29 August 2010

Another "Mission Accomplished" Hoax

Posted by Ted McLaughlin
If you read the newspapers yesterday and saw the TV news accounts you might think the war in Iraq is over, and that we finally accomplished our mission there (whatever that mission was). The headlines told us that the last American "combat brigade" had left Iraq, and there were even pictures of them crossing the border into Kuwait (see picture above). So our involvement in Iraq is over -- right? Wrong!

I hate to say it but the government is just playing word games with the American public. Telling us the last "combat brigade" has left Iraq makes it sound like we don't have any American soldiers left there, or at least there are only a few left. Neither is true. There are at least 56,000 American soldiers still in Iraq. About 6,000 are scheduled to leave in December, but the other 50,000 soldiers will be staying for more than a year -- at least until the end of 2011.

Whether you call them combat troops or not, 50,000 is a lot of soldiers to be leaving in Iraq. And it'll be a miracle if they are actually withdrawn at the end of 2011. Listen to the words of Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009. He says, "We need strategic patience here. Our timetables are getting out ahead of Iraqi reality. We do have an Iraqi partner in this. We certainly are not the ones making unilateral decisions anymore. But if they come to us later on this year requesting that we jointly relook at the post-2011 period, it is going to be in our strategic interest to be responsive."

In plain English, don't bet the farm on that withdrawal date of the end of 2011. If the puppet government we have installed in Iraq cannot survive that withdrawal date, then we will stay longer -- much longer. The Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, Lt. General Babakar Zebari, says they probably won't be ready to handle things by themselves until 2020.

The government would like for us to think the war in Iraq is nearly over (especially with an election coming up soon). I wish that was true, but it's not. The truth is that we're still going to be engaged in the Iraq War for a long time to come (and Afghanistan too).

We're not accomplishing anything in Iraq or Afghanistan except for the killing of more soldiers and innocent civilians (which creates even more enemies). But the politicians of both parties who got us into these wars refuse to admit they made a gigantic mistake. Instead of learning from Vietnam, they created two new Vietnams and now don't want to admit how stupid they were. They are willing to engage in endless war to protect their own political careers.

It's a bad situation which should just be ended immediately, but it won't be. Prepare for many more years of war. This will happen because both political parties are completely devoid of political courage.

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