Wednesday, January 24, 2007

There is But One Top Priority

There is But One Top Priority

If I were to list the top 100 things that need doing in America, numbers 1 to 90 would all be the same: GET US OUT OF IRAQ Anything beyond this pales in comparison. The continued loss of life and the extreme human suffering is intolerable. No amount of "surge" will lessen the loss of life or human suffering. We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we are the cause not the solution to the problem. We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we cannot win someone else's civil war. We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we only support Democracies if they are being run "our way." We as a country need to have the courage to admit that we are the biggest hypocrites of modern times.

Bush continues to deny the reality that this immoral, ill advised and illegal war cannot be salvaged. He talks about supporting the only Democracy in the area. The fact is this: Iran's government is far more democratic than Iraq's. Yes, Iraq had elections but no candidate could propose what the vast majority (over 90%) of Iraqis wanted and continue to want; the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq. Hardliners like Iran's current President were elected as a response to our invasion in Iraq, any number of more moderate candidates in Iran lost the election because they did not oppose the invasion as overtly. Iran's candidates were free to advocate any point of view without interference from any foreign governments; the same cannot be said for Iraq.

The parallels to the Vietnam War cannot be ignored, except that the moral justifications for our involvement in Vietnam far out weighed those in Iraq. The most glaring of these is the fact that one side (the South) of a continuing civil war wanted our participation, in Iraq there was no civil war until the invasion and occupation. On December 31, 1970, the U.S. Congress repealed the entirely fictitious Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which in 1964 authorized a dramatic increase in U.S. military involvement in Vietnam in response to an attack on U.S. forces that later turned out to not have happened. Why cannot the current Congress step up to the bat and do the same with the Congressional resolution that supposedly gave Bush the power to invade Iraq? The basis for that resolution was even more false than the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. No more "but look at how many Democrats voted for it," should even be allowed. Continuing two wrongs still does not make a thing right.

The posturing that is occurring between potential Presidential candidates is repugnant. McCain's argument that withdrawal is wrong because it would admit defeat is right from one point of view; defeat is inevitable because victory is impossible. Senator Clinton's proposed troop level cap is a band-aid on a gushing mortal wound. There are over a hundred civilian deaths acknowledged on a daily basis. U.S. military deaths are severely under reported. Contractors' lives are just as valuable as soldiers are and their deaths are just as much a military death as a soldier's.

We must first GET OUT OF IRAQ. We fail as human beings and Americans doing anything less. Only after this is done is it worth discussing items 91 through 100 on my list.

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