Archive » June 12, 2008
FROM THE LEFT
By David Phillips, Contributing Writer
Are we winning in Iraq?
Are we winning in Iraq? As long as we stay in Iraq we can never lose, so, if we do leave, we have won.
As you know, Republicans say that if we leave we will lose. In fact, the Republicans take it even further: if we leave as U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., wants to do, its surrender. Well that’s just a bunch of hogwash and right-wing rhetoric.
Republicans have been politicizing the war using our troops for political gains and to create political division among American voters.
When President George W. Bush first misled America to war in Iraq, he spoke of regime change, removing Iraq’s WMDs, and installing a democratically- led government.
People in the Bush administration said things like six weeks, six months (regarding how long the war will last), we will be greeted as liberators, and the cost for the reconstruction will be about $1.5 billion and that Iraq’s oil will pay that tab.
The Bush administration told the American people many things, most of which we have learned have been dead wrong.
What the Bush administration never said was what winning would be, or when we would ever leave.
I say we have already won, and the only reason we are now staying is so Bush can continue awarding defense contracts to his supporters as well as to our enemies.
Last week we learned that the U.S. military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the U.S. Justice Department.
Gaith Pharaon, whose company Attock Refinery Ltd., which supplies jet fuel and is based in Pakistan, has been indicted by the Department of Justice and is wanted by the FBI in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International and in the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.
This is just one example of how Bush is wasting American tax dollars. I could point to dozens of other companies that Bush has squandered tax dollars on in the name of war, but I don’t have the space. But this one example is part of the reason why Bush has not left Iraq and declared the United States to have won the war.
Every reason that Bush gave leading up to his invasion has been either fulfilled or proven wrong. In fact, about every six months since the Iraq invasion, Bush has changed the reason for staying.
Fast forward to Bush’s last reason for staying, when the Iraqi government can stand up we will stand down. Remember that line. Bush said once the Iraqis have enough trained security forces we would stand down. Bush can and has used that as the reason for us staying for the last eighteen months. This reason and this reason alone is now the only reason Bush has given to stay.
The United States has fulfilled every one of Bush’s reasons for going:
• WMDs: they had none
• Regime change: done
• Formation of a new government: done
• A new Constitution: done
• Elections: done twice
• Build up of new security forces: done
All of the reasons for staying have been met. There is no reason to stay. As long as we do stay, we will lose and Iraqis will lose. The only winners, as long as we do stay, are defense contractors and war profiteers.
Last December, Vice President Dick Cheney said that by the middle of January 2009 it will be clear that “we have in fact achieved our objective in terms of having a self-governing Iraq that’s capable for the most part of defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, a nation that will be a positive force in influencing the world around it in the future.”
So, according to Cheney, we will win, when he and Bush leave office.
On that I agree.