Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The New York Post attacks those - on both sides of the aisle - who would like to set some benchmarks and timetables for getting out of Iraq...

... but I dare say it is the editors at the Post who are the ones who have things all bass-ackwards...

For example, they write: "The bill demands that 2006 be "a period of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with Iraqi security forces taking the lead for the security of a free and sovereign Iraq, thereby creating the conditions for the phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq."

Well.... isn't "full Iraqi sovereignty" something we want? Doesn't the Post want the Iraqis to be running their own country? Does the Post expect us to forever be taking part in running things for the Iraqis? Doesn't Bush's "World Democracy Tour 2005" explicitly call for the people of each country to be running things?

And if we want the Iraqis to enjoy "full sovereignty", doesn't there need to be "a significant transition" from where things now stand? We're now at Point A... which is a long way from where we need to be if the Iraqis are to have 'full sovereignty", so 'significant' seems to be exactly the right word that applies in this situation. And 'transition' also sure seems to be the right word to use, at least judging by its definition: "Passage from one form, state, style, or place to another".

Or is the Post okay with having a 'significant transition', but doesn't want it to take place in 2006? Well, if not then, when? As much as I would like, it is not going to happen in 2005, so 2006 is the earliest it could take place. Would the Post prefer it not take place in 2006, but in 2007? 2008? In the year 2525? Note the Senate statement doesn't call for the transition to be 'complete' by the end of 2006; it simply calls for a significant transition during that time. Does the Post want an 'insignificant' transition to take place?

The Post also writes: "(these statements) send a message to terrorists that U.S. resolve is waning. That Americans are tiring of the fight, recoiling from their losses and destined to get the troops out of Iraq - ASAP".

Well... aren't we tired of fighting in Iraq? Don't we wish we could be doing other things? Don't we want our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible? For the Post to write what they did, one could assume they like the idea of having our troops fighting and dying in Iraq, can't of anything better for our troops to do with their time, and can't think of anything better to do with the billions and billions of dollars that are now being spent in Iraq.

What is going on is that the Post, along with the likes of Bush, Rumsfeld and their cheering squads, thinks all of our problems with Islamic terrorism is a result of our "withdrawal from Beirut. And Somalia. And Vietnam". And they are so determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past that they object to anything that indicates we're looking to withdraw from Iraq.

But, in doing so, they miss the forest for the trees. The problem is not that we withdrew from Beirut and Somalia and Vietnam. The problem is that we withdrew from those countries WITHOUT FINISHING THE JOB we set out to do.

Note that during the same time frame the Post editors refer to, we also withdrew from Grenada. And we withdrew from Panama. And we closed down bases in the Phillipines. And we've been withdrawing (at least drawing down troops, if I am right) from Western Europe.

And the terrorists haven't been using those withdrawals as motivators... because we left those countries when we finished what we set out to do.

And the Senate is not calling for us to leave Iraq without finishing the job.... they're calling on Bush to get with the program of finishing the job as quickly as possible in order for our troops to come home. They're calling on Bush to hurry up and finish the job. There is nothing wrong with wanting to finish the job in Iraq... and wanting that to take place as soon as possible... while spending as little money as possible to do it... and suffering as few casualties as possible while doing it.

There's nothing wrong with what the Senate is doing. It is what America wants to have happen. It is what should happen.

To argue otherwise is tantamount to wanting to take longer than necessary to finish the job, to stay in Iraq longer than we have to stay... to suffer more casualties than we need to suffer.

And that, my friends, is the way to becoming the minority party again.