Wrong and Simplistic
President Bush believes withdrawing in the face of an enemy is a defeat, and will worsen the Iraqi situation. The arguments are wrong and simplistic. As usual, he proposes false choices: Stay and Win, or Cut and Run.
To accept his premise is to believe that the longer we've been in Iraq, the better the situation has become. Regardless of one's position on the war, no one with a shred of credibility believes this.
Even Mr. Bush has stopped talking about successes. His wartime catchphrase, "Stay the course," was not uttered once during his recent press conference. He damns his own policies with faint praise: "Things could be worse."
But things are getting worse. In July, Iraqi deaths reached 3,438, equaling a Sept. 11 attack. Using military force hasn't brought peace and never will. The history lesson we never learn is that political problems can't be solved by war.
With or without our troops, whether we stay or leave, the situation in Iraq will be worse next year, and we're powerless to prevent it.
So why should we continue to lose American lives, drain our economy, overstretch our military, lose face in the world, and help al Qaida recruit volunteers? So the president can say he didn't withdraw? that he wasn't defeated?
Bush's definition of defeat is based on outdated World War I and World War II models. While Iraq may not yet be a civil war, it certainly is a sectarian war without fronts. Today, when military victory means trapping an enemy on foreign soil and bleeding them dry, it's obvious that victory is disengaging oneself from the trap and fighting another day. The $7 billion wasted each month there could help protect us here.
And our troops would be home.
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