Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Peace In Iraq, Not An Exit Strategy

Normon Solomon wrote an excellent article (Don't Give Bush An Exit Strategy) at TomPaine.com yesterday pointing out the fallacy in the "exit strategy" prong of the peace movement. The danger of attacking the ends of the war (no victory in sight, etc.) rather than the means could lead to an US military escalation. Solomon summarizes the rational with the following:
A big ongoing factor is that George W. Bush and his top aides seem to believe in red-white-and-blue violence with a fervor akin to religiosity. For them, the Pentagon's capacity to destroy is some kind of sacrament. And even if more troops aren't readily available for duty in Iraq, huge supplies of aircraft and missiles are available to step up the killing from the air.

Back in the United States, while the growth of anti-war sentiment is apparent, much of the criticism - especially what's spotlighted in news media - is based on distress that American casualties are continuing without any semblance of victory. In effect, many commentators see the problem as a grievous failure to kill enough of the bad guys in Iraq and sufficiently intimidate the rest.

But some questions are based on assumptions that should be rejected - and "What is it going to take to win?" is one of them. In Iraq, the U.S. occupation force can't "win." More importantly, it has no legitimate right to try.
Amen. The entire reason the Bush administration is hanging by a thread due to its mismanagement of the Iraq War is because of the focus on results, on winning. Even when there are no spoils left to claim. True opposition to the Iraq War needs to challenge not just the reasons for war, but the fundamental tenant that this war should be won.

Rather than bickering on how the US ended up in Iraq and how to make the best of it, there needs to be a plan to leave, not based on winning, but based on losing the very rationale behind this war: to guarantee safety there and abroad. This war cannot and should not be won. Its outcome was determined the moment US forces attacked, and lost the moment after the insurgency began. Let it go.


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