Twelve dead U.S. soldiers. 183 Iraqis killed. Violence has been raging out of control for the second straight day, with suicide bombs exploding in several different locations in and around Baghdad. The violence is getting worse, and the situation continues to spiral out of control. Since the December 15th election, the insurgency appears to be gaining strength and the region more deadly than ever.
We're stuck in a quagmire with few options for an exit. We have a president and his duplicitous cabinet relentlessly spinning a tale of progress and success despite the chaos all around. The deceptive rhetoric is both irresponsible and reprehensible, and is an attack on the intelligence of every single American. And it's got to stop.
Is there anyone who truly believes that Iraq could be stable without the same if not greater American military presence? Just look at the violence and chaos with 130,000 U.S. troops in the region. What the heck could we expect if the inept and undermanned Iraqi army and police are left to handle the insurgency alone? So when Bush and Rummy declare that an eventual troop drawdown is likely, perhaps even next year, they're either smokin' some kick-ass ganga or are lying through their teeth.
Rep. John Murtha's November proposal to have the troops withdrawn within 6 months seemed radical to many at the time, and failed to garner the bi-partisan (even Democratic) support to give it momentum. But as each new day passes, it seems to become the only viable solution to this debacle unless we as Americans are ok with having our soldiers constantly killed, injured and maimed with no end in sight. And for what? So that Iraq can fall into the hands of the enemy, as Vietnam did, the second we pull out? Is America ready to wage another decade-long battle only to lose out in the end as we did in Southeast Asia? Are we ready for potentially tens of thousands more soldiers to be flown home in body bags? For hundreds of thousands maimed and injured? For hundreds of billions more dollars to be spent?
We are constantly told by the Busheviks that we cannot pull out because that will throw the country into chaos and into the hands of the Iran-sponsored radical Muslim fundamentalists. We're constantly told that "we must stay the course until victory." But how they define victory has yet to be determined. Can a true Iraqi democracy, sustained by its own military and police force, be an inevitable reality? Most Middle East experts think not. Not only is the entire region a hotbed of violence and extremism, but Iraq itself is three cultures/countries in one: Kurds in the North, Shiites in the South, and the much newly disenfranchised Sunnis in between. And then there's the ominous Iran influence, and the insurgency itself.
It's incredulous that the Bushies originally thought they could waltz into Iraq and turn it into a true, self-sustaining democracy. It's even more mind-blowing that they still do. It's time to admit the gross miscalculations, cut our losses, and get the hell out of there.