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Iraq and The Road Home

by Pamela Leavey

Bring Them Home. The WaPo’s Foreign Service reported on Saturday that “Suicide attacks across Iraq killed at least 144 people and injured scores in an 18-hour period, including a massive truck bombing in a northern Shiite village that ripped through a crowded market, burying dozens in the rubble of shops and mud houses,” and 8 U.S troops died. 8 more to die in a war based on lies. It is time… Long past time, actually, to begin to prepare our troops for “The Road Home.”

Well over a year ago, John Kerry pegged it, Iraq was in a civil war. The N.Y. Times in their Sunday editorial has now come to that conclusion, and they are calling for the Bush Administration to end the Iraq War: “It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.”

Better, late then never the N.Y. Times claims that “Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.”

At first, the Times editorial board notes they “believed that after destroying Iraq’s government, army, police and economic structures, the United States was obliged to try to accomplish some of the goals Mr. Bush claimed to be pursuing, chiefly building a stable, unified Iraq.” But then, “became clear that the president had neither the vision nor the means to do that” and so they “argued against setting a withdrawal date while there was still some chance to mitigate the chaos that would most likely follow.”

Now the N.Y. Times admits, “Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong.”

The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.

A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago. Even in politically polarized Washington, positions on the war no longer divide entirely on party lines. When Congress returns this week, extricating American troops from the war should be at the top of its agenda.

That conversation must be candid and focused. Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.

The administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress, the United Nations and America’s allies must try to mitigate those outcomes — and they may fail. But Americans must be equally honest about the fact that keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse. The nation needs a serious discussion, now, about how to accomplish a withdrawal and meet some of the big challenges that will arise.

The time to end this war is now. The time to bring our troops home is now. It’s long, far too long over due. The tyranny that the Bush Administration has used to squelch the debate over and over must end too:

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened — the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.

We, America face “a choice” and now that the N.Y. Times editorial board seems to get that “We can go on allowing Mr. Bush to drag out this war without end or purpose. Or we can insist that American troops are withdrawn as quickly and safely as we can manage — with as much effort as possible to stop the chaos from spreading.”

Bring Them Home. Bring Them Home. Because we have long been at the precipice and now there are those who ask, “Who Will Be Last Soldier to Die for Iraq Mistake?

There is no solace in being right on this issue. There is no solace in knowing long before the N.Y. Times and Republicans with a change of heart, have stepped up to the plate that ending this war based on lies was long over due. The solace will come when we bring our troops home and begin to repair the damage done to this nation by our rogue leaders. Let our troops begin on the long and arduous Road Home.

UPDATE: There’s plenty of discussion on this editorial today in the blogosphere with opinions on both sides of the political sphere and in the middle. Here’s the round-up: Our good friend and contributor to the Dem Daily, Michael at MVDG chimes in; Ron at Middle Earth Journal opines; Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast expounds; Jammie Wearing Fool calls the editorial “absurd”; Dem Daily contributor Robert Stein asks, “What’s Wrong With America’s Newspapers?“; Mustang Bobby at Bark Bark Woof Woof adds his 2 cents; Macsmind says “Ny Traitor Times calls for retreat“; The Talking Dog speaks; Crittenden, as usual cries foul; and Don Surber calls it “long on words, short on logic, and absent of heart.”

4 Responses to “Iraq and The Road Home”

  1. I can’t remember who it was that said, there are only evil choices to get out of Iraq. All we can hope for is the least evil. And that America learns that fear itself is no reason to go attack another country. Or let a leader keep going down the wrong road for so long, despite many reasoned voices to the contrary.

    All together:

    Kerry was right


  2. Part of the problem is that so few Iraqis ever really did try to help us. Pack them on to a few empty trucks, mount up, start our engines, and leave.

    I’m calling it a 50/50 chance that things actually get better the day we leave, and less than 10% chance of things getting a ton worse.

  3. […] their stance on Iraq and now leaning toward a withdrawal of troops. It really is time to Bring Them Home. I’m off… meanwhile in the elsewhere (and somethimes here) blogosphere, t […]

  4. Guys,
    Last year about this time, most thinking Democratics looking to be elected, told the American people that they had a plan to get us out of Iraq. The American people overwhelmingly elected them to do just that and put a Democratic Congress in charge, with George out on the proverbial plank (impeachment). It has been nearly a year and not only do we have MORE troops in Iraq, but NO ATTEMPT has been made to impeach Bush, Cheney, or Rove! What the hell gives?
    John Dobise