September 26, 2004, The Washington Post ran an op-ed titled Battling for Iraq, saying, in part:
Helping organize, train and equip nearly a quarter-million of Iraq’s security forces is a daunting task. Doing so in the middle of a tough insurgency increases the challenge enormously, making the mission akin to repairing an aircraft while in flight — and while being shot at. Now, however, 18 months after entering Iraq, I see tangible progress. Iraqi security elements are being rebuilt from the ground up.
The institutions that oversee them are being reestablished from the top down. And Iraqi leaders are stepping forward, leading their country and their security forces courageously in the face of an enemy that has shown a willingness to do anything to disrupt the establishment of the new Iraq.
I meet with Iraqi security force leaders every day. Though some have given in to acts of intimidation, many are displaying courage and resilience in the face of repeated threats and attacks on them, their families and their comrades. I have seen their determination and their desire to assume the full burden of security tasks for Iraq.
Three years ago. Three years ago. The op-ed was written by David H. Petraeus.
What’s taking you, General? Why should anything you say to Congress and the American people now be given any credence whatever and taken as anything more than excuse and apologism and PR for the Petraeus/Bush line?
Today Rep. Eliot Engel(D-NY) challenged Petraeus to defend his statements in that op-ed three years ago. Petraeus’ answer? “I stand by it.”
There is not much more, if anything, that I can add or say. I leave it to commenters to dissect.
Why should anything Petraeus said to Congress and the American people today be given any credence whatever and taken as anything more than excuse and apologism and PR for the Petraeus/Bush line?
It is in Americas interest obviously, to NOT have a failed state of anarchy in Iraq, and to not have Iraq aligned with Iran.
But that can’t be forced on Iraq. Iraqis have the right to, and will, decide for themselves.
And they are.
All that Washingtons “help” has ever done for Iraq is make the situation worse. Continually. Never better. Only worse.
Iraq will get fixed. Eventually.
But it will not be republicans or democrats, or even the U.S. that fixes it.
The U.S. presence in Iraq, and the U.S. refusal to leave, is the problem.
It is time to end the occupation. It is time to leave Iraq.
I believe that people would feel energized if they saw and heard enough people leading us in the right direction on Iraq, and that if leading Democrats heard enough people say to them that they will not vote for ANY Democrats next year EXCEPT Democrats who have been vocally, and by their votes on supplementals, calling for total withdrawal from Iraq they would quickly notice.
They are politicians after all, and they are concerned with winning elections.
They would notice if enough people turned the tables on them and used fear to motivate them, instead of voting simply out of fear of republicans.
If Democrats were filled with fear that they would lose Congress and the presidency UNLESS the occupation was ended before the 2008 elections, they would end the occupation of Iraq.
Can The Iraq Occupation Be Ended Before The 2008 Elections? The U.S. presence in Iraq, and the U.S. refusal to leave, is the problem.