Thursday, December 07, 2006

When will they ever learn?

Christopher Dickey

The sad fact is that insurgencies are defeated only rarely, and then by imposing the peace of the grave on hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. How much more can Washington let itself be implicated in such carnage? How far over the horizon do American troops need to pull back to escape the stench of such a victory?

One answer: all the way home.
John Murtha:

"On November 7th, 2006 the American public sent a message on Iraq and as the new Democratic majority, we must respond with decisive action. Staying in Iraq is not an option politically, militarily or fiscally. The American people understand this. Today there is near consensus that there is no U.S. military solution and we must disengage our military from Iraq. The ISG recommended that we begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops by early 2008, depending on conditions on the ground. This is no different than the current policy. We must do what is best for America and insist on a responsible plan for redeployment. Iraq is plagued by a growing civil war and only the Iraqis can solve it."

Russ Feingold:

The fact is this commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who is doing this report. Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There is virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place. Virtually no one who has been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism. So this is really a Washington inside job and it shows not in the description of what's happened - that's fairly accurate - but it shows in the recommendations. It's been called a classic Washington compromise that does not do the job of extricating us from Iraq in a way that we can deal with the issues in Southeast Asia, in Afghanistan, and in Somalia which are every bit as important as what is happening in Iraq. This report does not do the job and it's because it was not composed of a real representative group of Americans who believe what the American people showed in the election, which is that it's time for us to have a timetable to bring the troops out of Iraq.
Washington Post:

The Iraq Study Group's prescriptions hinge on a fragile Iraqi government's ability to achieve national reconciliation and security at a time when the country is fractured along sectarian lines, its security forces are ineffective and competing visions threaten to collapse the state, Iraqi politicians and analysts said Wednesday.

They said the report is a recipe, backed by threats and disincentives, that neither addresses nor understands the complex forces that fuel Iraq's woes. They described it as a strategy largely to help U.S. troops return home and resurrect America's frayed influence in the Middle East.

Iraqis also expressed fear that the report's recommendations, if implemented, could weaken an already besieged government in a country teetering on the edge of civil war.

"It is a report to solve American problems, and not to solve Iraq's problems," said Ayad al-Sammarai, an influential Sunni Muslim politician.
So what do we do now?

Vatican II, The Church in the Modern World:

PEACE is more than the absence of war: it cannot be reduced to the maintenance of a balance of power between opposing forces nor does it arise out of despotic dominion, but it is appropriately called "the effect of righteousness" (Isaiah 32 :17). It is the fruit of that right ordering of things with which the divine founder has invested human society and which must be actualized by humans thirsting after an ever more perfect reign of justice. . . .

Peace cannot be obtained on earth unless human welfare is safeguarded and people freely and trustingly share with one another the riches of their minds and their talents. A firm determination to respect the dignity of others and other peoples along with the deliberate practice of love are absolutely necessary for the achievement of peace. Accordingly, peace is also the fruit of love, for love goes beyond what justice can ensure. . . .

Therefore, all Christians are earnestly to speak the truth in love (cf. Ephesians 4 :15) and join with all who love peace in pleading for peace and trying to bring it about. In the same spirit we cannot but express our admiration for all who forgo the use of violence to vindicate their rights and resort to those other means of defense which are available to weaker parties, provided it can be done without harm to the rights and duties of others and of the community.

Insofar as all are sinners, the threat of war hangs over them and will so continue until the coming of Christ; but insofar as they can vanquish sin by coming together in charity, violence itself will be vanquished and they will make these words come true: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4).

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