Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Editor Responds

Not directly to my letter of course. Here's the editorial for Sept. 9 2004.

America forced to face the music in Iraq
Our View:
Reaching the 1,000 mark forces the issue of what we're still doing there.
1,005 and counting.
The symbolic 1,000 U.S. military deaths in Iraq is a milestone surpassed Tuesday. But more than that, it should serve as a wakeup call that it is past time for a realistic exit strategy to end the carnage.
The vast majority of those deaths--more than 800-- are the result of an insurgency that has continued long after Americans brought down Saddam Hussein and 16 months after President Bush declared an end to major combat.
What once seemed like a remote, almost bloodless war now hits home daily as reports of U.S. casualties roll in.
American troops who were welcomed when they liberated Iraq from a brutal dictator have become an unwelcome occupying force. With no clear enemy to fight, U.S. troops patrol the streets--targets on their backs.
Suicide bombers and snipers kill a few more U.S. soldiers each day, and yet the United States has no clear way out, or even a time frame for bringing our troops home.
The quagmire in Iraq has taken a significant toll on the American psyche. U.S. troops are stretched thin throughout the world, and a large share of available reservists and members of the National Guard have been called up for service in Iraq.
That manpower drain could leave America vulnerable to another terrorist attack. There are simply not enough resources available to guard strategic targets--airports, military bases, nuclear facilities and chemical plants.
The U.S. military is so short-staffed that private security guards are being hired to guard military installations.
Local police and fire departments, the first responders in case of a terrorist attack, have been depleted, because so many of their personnel have been called to service in Iraq.
It's not as simple as having the United States pull out of Iraq and bring all its troops home. The sacrifice made by those who have died in the war would be in vain if a viable democratic society were not given the chance to succeed.
Nor does America have to go it alone, its past arrogance notwithstanding. It is time to go, hat in hand, to the United Nations. What's needed is an international peacekeeping force, with troops from many nations, including the Arab world, securing peace in Iraq.
Through such an arrangement, the United States could bring most of its troops home. The sooner, the better.


Such cringing, whining ignorance has a name and a face and a slot on the ballot this November.
For the rest of us, who don't feel our psyche has been strained...
who listened to the President explain the Interim government...
who know that peacekeepers bring peace by refusing to fight...
who will never stand like peons before the UN Secretary General...
there is President Bush.

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