Editorial: Time to Head On Home
To quote the Beatles "I read the news today, oh boy." A quick scan of the headlines on BuzzFlash reveal what we already knew, the Bully Boy's not made us safer. We see links to stories on the feelings of the British. (Similar to Pru's feelings expressed at The Common Ills.) C.I. and Dallas go international and end up with Tony Allen-Mills and Andrew North's "Downed US Seals may have got too close to Bin Laden" (Sunday Times of London) about "the worst incident in the history of the Seals." Not a credit the Bully Boy needs right now after dragging his feet for almost four years since Sept. 11th. What was "Wanted Dead or Alive?" A provocative personal ad? It certainly wasn't anything with meaning.
Then there's Michael Smith's "UK in talks to hand Iraq role to Australia" (also Sunday Times of London):
BRITAIN is negotiating with Australia to hand over military command of southern Iraq to free up British troops for redeployment to the front line in Afghanistan.
An announcement is expected within weeks that several thousand British soldiers are to be sent to Afghanistan.
The coalition of Operation Enduring Falsehood continues to shrink.And folks, we're just getting started.
Still sticking with The Sunday Times of London, check out Hala Jaber's "Allawi: this is the start of civil war:"
IRAQ’S former interim prime minister Iyad Allawi has warned that his country is facing civil war and has predicted dire consequences for Europe and America as well as the Middle East if the crisis is not resolved.
"The problem is that the Americans have no vision and no clear policy on how to go about in Iraq," said Allawi, a long-time ally of Washington.
In an interview with The Sunday Times last week as he visited Amman, the Jordanian capital, he said: "The policy should be of building national unity in Iraq. Without this we will most certainly slip into a civil war. We are practically in stage one of a civil war as we speak."
Occupations will lead to civil wars. No surprise there. To resentment, to anger and to violence.Or how about this UPI article linked to at Iraq Coalition Casualties? The link's bad(they don't have the full web address in the link) but look at what you can read:
Iraq war results in at least 254 amputees
Army hospitals treated 254 amputees from the Iraq war...Nearly 19,000 soldiers have been medically evacuated ...There were 2,527 evacuated with battle injuries, 5,444 with non-battle injuries and 10,758 with disease.
At The Independent, Andy McSmith's "Leaked memo shows Iraq pull-out plans" only makes the point more clear about who's still wanting to dance with Bully Boy and who's called a taxi for the ride home:
Almost two thirds of the 8,500 British troops in Iraq will have been pulled out by the end of next year, under plans drawn up in Whitehall to hand over two provinces to Iraqi control.
The plan set out in a leaked memo written by the Defence Secretary John Reid, hints that the Government is keen to cut the heavy cost of patrolling southern Iraq.
The memo calculates that the current cost of the British presence in Iraq, around £1bn a year, could be halved if the number of troops were reduced to 3,000 during 2006. The memo implies that the British would formally hand over control to the Iraqis of the four provinces currently under British control by April 2006, but that it take another eight months before what the memo calls the "UK military drawdown" has been completed - and 18 months before the money comes through.
Are we starting to get the picture yet? The public is. They want the troops home. Polls show that. It's just the media and our leaders that are too timid to address it. "Stay the course!" they chant. This "cakewalk" has now lasted over two years. Donald Rumsfeld says twelve is a possiblity. "Cakewalk?"
How do you define "success" in Iraq? That's difficult since the reasons for the invasion/occupation constantly shift. But it's not been a cakewalk, this war of choice. And we haven't made the world safer for anyone. Iraq's not safer. We're not safer. The London bombings prove the fly paper theory was crap.
Now we're supposed to let the ones who brought us this war go back to the drawing board to . . . think up new excuses? They had no planning other than (as Naomi Klein pointed out in "Baghdad Year Zero") to have a tag sale on the Iraqi assets. Even the Operation Happy Talkers seem to have a case of cat got their tongues. (Sadly, we're sure this is a momentary condition.)
If sane people can agree that the illegal occupation is a disaster for everyone involved (outside of those profitting from the war), how much are we willing to give to "stay the course?" We want the body counts to double? When do we reach the point that we say enough?
We steer to you to "Should This Marriage Be Saved?" and ask at what point do we take a realistic look at what's going on? Pig-headed is not a virtue. It's not sane. It's not logical. And it's only going to get more people killed.
The Bully Boy has sullied this nation's name. He's trashed treaties and conventions. He's had a five-year frat party at our expense. At some point, we need to roll up our sleeves and do some cleaning. And that means tossing in the garbage the notion that after two years of the "cake walk" this is anything like what was sold to us.
"Stay the course?" We say "head on home." Head on home to what America is supposed to stand for. On what America is supposed to represent. This invasion/occupation isn't what America's supposed to be about. So let's all grow up, sober up and realize that the Bully Boy's taken us on a two-year bender. Comes a time when you gotta head home. It's past time for that.
Iraq had no WMD. It was not a threat to us ("mushroom cloud," Condi?). Someone lied us into war. They took us off course. It's time to get back to what America's all about and it's time to realize that drunk slurring his words and telling us he knows another bar that's still open isn't anyone we want to get a car in with. We're ready to head on home and return to the lives we should be leading. Lives that don't involve wars built on lies. Lives that don't involve trying to impose a system on a people who didn't ask for us to be there. Lives that don't involve falling for the latest Operation Happy Talk. Lives that are reality-based. Bar's closing, let's all head on home. At least the ones who still have that option, the ones who didn't give their lives to a war of choice, one that should have been avoided.
[Note: Since these editorials tend to get reposted elsewhere, we'll note this was written by The Third Estate Sunday Review crew of Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava as well as by C.I. of The Common Ills, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Kat of Kat's Korner, Mike of Mikey Likes It! and Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man.]
posted by Third Estate Sunday Review @ Sunday, July 10, 2005