'What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. 'We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning.'
What was the point of this exercise in human suffering? One by one the President’s stated goals for Iraq have fallen by the wayside, as have our reasons for invading the nation in the first place. And now is seems as though our last (and best) stated goal--bringing democracy and the rule of law to a country led by a man clearly afflicted with a cult of personality disorder--has proven daunting to say the least. The insurgents are winning; the violence is ever escalating and ever more brutal; the Iraqi constitution looks as though it will deny more rights than it will affirm; the American people are growing restless, and the Administration has done that which it said it would never do: see a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal.
But according to Bush as stated in his radio address yesterday,
Iraqis are taking control of their country, building a free nation that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself. And we're helping Iraqis succeed...
Really, where are the Iraqi people taking control of their country? How free will the Iraqi people be if the nation continues to be seized by indiscriminate terrorist sponsored violence? And if the U.S. military cannot defend the nation against the ongoing insurgency, how do we expect the Iraqi security forces to do so with far fewer people and far less lethal weapons and tactics when we pull out? Isn't it time for the Administration to admit that the insurgents/terrorists have now encamped themselves in Iraq for the long haul? And finally, where and how have we helped Iraq succeed? Succeed at what, becoming a terrorist proving ground; a fundamentalist Islamic state?
With these latest revelations from the White House, the Administration is setting the stage for an eventual U.S. withdrawal from Iraq with the mission wholly incomplete, carrier landings and grand pronouncements aside. We have in essence given up on Iraq after we failed to get it right time and time again. And what will we leave in our wake? Most certainly a fundamentalist Islamic nation whose temperament toward the United States is more hostile than the proceeding regime. Or worst yet, an Iraqi civil war that will destabilize the region, and put future oil deliveries in jeopardy. How will this Iraq act as the seed to spread democracy to the rest of the Middle East? Truth: we are being defeated in Iraq, spin it as you will, the administrations constant back-peddling, the lack of a coherent and workable policy, the increasing violence, and continued U.S. military deaths all point to a Vietnam--style defeat!
Failure in Iraq was almost a forgone conclusion. And my question is for what? In my estimation is that American fighting men and women and Iraqi civilians have died for nothing. Others (on this board) disagree and still hold the seriously myopic view that Iraq can be saved, can become this bastion of democracy that will be emulated throughout the Middle East. That train has left the station, and even the smoke from its fast moving locomotive has cleared the desert air. And they died for what?