President Bush unveiled his plan to stop the violence in Iraq last night. He even admitted that mistakes had been made, calling the situation “unacceptable.” More like “deplorable” or “catastrophic.”
His solution: increase our armed force presence in a country, according to the New York Times, that doesn’t want the increase. But even the authors of the article will not call it a Civil War. So it’s not just our own President who is suffering form a big case of denial. The so-called “National Paper of Record” is, too.
On PBS, Retired General William Odom pointed out that our president hasn’t defined the enemy we’re fighting, nor the terms of victory, nor identified the conflicts within the Iraq itself, nor made any tactical changes. The Shia and Sunnis are fighting each other and the Kurds are trying to stay out of it.
Bush says we can’t pull out now because that would lead to chaos and upheaval. This is a lie. There is already chaos and upheaval. With over 600,000 Iraqi civilians dead and over one million Iraqi refugees since the U.S. and the Coalition of the Willing invaded nearly four years ago, could things get worse? It is not out of the realm of possibility. But at least then the U.S. will no longer be a factor. And there is plenty of evidence that our presence there is making things worse.
Bush won’t talk to Iran and Syria, claiming they want chaos in Iraq. This is another lie. Iran wants a Shia government in Iraq. They do not want chaos next door. Syria has been overwhelmed with Iraqi refugees for some time now. They would benefit from a stable Iraq.
You can’t solve a problem without accepting the facts as they are. Until then, look for more of the same in Iraq.
Our Congressmen could rein him in. But other than voting on a non-binding resolution against a troop increase, that looks to be about it.
“The Democrats may control Congress but they can’t block the president this time without potentially being accused of losing the war. I think an awful lot of this is staging for the next time,” the 2008 presidential and congressional elections, said Anthony Cordesman, an Iraq expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
This is more wrong-headed thinking. We won the war against Saddam Hussein. But we can’t “win” in the Iraqi Civil War that’s taking place. There is nothing for the U. S. to win. We’ve given the Iraqis the right to self-determination. Unfortunately, whether they do that through bullets and bombs or through the ballot box is up to them.