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Bush Continues to Make All The Wrong Moves in IraqPerspective by Tim King Salem-News.com
It seems almost tragic to consider the "Bring Iraq Democracy" rhetoric when you look at the current picture.
(SALEM, Ore.) - I find it amazing that the people who cry out loudest about Barack Obama raising taxes are the same people who support Bush, McCain and the war in Iraq. Our nation has squandered hundreds of billions of tax dollars waging a lethal operation that has cost thousands of lives and is no success story, to put it mildly.
Bush's reign has disrupted and destabilized the entire world. September 11th was tragic but it didn't have a darned thing to do with Iraq. I have been to Iraq and I have seen the instability. With a world coalition of partners, the former President Bush spent billions invading Iraq during Desert Storm and then left Saddam Hussein in power. He was a far more experienced politician and he knew that destabilizing a nation like Iraq was far too risky.
The currently administration has not only played bully with the world, it has substantially abused our military and we as a society will deal with the fallout from this for decades to come.
There is more being demanded from these fine volunteers than they should be required to give, and yet they just keep on giving. Some are passive in their feelings about it, and others will gladly come right out and tell you what they really think of the war, and it is rarely a good review.
Cutting Back on Success
There is often a lull between huge waves, and that might ultimately be a good analogy to what is happening in Iraq right now as the U.S. begins to pull money back from programs that have delivered a degree of peace.
They most likely won't be cutting back on the Haliburton's KBR or Blackwater contractors any time soon, but the U.S. government is cutting back on the very unique expense of paying our former enemies to work with us.
Perhaps the idea of paying former insurgents to be our friends is, as a whole, flawed. But what is even more amazing than the idea that this "enemy payment" was authorized in the first place, is the fact that they would halt it in mid-stride.
But then this is the president who canceled the Afghan Children's Fund in 2005, effectively cutting Americans off from the ability to help the poor and starving kids in that faraway land of war.
If we truly cared about the Iraqi people, we would continue to fund the programs that work and are effective, like the Sons of Iraq checkpoints. The only thing Iraqi's seem to care about in the bigger picture, is where their living is going to be earned. While we have paid them they have been mostly loyal. Now we are sending them back to the insurgency to earn a living.
The "Sons of Iraq" were created under the Sunni Awakening Councils; former insurgents now allied with Coalition policy. At least half of them are being cut loose and Iraq is expected to take over the payments for a little more than half the program. Most members of this group believe they will not see any payments from their now country.
Cutting off the payments to the Sons of Iraq is a colossal mistake. The checkpoints operated by the Sons of Iraq are exactly what has brought the peace to Iraq. Ending them is foolish, but we are doing it. These are mostly Sunni Muslims and they had a place in the Shiite government with the Sons of Iraq, but we are allowing one of the war's few success stories to end, and likely have not even begun to see the repercussions that are sure to come.
I asked one Sons of Iraq member to compare life before the U.S. invasion with the current state of Iraq. He answered through the interpreter, "Since the occupation it has been pure chaos here."
Bush's administration has made a record number of serious errors. Our nation's standing in the world has withered, and people in other countries that I communicate with so far are 100% behind Obama, most saying the would fear the policies of a McCain presidency.
I find it extremely interesting that people disconnect the dots and fail to see the road that has been traveled. They stand in this mess of a country, embattled and facing the worst financial crises since the Great Depression, and they blast a presidential candidate because he is "going to raise taxes." I know it is the chant of the GOP, but it takes taxation to make things work and no president in history has abused our money the way George W. Bush has.
I also stood with many people in believing several years ago that a positive outcome based on a military occupation of Iraq was unlikely. We have set the people of Iraq up for a big fall, and it all could have been avoided if President Bush had not been so damned determined to push it through; to make our military commit this irreversible act.
The truth is that many of our servicemembers in Iraq are tired of being there, the Iraqi people are tired of having us there, yet the ones who have cooperated thus far will face great danger when we leave. If we had more sense as a nation we would pay for the working programs in Iraq while we figure out how to pull our own military out. Bust once again, we are making foolish and regrettable mistakes.
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