…appears to be coming to an end, finally. From the Guardian,
And yet to visit the US at present, as I have done, is to experience an overwhelming sensation of drastic impending change. It’s not merely that President Bush, to whom Blair so disastrously tethered himself, is “in office but not in power”. Most Americans can’t wait for him to go, Congress is beyond his control, and the Senate majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, has told him that the war in Iraq is lost – for which statement of the obvious Reid was accused of “defeatism” by the vice-president, Dick Cheney.
Reid said the war is lost by military means, that it needs a political solution.
Iraq’s Interior Ministry said 234 people — men whose bodies were found throughout the capital — died at the hands of death squads in the first 11 days of May, compared with 137 in the same period of April. The tally so far for May is more than half the total for all of April, when 440 bodies were found. That was a decline from previous months.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep on saying it until the last U.S. Serviceperson is pulled out of Iraq: Our men and women in uniform should not be refereeing a civil war.
Al Qaeda will not take over Iraq if U.S. soldiers leave. (Hell, we haven’t been able to “take over” Iraq, so what makes anyone think Al Qaeda can “take over” Iraq?) Al Qaeda terrorists are less than 10% of the insurgency. They are a Sunni organization, who are in the minority, which emans they are a minority within a minority. Terrorists will not get control of the oil revenues. There won’t be any control over oil (or anything else for that matter) until the Shia and Sunni stop killing each other. In order for that to happen, those two groups have to see peace as a viable option to solve their differences as opposed to violence.
Also, thanks to this misguided and mishandled misadventure in Iraq, Al Qaeda as a global organization is now apparently stronger than before 9/11. Why? Because the U.S. has wasted time, energy, money, and precious resources on Iraq instead of Al Qaeda. From Foreign Affairs,
By rushing into Iraq instead of finishing off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Washington has unwittingly helped its enemies: al Qaeda has more bases, more partners, and more followers today than it did on the eve of 9/11. Now the group is working to set up networks in the Middle East and Africa — and may even try to lure the United States into a war with Iran. Washington must focus on attacking al Qaeda’s leaders and ideas and altering the local conditions in which they thrive.
President Bush has presided over this mess. There is no reason to take his word on anything anymore. To vote for his policies is to vote for stupidity and incompetence at the ever-increasing risk to the lives of the American people. We need to support the Democratically-controlled Congress as they question his proposals and finally put a check on his administration.