With all the debates going around on the subject of the war, why in the world would you think that I have anything to add to the discussion that you haven't already heard before? Well, because I haven't heard anyone else say the things I'm about to say, at least in the mainstream media. To be honest, I don't really like what I'm hearing from any of the camps out there - the administration, the Republican leaders, even the Democratic leaders and Presidential candidates. So, without any further ado, here goes:
In Part 1, let's have some honest talk about the two major talking points of the Administration and Republican Congressional leaders.
Point 1: We can't have a date for troop withdrawal from Iraq, because our enemies will just wait us out. It's setting a date for defeat.
Hard truth response: We already have a firm date for troop withdrawal from Iraq. It's November 2008. Because if we are still there by then, the Republican Party will be annihilated in the election - and then the troops will come home. You know it. I know it. More importantly, the Republicans know it, which is why there is a gathering earthquake of discontent in Republican ranks over Administration handling of the war. I'm not saying this to gloat or anything; it's just plain fact. Al Qaeda and the insurgents watch CNN. You don't think they've figured this out? America is on its way out of that country. What does it matter if the date is April 2008 or November 2008?
Point 2: If we don't win in Iraq, it will become a safe haven for Al Qaeda.
Hard truth response: Iraq already is, and will remain, a safe haven for Al Qaeda, thanks to the Bush Administration. In all the military plans I've seen, none include sending the hundreds of thousands of troops it would require out into the deserts of Iraq to rout out every trace of Al Qaeda and its supporters. At this point, it doesn't really matter what happens to the central government in Iraq; even if they survive the insurgency, it will be many years before they really have control of every square meter of their territory. The provinces of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan are safe havens for Al Qaeda, for heaven's sake, and they have a relatively stable government led by an American ally!
The Republicans arguments don't hold water. But I have a bone to pick with the Democratic leaders and presidential candidates as well. More about that in Part 2.