops out of Iraq before you leave office.

More than 3,600 of our brave soldiers have died in Iraq. More than 26,000 have been seriously wounded. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured in the hostilities and more than 4 million have been displaced from their homes. Furthermore, this conflict has degenerated into a sectarian civil war and U.S. taxpayers have paid more than $500 billion, despite assurances that you and your key advisors gave our nation at the time you ordered the invasion in March, 2003 that this military intervention would cost far less and be paid from Iraqi oil revenues.

We agree with a clear and growing majority of the American people who are opposed to continued, open-ended U.S. military operations in Iraq, and believe it is unwise and unacceptable for you to continue to unilaterally impose these staggering costs and the soaring debt on Americans currently and for generations to come.

The letter is signed by way more people than I'm willing to list here -- 70 in all. Check it out to see where your congress critter stands. I can save some of you some time, though -- the only GOP member who signed was Ron Paul. Other names are predictable -- Conyers, Kucinich, Rangel, Waters among them. I was glad to see my Rep., Tammy Baldwin, listed and the woman I call my 'near Rep.', Gwen Moore from over in Milwaukee. When it comes to stuff like this, the only problem with living in Madison is that I seldom have anyone to yell at. It's a problem I can live with.

As long as we're talking about who does or doesn't have a plan, let's look at a poll taken by -- a news site for military members. According to them:

Nearly 60 percent of readers who participated in a recent poll said the United States should withdraw its troops from Iraq now or by the end of 2008. More than 40 percent of the respondents agreed the pullout should begin immediately because "we're wasting lives and resources there."

A similar number of participants, however, felt that U.S. troops should remain in Iraq, with 41 percent of respondents concluding that America should fight "until the insurgency is totally defeated."

I'm sorry, 'until the insurgency is totally defeated?' This brings two questions to mind -- what the hell does that even mean and what's your plan to get that done?

The fact is that the plan for Iraq was exactly what the Bush administration said it was. We go in, boot out Saddam, and everyone's so damned happy they throw us a big parade -- The Princess gives the Wookie a medal, the end, roll credits. That was it. That was what passed for serious military planning. They didn't have a plan when they went in and that's the problem now. They wrecked the place and now they get to criticize us for not being able to fix it? That takes balls.

The answer for Iraq is simple -- we screwed things up so badly there that we can't possibly fix it. We can stay there and be the third side of a three way civil war or we can get the hell out and make it a two way civil war.

Doesn't seem like much of a headscratcher to me.


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1 comment:

Bret Moore said...

Mr. President please understand

it really is that bad

it won't just go away

it's just beginning

(with apologies to NOFX).

The Ron Paul Revolution is a'comin'. And, just in time, as this country is headed in the wrong direction in a major way. Apply brakes, start thinking instead of merely reacting.