|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
The American people have only one question left about Iraq: What is President Bush’s plan for a timely and responsible exit? That is the essential precondition for salvaging broader American interests in the Middle East and for waging a more effective fight against Al Qaeda in its base areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And it is exactly the question that Mr. Bush, his top generals and his diplomats so stubbornly and damagingly refuse to answer.
Yesterday provided two more frustrating and shameful examples of this denial. One was a new war plan drawn up by America’s top military commander and top diplomat in Baghdad that will keep American troops fighting in Iraq at least until 2009. The other was yet one more speech by President Bush that claimed that Iraq was the do-or-die front in the war on terrorism — rather than a rallying point for extremists and a never-ending drain on the resources America needs to fight that fight.
The war plan drawn up by Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker simply assumes that a large-scale United States military presence in Iraq will continue for at least two more years.
So much for Mr. Bush’s soothing incantations about a relatively short-term “surge” of additional troops. The plan ignores the fact that the volunteer Army cannot sustain a prolonged escalation without grievous losses in quality, readiness and morale. Even more unrealistically, the plan assumes that with two more years of an American blank check, Iraqi politicians will somehow decide to take responsibility for their political future — something they’ve refused to do for the last four years.
Prolonging the war for another two years will not bring victory. It will mean more lives lost, more damage to America’s international standing and fewer resources to fight the real fight against terrorists. If Mr. Bush’s advisers can’t tell him that, Congress will have to — with a veto-proof majority.
Nearly six years after the 9/11 attacks, America remains a nation at war. The terrorist network that attacked us that day is determined to strike our country again [BECAUSE YOU ABANDONED THE FIGHT AGAINST THEM TO INVADE IRAQ], and we must do everything in our power to stop them [UNLIKE WHAT YOU'VE BEEN DOING FOR THE PAST SIX YEARS]. A key lesson of September the 11th is that the best way to protect America is to go on the offense, to fight the terrorists overseas so we don't have to face them here at home [THEN WHY ARE YOU CONDUCTING MASS SURVEILLANCE OF AMERICANS, AND WHY IS YOUR DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CLAIMING THAT THERE AL QAEDA CELLS ON THEIR WAY HERE?]. And that is exactly what our men and women in uniform are doing across the world.
The key theater in this global war is Iraq [BECAUSE YOU WRECKED IT]. Our troops are serving bravely in that country. They're opposing ruthless enemies, and no enemy is more ruthless in Iraq than al Qaeda. They send suicide bombers into crowded markets; they behead innocent captives and they murder American troops [SO IT'S NOT IRANIAN SHI'ITES THEN?]. They want to bring down Iraq's democracy so they can use that nation as a terrorist safe haven for attacks against our country. So our troops are standing strong with nearly 12 million Iraqis who voted for a future of peace, and they so for the security of Iraq and the safety of American citizens.
There's a debate in Washington about Iraq, and nothing wrong with a healthy debate. [THEN WHY ARE YOUR SPOKESPEOPLE AND THE PENTAGON SAYING THAT THOSE WHO QUESTION YOU ARE AIDING ENEMY PROPAGANDA?] There's also a debate about al Qaeda's role in Iraq. Some say that Iraq is not part of the broader war on terror. They complain when I say that the al Qaeda terrorists we face in Iraq are part of the same enemy that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001. They claim that the organization called al Qaeda in Iraq is an Iraqi phenomenon, that it's independent of Osama bin Laden and that it's not interested in attacking America.