This is the Archive site for Firedoglake. To go to the main site please click on the following link
http://www.firedoglake.com

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Three Years Later


Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly -- yet, our purpose is sure. The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder. We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of fire fighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.

Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory.

My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.

President Bush - Operation Iraqi Freedom
March 20, 2003
The number of troops involved in Operation Swarmer is down from 1500 to 900. There was not one single firefight. Not one major terrorist nabbed. Nada.

The Republicans deserve to lose their edge on national security and foreign policy issues.

... "This is not the only poll that is showing significant problems for Republicans on the generic ballot, significant problems for the president," Bolger says. "We're in a hole, and we're at a point where we've got to start digging our way out, as opposed to digging deeper."

It's not uncommon to see polls where Democrats beat Republicans on domestic issues, such as the economy and jobs, health care and Social Security. But in this poll, when asked which party they trust more on issues such as the Iraq war, foreign ownership of U.S. ports and attention to homeland security, majorities chose the Democrats. ... GOP Losing Edge on Foreign Policy Issues
Unfortunately, Terror Guy's favorite toy is his shovel.

Three years after Bush launched a preemptive attack in Iraq, the Iraqi people have voted, they have a parliament, but chose not to choose a president or cabinet, and Saddam is on trial. What is there left for us to do? Pacification is not our problem. If the Iraqi people want peace they will have to fight for it themselves.

That said, I must admit I'm not a peaceful soul. We're a gun toting family and I was born in red state Missouri and raised on John Wayne. Give peace a chance has never been my refrain. I'm not bragging, believe me, just telling you the root of my rant. Frankly, I don't trust our neighbors around the world. Since we invaded Iraq I trust them even less. That's what has me so concerned. The mantra of the day for me is give strategic redeployment a chance. Three years later, I'm looking at Iran, North Korea and terrorists in other lands. I'm also starting to worry again about Afghanistan. Because while Bush has been playing preemption in Iraq, the Taliban are back, the weather is warming and things are going to get noisy.

But three years after preemption, we're in Iraq to "stay the course" until "victory" is achieved. We all remember the promises, the misinformation, the downright whoppers.

"To suggest that we need several hundred thousand troops there after military operations cease, after the conflict ends, I don't think is accurate. I think that's an overstatement." - Vice President Dick Cheney

“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” - Paul Wolfowitz (Source: House Committee on Appropriations Hearing on a Supplemental War Regulation, 3/27/03)

Q: Mr. Secretary, on Iraq, how much money do you think the Department of Defense would need to pay for a war with Iraq? Rumsfeld: Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. - Donald Rumsfeld (Sunday, January 19, 2003)
The cost of the Iraq war is now estimated at $1 - 2 TRILLION.

And what of the mismanagement of the post war peace, the down right incompetence of President Bush and the Republicans to effectively prosecute the post war planning? I've got my own, but here's a sampling of Republican incompetence on Iraq.

Failing to build a real international coalition prior to the Iraq invasion, forcing the US to shoulder the full cost and consequences of the war.

Approving the demobilization of the Iraqi Army in May, 2003 – bypassing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and reversing an earlier position, the President left hundreds of thousands of armed Iraqis disgruntled and unemployed, contributing significantly to the massive security problems American troops have faced during occupation.

Not equipping troops in Iraq with adequate body armor or armored HUMVEES.

Ignoring the advice Gen. Eric Shinseki regarding the need for more troops in Iraq – now Bush is belatedly adding troops, having allowed the security situation to deteriorate in exactly the way Shinseki said it would if there were not enough troops.

Ignoring plans drawn up by the Army War College and other war-planning agencies, which predicted most of the worst security and infrastructure problems America faced in the early days of the Iraq occupation.

Making a case for war which ignored intelligence that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Predicting Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction.

Wildly underestimating the cost of the war.

Disbanding the Sunni Baathist managers responsible for Iraq's water, electricity, sewer system and all the other critical parts of that country's infrastructure.

Including discredited intelligence concerning Nigerian Yellow Cake in his 2003 State of the Union.

Announcing that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln on May 1, 2003, below a "Mission Accomplished" banner – more U.S. soldiers have died in combat since Bush's announcement than before it.

Having no real plan for the occupation of Iraq.

Shutting down an Iraqi newspaper for "inciting violence" – the move, which led in short order to street fighting in Fallujah, incited more violence than the newspaper ever had.
Three years of incompetence on Iraq from President Bush and the Republicans who control Congress. We, our country and our mighty military, simply cannot afford a fourth.

guest posted by Taylor Marsh

|