CNNs recent interview with Dick Cheney was jarring in the utter absence of reality on the subject of Iraq from the vice-president. His insistence that the insurgency in Iraq is in its last throes, proved once again how cavalier guys in the White House tend to become. How many times during this conflict have we heard that terrorists are now spiking up the violence in Iraq because they are on their last legs and democracy is breaking out all over the land?
We were fed that same nonsense by the administration soon after the original invasion into Iraq two years ago. We heard White House officials mention insurgency desperation before the Iraqi election five months ago. Now we are to believe that the terrorists are really desperate this time around?
Lets face it, the only desperation the murderers who are blowing up everything in sight (including themselves) will feel for some time is to be the first in line to kill Americans and Iraqis they see as our collaborators.
Even General John Abizaid, the leading U.S. commander in the Persian Gulf, contradicted the vice-president when he stated recently that the insurgency in Iraq is at least as strong as it was six months ago. Also, he added that more foreign fighters were entering Iraq than six months ago.
The most incredible statement from the vice-presidents interview might be that Iraq will be an enormous success story. Obviously, our government officials need to keep a positive outlook for the sake of our troops and the countrys morale in time of war. Yet, if the violence miraculously disappeared overnight, and our troops came home tomorrow - this debacle could never be considered an enormous success.
Has Mr. Cheney considered that 100,000 innocent Iraqi bystanders may have died in the crossfire over the last two years? Has he forgotten that $230 billion of U.S. taxes has been poured into Iraq so far? It cant be lost on the vice-president that over 1500 U.S. troops have given their lives to topple one incompetent, madman dictator, Saddam Hussein. By any measure, the American intervention into Iraq is well past any possibility of being deemed an enormous success.
As our countrys support for the war effort erodes, even congressional supporters of President Bush such as Chuck Hegal and Lindsay Graham have questioned the governments strategy in Iraq. Some Republican allies of the administration have called for a timetable from the Defense Department to get out of Iraq.
Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld do make sense on this: we cant leave now nor does it make any sense to publicize a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal. The resulting civil war in the Middle East to fill the vacuum of our immediate withdrawal could cause world anarchy and maybe millions more deaths. When it is time for our soldiers to leave, just get the hell out. Our enemies dont need to know in advance.
Somehow, we need to get the job in Iraq done together. Currently, the polls in this country show less than 40% support our handling of the war. I guarantee that percentage would skyrocket upward if President Bush just leveled with the American people that our current strategy in Iraq has not worked and we need to close ranks in order to fix it.
Of course there are some good things going on in Iraq, but overall it is quagmire with no end in sight. Why not state the obvious (we have a problem, Houston), lay out a comprehensive plan to accelerate installation of security forces from other countries into the peacekeeping effort, and give our soldiers hope that they will be coming home sometime, soon.
Is that too much to ask?