Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brief And Unsupported Thoughts On Iraq

I caught some of President Bush's press conference earlier today on the radio and had a number of thoughts, mainly regarding his references to Iraq. But first, John Kerry's response is here:

Saying that "we must change course in Iraq," Kerry reiterated his proposal for a deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal and "a comprehensive plan to end the civil war." He called for shifting focus "from the failed occupation of Iraq to what we should have been doing all along: tracking down and killing members of al-Qaeda."

Kerry called for setting "a clear deadline of July 2007 to redeploy our combat troops" out of Iraq and proposed holding a summit meeting of Iraq, neighboring countries, the Arab League, NATO and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to forge a diplomatic solution.

As much as Bush is bashed, do Democrats really offer anything different? The current administration would like to redeploy our troops from Iraq as soon as possible and would certainly like to end the sectarian violence. So what's the real difference here? At this point, all discussion of Iraq is about politics, with Democrats looking to take advantage of the public perception of Republican incompetence.
Depending on your point of view, Iraq is either an utter mess, or a difficult, delicate situation. But the fact of the matter is, most Democrats do not urge an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

And even those anti-war protesters who do want an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, aren't we all on the same side? Doesn't everyone want a stable, democratic government in Iraq?

This perhaps is the biggest difference between Iraq and Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, there were Americans who supported the communists. And even those in favor of the Vietnam War had to recognize that the nation we were supporting in South Vietnam was not a democratic one. Ultimately in Iraq however, we're all on the same side, aren't we? Is there anyone who wants civil war and wants Democracy in Iraq to fail?

During his speech, President Bush mentioned another deadly attack against a member of the new Iraqi government, and it just made me think, "Who here in the U.S. doesn't think that's a tragedy?" For all the rhetoric about Iraq, pro-war or anti-war, we all share similar goals for the future. We're just talking about drastically different methods as to how to get there.


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