Third Party & Independents Archives

Where do we go from here?

The Turkish government confirmed this morning that 10 of it citizens were kidnapped Friday in Iraq. They are of course just the latest in a recent upturn in such abductions, which saw 2 Americans and a British national also taken only to later show up on tape with guns pointed to their blindfold clad heads. And this on the heals of a severe up-tick in violence in Iraq in the last week that has left some 100 dead and scores more wounded. Where is this all leading?

Where do we go from here?

Even to the casual observer is it plain the see that the situation in Iraq is fast spinning out of our control. It is widely reported that most of the major cities within the now infamous Sunni Triangle are in insurgent hands, not ours. Yet national elections are still scheduled for January. How can national election take place with these vital cities in Iraqi government (American) hands? And how much bloodshed will it cost to get take them back from the entrenched insurgents? And with what troops will we use to undertake such an adventure when we lack the resource to affect the capture and occupation of Al Fallujah, Ar Ramadi, Balad, and Samarra, and the Iraq security forces have thus far shown a reluctance to truly fight?

Where do we go from here?

Sabotage of vital infrastructure continues apace, the rising number of daily attacks by insurgents is getting progressively bolder and more deadly, and security in the country of Iraq is an ever vanishing dream of both the Iraqi and American people. Yet our President continues to paint a picture of Iraq as a country on the very threshold of democracy, stating recently that,

[T]he Iraqis are defying the dire predictions of a lot of people by moving toward democracy…It's hard to get to democracy from tyranny. It's hard work. And yet, it's necessary work. But it's necessary work because a democratic Iraq will make the world a freer place and a more peaceful place…[B]ut I fully understand how hard it is for democracy to grow in a country that has been under a leader that tortured and killed and maimed his people...

Huh? Really? Is the President viewing the world through a virtual-reality helmet? Is Bush so out of touch with the real world that he cannot see that Iraq is not a “catastrophic success” but a catastrophic failure that speaks to the lack of planning by the Pentagon and the striking lack of leadership on his own part? Wait don’t answer that. Of course he does! This is no longer about Saddam, and how he did or did not torture, kill, and maim his own people. This has gone way beyond quaint sounding platitudes and meaningless regurgitated sound bites. How can our President so blindly ignore the findings of our own intelligence (site) estimates, which paint a picture of a situation riddled with uncertainty; reports that state that at worse Iraq may devolve into Civil War? Is it stupidity, ignorance, callousness, or arrogance that binds the helmet to the President's head?

Where do we go from here?

Does the Bush Administration have a plan to extricate us from Iraq? If there is one, what is it? What is the plan as Iraq spins out of control and with each passing day lessens the chance that strong, fertile democracy will take hold in the killing fields of the Sunni Triangle? What is the plan to retake the cities of the Sunni Triangle, and at what cost in human life, both Iraqi and American? What is the plan when the Iraqi elections fail utterly degenerating into an orgy of violence we seem powerless to placate? What is the plan when the world’s worse fears are realized and Iraq erupts into civil war destabilizing the one of the world’s principle oil supplies?

Where do we go from here? That is the fundamental question. No matter who ultimately wins the White House, that question will hang above their heads like a sharpened scimitar thirsting for blood. Now that we have gotten so deeply entrenched in Iraq at what point do we remove ourselves completely from the picture. Will we ever be able to leave, or are American forces destined to stay on in a country that can never be secure without a strong central government to quell the long standing animosity between the peoples that call Iraq home?

Where do we go from here?

Posted by V. Edward Martin at September 19, 2004 2:53 PM