Cutting Bait

Most who have read my writings knows that I supported the invasion of Iraq in order to remove Saddam Hussein from power and have written about my reasons behind that belief, a belief I still stand behind. However, besides being upset with how the Bush administration ‘sold’ the war I was even more disgusted by the management of the post-war Iraq.

It now comes as no shock to me that a new report will be released soon detailing how Iraq has not met a single goal set out for it. Perhaps now even the most ardent supporters of this administration will see it is time to Cut Bait.

The administration stupidly sold the war on the basis of Saddam having WMDs. Now, that wasn’t a far stretch to believe at the time, most intelligence communities believed that Saddam was hiding some amount of WMDs, the debate was how much and if it were still in a state to be used. The Clinton adminstration also pointed out this belief in the late 1990s, even going so far as to pointing a link between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Before the 2003 invasion, both sides were giving speech about the FACT that Saddam had WMDs, so it seemed like an easy sell.

The problem, though, was that by putting all of your eggs in that one basket, if it didn’t pan out that he did have WMDs, your credibility was not only lost but your opponents then have a perfect opening to retroactively criticize the decision. As I pointed out previously, there were a myrid of reasons to remove Saddam from power. It is not an easy deicision and I always respected those who chose against the action, though I disagreed strongly with them. But the case could be made either way, at least when you do a proper job of spelling it out. Unfortunately, this administration was too intellectually lazy (being kind) to make that effort.

So, when the war ended, instead of taking the UN up on their offer of coming in and overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq, leaving us free to move a good portion of our troops back to the US and allow Iraq to be rebuilt in a global atmosphere, our fearless leader decided to eschew this offer so that he could make sure that the UN didn’t go and ‘hide’ the WMD stashes that were to be found. This IMO speaks to Bush believing that there were WMDs in Iraq; if he thought for an instant they weren’t there the smart decision would have been to have the UN take over and then bemoan their ineptitude when they weren’t found. The fact that he rebuffed the offer and kept us there as we are now is an indication that he really did think he was going to find those WMDs.

Now, some four years later, we are seeing no progress at all being made in Iraq. I see some saying that deaths are down (are they running out of people to kill?) and violence decreasing, but is anything positive going on? Are we any closer to handing the administration of Iraq back their country to manage as they see fit? Not according to this new report. The adminstration response? More of the same.

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on Monday tried to lower expectations on the report, contending that all of the additional troops had just gotten in place and it would be unrealistic to expect major progress by now.

“You are not going to expect all the benchmarks to be met at the beginning of something,” Snow said. “I’m not sure everyone’s going to get an ‘A’ on the first report.”

No one is expecting ALL of them to be met so quickly, but come on man. Maybe ONE could have? I’m sorry, but it’s been four years. How is it possible that we should expect that the Iraqis were even CLOSE, after this long, to meeting any of these goals? All we’ve heard for the past four years is that ‘the number of police are increasing, things are starting to get better, etc’. If ANY of that were true in the past four years, wouldn’t Iraq be a much better place by now? It’s obvious that nothing is improving and what is worse is that the majority of Iraqi’s STILL don’t want us there.

I’m sorry, but the notion that Iraq can’t stand on it’s own by now is laughable. What are we afraid of? That more violence will engulf the country? You’re going to have a hard time convincing me of that. That the country may end up split into three separate countries? Why is that such a bad thing? Shouldn’t it be up to them to determine how they are going to live and if they are going to stay a country or not? Why are we dictating that to them?

Sure, they have oil. But I’ve been tired too long of the US having to spend money and lives, for the past few decades, on the insanity of the middle east, just because of oil. It’s time to tell them all to figure it out on their own. So many dictators and depression in an area so rich in oil because the money flowing into the heads of state allow them to be complete despots that otherwise would have been hanged from a tree by the populace decades earlier for the way they have treated the citizens of the countries they control. All with our support because we can’t seem to remove our mouths from teats of the oil pigs.

But I digress. It’s about time we tell the middle east that if they want us out, fine. We’ll leave. Our help is not appreciated or wanted and our self-interests aren’t being served since the situation is not getting any better. We’ll take our soldiers, AND our money in the form of any aid at all, and leave until they can get their act together. THIS is the reason we need energy independance, not because of global warming or whatever religion Al Gore is trying to sell, not because it will end up creating new jobs and expand our economy in the US, but because we can finally stop supporting despots and dictators through our tax dollars just because we are afraid they might not sell us some of their precious oil. I tell you, they will. No matter what we do to them they are going to come begging for us to buy it from them. And wouldn’t you like to be able to tell them to shove their oil….

Well, I digress.

The point is it is time. It is time to start looking to fix our own country. It is time to do something about the millions of people who live here, not paying any taxes, and using our services that we are then forced to pay more for. It is time to figure out how we are going to deal with a society that thinks that people are entitled to things that only others can provide. It is time to work on figuring out how we are going to advance through the next fifty years on this planet, as energy hogs and polluters or as intelligence stewards of our natural resources, getting the most out of them for the least and ensuring that not only our children but our great grandchildren will be able to enjoy a better lifestyle than even we have now. It is time to figure out how to educate our population in a way that does not leave them more ignorant than the previous generation before it. It is time to figure out how to motivate people to do their best instead of allowing them to entropy into mindless American Idol junkies.

It’s time to cut bait in Iraq and focus on the needs of America first.

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