An Iraqi military unit battling Shite militias in Sadr City abandoned its position Tuesday, throwing into question just how far, or not, the United States has come in reaching its goal (not the original goal, mind you, but something like Goal #5) of having a Democratic Iraqi government and military able to secure itself against rebel militias. According to the NY Times, the soldiers' retreat left a critical roadway on the front line undefended for hours, and resulted in several heated exchanges between American soldiers and the roughly 50 Iraqi troops involved in the fleeing.
"If you turn around and go back up the street those soldiers will follow you," said Captain Logan Veath, a company commander in the 25th Infantry Division, to the Iraqi commander. "If you tuck tail and cowardly run away they will follow up that way, too." But the unit left anyway, leaving senior American and Iraqi commanders scrambling to regain lost ground with a replacement unit alongside the American troops.
If this is a foreshadowing of things to come, then we are colossally fucked, people. Is this Bush's idea of the Iraqi army "standing up"? And should this sort of episode continue to occur, will America ever be able to "stand down," as the president, vice president and GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain keep promising? Highly doubtful. At this rate, McCain's other implication, that we'll be hemmoraging in that war-ravaged country for the next 100 years, is the more likely scenario.
Let's face it, Iraqi soldiers throwing in the towel is definitely not a good sign, no matter how you spin it. It shows the fear and frustration they have in waging this mess of a war that's now in its sixth year. It also shows a lack of desire and commitment. And it raises the possibility that these people just don't want what we want. Five years later, the government is not a functioning Democracy in any sense of the word. The Iraqi military is not able to stand up and defend the country. Simply put, on the political front, there is little or no progress. And militarily, as we are constantly reminded by the Busheviks and McCain, without our soldiers there the country would fall into 'anarchy and genocide' (which some rational folks think is exactly what's been there for years now).
Bush and Cheney have us on a death spiral that's not getting any better. Five years, 4000 dead soldiers and $500 billion spent and what do we have to show for it? Fleeing Iraqi soldiers. We are constantly told there's tremendous success being made, but we're still mired in sectarian violence and Iraqi troop failures. The Bushevik contradictions are astounding. They have no clear mission, and no clear end in sight. They say we can leave when we've achieved success and finished the mission, yet every time they point to this great progress and success they declare that troops can't come home and may in fact need to be there longer than expected. It's a smoke and mirrors show worthy of the best American carnival.
Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential hopefuls, need to start ratcheting up their rhetoric about this disaster of a war. They need to pound the Busheviks hard for getting us into this mess. They need to shine a light on McCain's incessant war-mongering and supreme delusion that we're actually accomplishing something over there. The only thing we're accomplishing is a reprise of Vietnam, where we're gonna kill tens of thousands of our soldiers, and then, when we're finally fed up, we'll throw in the towel. And just like Vietnam, the Iraq war will go down in history as an utter failure; a vanity project of delusional U.S. presidents. The key question here is, how much are Obama and Clinton willing to do, and how quickly, to stanch the bloodshed and put an end to this debacle?
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. We're very pleased to announce that one of last year's grant recipients, Cynthia Wade, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for "Freeheld." We are proud of Cynthia and to have supported this film. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us continue to achieve our very important mission.