The United States should begin withdrawing troops from Iraq now.
The Bush administration led this country into this war based on a series of lies and slanted intelligence. It has violated treaties, American law and the international law in approving torture, kidnapping and other tactics that have cost this nation its moral standing in the world and, in so doing, diminished our capacity to lead. It has brought the Army to near ruin and hampered our ability to respond to other emerging challenges, including those within our own country.
The administration’s refusal to plan for the aftermath of the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime and its emphasis on awarding lucrative no-bid contracts to companies of its cronies have resulted an occupation that has allowed conditions in Iraq to deteriorate to the point of civil war.
This war of choice has cost the lives of more than 2,600 American service men and women and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians; it has wounded nearly 20,000 of our soldiers and made hundreds of thousands of Iraqis homeless.
It has inflamed passions in the Middle East.
It has made Iraq the leading terrorist training ground in the world.
It has made Iran the leading power in the region.
It has driven up the price of oil.
It has undermined the security and stability of Israel.
It has sucked our treasury dry.
There is nothing in the record of the Bush administration or the rubber stamp Republican majorities in the House and Senate that provide any reason to believe that they are capable of rescuing our interests from Iraq by prolonging our involvement there.
Republicans say “stay the course.” I ask, “What course?” Where is there any sign of a coherent strategy in Iraq? Our soldiers are on extended duty in Iraq. There have been too few of them there from the start for us to have a chance to stabilize the country. And they are now caught in the middle of a civil war. The Army is at the point of breaking.
The Bush administration and the Congress have been in denial for too long. There are no good choices left to us in Iraq now.
We must extricate our army from Iraq while there is still time to do so and while there is still the possibility that a full-fledged civil war can be averted.