Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We Bombed, This Day Five Years Ago

The five years that have passed since we began bombing Baghdad have left precious little of the promises the administration made, and its lies to get permission to wreak the wretched violence against mostly civilians. It is hard to justify, although some deadenders are doing so.

This morning on CSpan's Washington Journal, the interview with Newsweek's Larry Kaplow in Baghdad included his remarks that today, many Iraqis express nostalgia over the peaceful days of Saddam's rule.

Elsewhere, the media that has been sobered by their own gullibility, that led them to quote all the White House lies. Here in North Texas, happily, our leading newspaper The Dallas Morning News has been running articles for the past three days on the present day in Iraq, and the picture they've painted isn't promising. Today, their editorial is somber.

While the U.S. troop surge has brought levels of violence and casualties down, life in Baghdad and other major cities is fraught with danger. Iraq remains among the most violent countries in the world, as underscored by the explosions that punctuated a Monday visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.

Millions of Iraqis have been displaced by the war. A massive population migration has split the country along sectarian lines. Families who fled may never be able to return to their homes.

So how do we assess the war's progress after five years? In Iraq on Monday, Mr. Cheney termed it "a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavor" and "well worth the effort."
Mr. Cheney has made wrong calls before on Iraq, and while we acknowledge progress on several fronts, it would be deceptive to label this war "successful."

We're glad Saddam Hussein and his murderous regime are gone. But the international trust and cooperation that the White House squandered to accomplish that goal will take years to rebuild.

Five years on, regrettably, we have our shock and awe. Shock that the Iraq invasion fell so woefully short of improving Iraqis' lives. Awe in the failure of the Bush administration to address mistakes sooner.

The media has gotten comfortable with calling lies "deceptive", anyway. That is about the only good result of the war that I can see.

The financial crisis that our beggaring of this country has caused has deep roots in the distrust our war has brought on us, as well. While the funds - that could have ended the 'Social Security crisis', loss of health care for deprived families, education, roads and infrastructure crumbling - are regrettable, along with the lives that were willfully thrown away, our regrets are deeper than that. This country was great once, and now it's shamed.

I am one of the country's wounded, who will try to correct the horrible wrongs, and who will bear the horrible costs.

307 days before the greatest cross to bear is gone.


Excellent article about exiting from Iraq, with 50 plans.

The first two;

Center for American Progress
Withdraw in 12 months, taking only essential, sensitive, and costly equipment. Leave behind 8,000 to 10,000 troops in Kurdistan for an additional year, Marines to protect the embassy in Baghdad, plus additional troops in Kuwait. "Diplomatic surge" with Iraq's neighbors to engineer a political solution.

Center for a New American Security
100,000 U.S. troops out by end of 2008, leaving behind a 60,000-strong transition force for five years to fight terrorists, train Iraqis, and prevent regional war and genocide. Focus on local security rather than propping up the central government. "If we go out on our own terms, we are more likely to leave something that is not going to totally unwind." —James Miller, senior vice president of cnas

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