The Editorials of E. Desiderius

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Give Us A Plan: Why John Kerry is Right On the War

Senator John Kerry is a lot of things, but in his recent New York Times Op-Ed, Kerry is right on target [1]. This author has long opposed US withdrawal from Iraq. This would be irresponsible, immoral and disastrous to America’s standing as a responsible world power. However, what this author opposes more than US withdrawal is leaving America’s troops in a dangerous situation without a coherent strategy for victory.

As the Bush Administration is losing its grip on the domestic front, American troops are slowly losing their grip on Iraq. Shiite death squads, roving Sunni gangs, isolationist Kurds, massive amounts of easily obtainable small-arms and the lack of a national government are creating a dangerous security situation. Meanwhile, the only rhetoric the Bush administration can offer is that they made “tactical errors” (Secretary of State Rice), and that we must stay the course. The Bush Administration has even mostly stopped offering up their stock line about criticism of the war as causing demoralization of our fighting men and women, leaving it to rabid right-wing bloggers and the occasional Fox guest.

However, what the Bush administration has not offered is a new approach to the war, for the old one is rapidly crumbling. The Iraqi national government has not formed after five months of negotiations, the Iraqi army and police have been infiltrated with sectarian loyalists who use the trust of their uniform to commit atrocious acts, and American lives are being lost every day. Journalists are being beheaded, sectarian passions are one mosque bombing away from erupting into a full civil war and insurgents are running amuck with impunity.

We Americans, regardless of views on the war, are united in the wish that the US forces could have easily stabilized the country into a model democracy, which could provide her citizens with the same sort of safety and liberty that Americans and Europeans take for granted. We Americans are united in our desires to prevent the needless sacrifice of fighting men and women. We are terrified that withdrawal will mean that ordinary Sunnis and ordinary Shiites will be caught in the crossfire of a brutal sectarian war. However, we cannot allow the Bush administration to offer us more of the same. Where is the war plan? Where do we go from here? How can we ensure the formation of a national unity government? Will a national unity government prevent more sectarian violence? How can we diffuse sectarian tensions and restore the populace’s trust in frail institutions like the Army and the police forces? How can we win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi populace? These are questions that should have been asked years ago, but we are confronted with them now. Americans demand answers to these questions, and the only thing the Bush Administration has offered is rhetoric. This is unacceptable. If the President, and his Secretary of Defense cannot offer us something besides the status quo, then we must leave Iraq immediately

-E. Desiderius

[1] NY Times Op-Ed – Two Deadlines and An Exit

Posted by George Gordon | Monday, April 10, 2006 | E-mail this post

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