Friday, March 14, 2008

Bush, History, and the Iraq War

Slavery had been established in the United States for about 240 years when the American Civil War broke out. That war killed over 500,000 Americans and was the worst war in terms of military casualities ever fought by the U.S.

The split between the Shias and the Sunnis in Islam has lasted far longer than 240 years. In Iraq it is compounded by the fact that Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, killed, tortured, or imprisoned thousands of Muslims who were not Sunni. So, it shouldn't come as any surprise to us when Iraqis find it difficult to set aside their differences and work together.

Yet, this administration, from the beginning, has acted like it had absolutely no sense of history when it decided to being Bubble-Boy's horrible adventures. No one in this Administration seemed to consider whether, after we toppled Hussein, the Iraqis would be able to work together and actually form a government.

Now, here we are, 4,000 American dead, 20,000 American wounded, and half a trillion American dollars later, and, lo and behold. the Bushies are discovering that the Iraqis are having trouble working together in post-Hussein Iraq.

The following is from a Washington Post article about General Petraeus's upcoming testimony before the United States Congress in April: Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.

Here's the bottom line: Bubble-Boy and McCain want the decision of how long American troops should stand in harm's way in Iraq to be made by Iraqis because they are willing to keep troops there until there is a so-called political "reconcilation." We have no idea how long that will take, or whether it will ever take place.

America can't control what Iraqis do, it can only control what it does. Yet, Bush and McCain want to cede control over how long our troops are in Iraq to Iraqis. Call us old-fashioned but we believe that American politicians, not Iraqi ones, should decide how long American troops stay in Iraq.

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