The administration tells us that the Iraqi Forces are increasingly able to stand on their own. Rumsfeld is equally optimistic. But I'm not buying it. They say that my son and 2135 others died for a noble cause. They won't tell me what the noble cause is, so I don't believe it. One of the reasons they have given for us to be in Iraq is to bring democracy to that part of the world. I worry, actually, I'm pretty sure that it won't be the brand of democracy that GW has been dreaming of. Nope, Santa's elves won't be delivering a pretty package of democracy to Iraq this year, probably not even next year or for 12 more years. This year GW is getting coal and so is the American public.
The training of Iraqi security forces has suffered a big "setback" in the last six months, with the army and other forces being increasingly used to settle scores and make other political gains, Iraqi Vice President Ghazi al-Yawer said Monday. My son was killed in An Najaf, Iraq back in May 2004. Najaf is a holy city, home of the Imam Ali shrine, a religious destination. Najaf was turned over to the Iraqi people in September 2005. It was a huge victory that lasted all of 2 months. When peace broke out in Najaf, it wasn't supposed to be a haven for Muqtada al Sadr's militia that has infiltrated the Iraqi forces and made the city a place of corruption, undemocratic institutions, persistent violence and stalled reconstruction. Would Ken and his unit, who fought so hard to bring freedom to the city of Najaf, feel like they accomplished a noble cause? Was he in Iraq to help thugs like Muqtada al Sadr build their brand of politics in Iraq? I'm pretty sure he wasn't there to provide cover while locals settle generational scores.
GW insists that the citizens of Najaf are "gaining a personal stake in a peaceful future". Not so fast, cowboy. And when only 100 out of 700 of the police on the city payroll in Sumarra even bother to show up for work on any given day, that's nothing to brag about.
For all the arguments about the progress made in Iraq, has the U.S. government actually relinquished sovereignty to the Iraqi government? Maybe a better question is, does our administration intend to? Members of the administration don't talk about the plans for up to 14 "enduring" bases in Iraq, but they don't deny them, either. "Enduring bases" is military speak for long-term encampments that could house as many as 100,000 troops for an undefined period of time. That doesn't sound like an exit plan to me.