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WaPo: Call it a Day (Vietnam Vet says pull the plug on Iraq)

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grytpype Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-20-05 11:56 PM
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WaPo: Call it a Day (Vietnam Vet says pull the plug on Iraq)
Must read. Must. Read.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Call It a Day
We've Done All We Can Do in Iraq

By Andrew J. Bacevich

Sunday, August 21, 2005; Page B01

The banner decorating the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, when President Bush announced an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq, turns out to have been accurate after all. If only the president himself had taken to heart the banner's proclamation of "Mission Accomplished." For by that date, having deposed Saddam Hussein, the United States had achieved in Iraq just about all that it has the capacity to achieve. The time has come for Bush to dig the banner out of the closet, drape it across the front of the White House and make it the basis for policy instead of continuing under the inglorious banner of "Mission Impossible."

...

Getting out now makes sense not just to avoid further running up our bill, but because doing so holds out the prospect of a more favorable result. Granted, constructing a positive case for withdrawal requires a redefinition of purpose. From the outset, the Bush administration has focused on the wrong political objective. Rather than attempting to democratize Iraq as a first step toward "transforming" the Middle East, our proper aim should be to stabilize the country so that we can concentrate our energies on containing and eventually reducing the threat posed by violent Islamic radicals.

...

Will a U.S. withdrawal guarantee a happy outcome for the people of Iraq? Of course not. In sowing the seeds of chaos through his ill-advised invasion, Bush made any such guarantee impossible. If one or more of the Iraqi factions chooses civil war, they will have it. Should the Kurds opt for independence, then modern Iraq will cease to exist. No outside power can prevent such an outcome from occurring anymore than an outside power could have denied Americans their own civil war in 1861.

...

For Bush personally, the consequences of leaving Iraq might be the most painful. The prospect of looking antiwar protester Cindy Sheehan in the eye to explain exactly what her son died for will become even more daunting. But as it is, the president can't dodge that question indefinitely. Postponing the issue simply swells the ranks of those with similar questions to ask.
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newswolf56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-21-05 12:12 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great find -- Must Read indeed! Thank you for posting it.
(I get The Washington Post e-mail service, but that includes only news, not op-ed material.)
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