Thursday, May 03, 2007

Let's take a break from this war- how about 2 months off?

As we move into May, we leave behind a month with the highest number of US casualties in Iraq in about 17 months. We mark the 4th anniversary of "Mission Accomplished". As painful as it might be to walk back in time, let's revisit what the President told us from the deck of the USS Lincoln.

Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.

In this battle, we have fought for the cause of liberty, and for the peace of the world. Our nation and our coalition are proud of this accomplishment -- yet, it is you, the members of the United States military, who achieved it. Your courage, your willingness to face danger for your country and for each other, made this day possible. Because of you, our nation is more secure. Because of you, the tyrant has fallen, and Iraq is free. (Applause.)

Operation Iraqi Freedom was carried out with a combination of precision and speed and boldness the enemy did not expect, and the world had not seen before. From distant bases or ships at sea, we sent planes and missiles that could destroy an enemy division, or strike a single bunker. Marines and soldiers charged to Baghdad across 350 miles of hostile ground, in one of the swiftest advances of heavy arms in history. You have shown the world the skill and the might of the American Armed Forces.

He believed it at the time and he still believes it. I'd like to think he wonders why we don't, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't give us a thought.

Mission Accomplished has turned into Mission Impossible or What the Hell is the Mission? We still don't know.. 3350 US military have been killed since the initial invasion and 3215 since those famous words "Mission Accomplished". 1671 Iraqis were killed in April 2007, at least that's what we are told. How can we know for sure?

General's are coming out with strong rebukes of Bush's actions or non-actions this week. Lt General William E Odum spoke to the country this week and said this:

“To put this in a simple army metaphor, the Commander-in-Chief seems to have gone AWOL, that is ‘absent without leave.’ He neither acts nor talks as though he is in charge. Rather, he engages in tit-for-tat games…I hope the President seizes this moment for a basic change in course and signs the bill the Congress has sent him. I will respect him greatly for such a rare act of courage, and so too, I suspect, will most Americans.

and Maj General Paul Eaton spoke out with this:

This administration and the previously Republican controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America's Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever apparent, only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war - alone, without their President's support.

The president vetoes a supplemental war funding bill sent to him by Congress insisting he wouldn't accept "false" timetables. While we're talking about the Supplemental, can I ask why this war is being funded with supplemental budget and not as part of the official annual funding budget? Oh, wait, I know- this administration doesn't want us to know because we might not support the occupation. At $5 billion per month for fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan, that's no chump change.

So, it's been a pretty bad week. But the cherry on top of all this sweetness is hearing that the Iraqi politicians are considering a lengthy break this summer.

"If they go off on vacation for two months while our troops fight — that would be the outrage of outrages," said Rep. Chris Shays, a Republican. The Iraq parliament's recess, starting this July, would likely come without Baghdad politicians reaching agreements considered key to easing sectarian tensions. Examples include regulating distribution of the country's oil wealth and reversing measures that have excluded many Sunnis from jobs and government positions because of Baath party membership.

Thousands took to the streets to protest the veto, no one in DC can agree on a strategy to end this war, and the Iraqi politicians want to take a vacation. Our military is being extended to serve deployments of 15 months, and the Iraqi leaders are planning their 2 month vacation?



Chancelucky said...

Maybe the W invited them to Crawford to help him clear brush when he goes on his 2 month vacation.

Marine Mom Out There said...

There are things about this war that come under the heading of legitimate debate and there are more things that come under the heading of so outrageous I feel like I'm living in the Twilight Zone. This is the latter.

What kind of leaders take vacations in the middle of wars?

Bad, God awful, sucky leadership -political or otherwise, that's who.

Nemesis of Evil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nemesis of Evil said...

I never figured out why the Kerry campaign didn't just spend every available dollar juxtaposing the image of that stunt with scenes from Iraq, or the My Pet Goat reading with the towers collapsing. The air guitar during Katrina was after the election, but it I assume is another that will one day wind up in some documentary of this administration.

Lynn Green said...

Please continue speaking out. Right now America needs you more than she has needed anyone in a long, long time.

pogblog said...

The very language itself is defeated in its ability to describe these odious greedy axis of hypocrisy leaders who have extended these poor kids.

Yes, there will be a bloodbath (Our own Civil War claimed 620,000), but we can't stop it. We can stop exacerbating the anti-occupier deaths and mutilations.

If you want brilliant and riveting reporting on the early ideology-ridden & ideology-paralyzed days in and from the Green Zone after Mission Accomplished, please read Imperial Life in the Emerald City, an amazing book by Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a Washington Post editor. If I could only read one book this decade it would be Imperial Life. (I put myself on the Hold List at our library & one day it showed up.)