By Jack Random
Tonight the president addressed a solemn assembly of soldiers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His case for the continued occupation of Iraq can be summarized in one word: Tired.
Did he respond to the Downing Street memos? No.
On a day when two more American soldiers and 30-40 Iraqis, including a member of the Iraqi Parliament, were killed, did he offer a realistic assessment of where we are in relation to where we have been? No.
As our investment in this war approaches 1,800 dead, 20,000 wounded and $400 billion dollars, did he provide any assurance that our mission would be completed in the coming months, years or decades? No.
The president repeatedly reasserted his false and discredited claim that this war was somehow related to the attack on this nation nearly four years ago.
If we are to take the president at his word, it was never about weapons of mass destruction. If it was our troops would long be home. Instead, it was all about ideology. If we take the president at his word, he cleverly deceived the American people and tried to deceive the world community in order to fan the flames of Islamic jihad by implanting an ideological war in the Middle East – an ill-fated venture by any objective analysis.
The president makes no distinction between terrorists and insurgents fighting a foreign invader. He implies that the “coalition” allies are growing in number and strength when in fact nation after nation has drawn down their troops and pledged withdrawal in deference to the democratic will of their people: Ukraine, Italy, Spain and Poland. The allied forces that remain will not engage in battle and the second largest fighting force in Iraq is neither Britain nor Australia but the army of American paid mercenaries.
The president claims that we are making significant progress but the reports on the ground tell a different story. There is no progress on security, jobs, electricity, water or sewage and the insurgency is growing daily. Ironically, if we were to succeed in establishing a truly democratic government in Iraq their first act would be to demand our removal.
The president has the audacity to quote Osama bin Laden the day after an American helicopter is shot down in the forgotten war in Afghanistan and a week after political appointee and Director of Central Intelligence Porter Goss testified that we know where bin Laden is but we cannot violate sovereignty. Since when has sovereignty prevented military action in this administration?
The president asserts that ours is an ideology of freedom while the enemy has an ideology of hatred but the occupier of a foreign land cannot bestow freedom on the occupied and it is not for us to define Iraqi freedom.
Finally, the president claims that we will stand down when the Iraqis stand up. The difficulty is that the Iraqis that are standing up now (against the greatest fighting force on earth) are not standing by our side.
It is an insult to every American for our president to compare this war to the American Revolution and the Civil War. We have brought civil war to Iraq and civil war will be our legacy whether or not we honor our promise to leave. As for the revolution, we fought for our freedom against a colonial power and one that brought a scourge of Hessian mercenaries to oppose us. Whom in this equation do we most resemble?
Before another life is lost in this historical misadventure, take a hard look at where this president has led us and where he intends to go.
Stop the war machine.
End the occupation.
Bury the doctrine of perpetual war.
Note: For a responsible withdrawal plan see www.democracyrising.us.