Friday, January 12, 2007

U.S. Congress does not want to support our troops

It's sad when the members of Congress, newly elected to office, put the needs of our soldiers aside and take up political grand-standing. American troops are no more enthusiastic about staying in Iraq than anyone else, but the soldiers want more help. So far, every comment from the new Congress has been about partisan politics. They put their political parties ahead of the needs and priorities of the American people. Who is willing to go to Washington to actually stand up for the people and not the parties?

And there remains considerable room for sending more troops in hearts here at home, especially among the families that bear this burden the hardest.

It's not that throwing more soldiers into harm's way is a solution in itself, but at a time when more and more generals are coming out of the woodwork, criticizing the administration they worked for, one must ask why they waited until now to say anything. On the one hand, working within the organization is considered to be a professional behavior.

On the other hand, we hung Nazis at Nuremburg for claiming they were only following orders. We expect our military leaders to stand up and say, "This is a fundamentally unsound military strategy" before we find ourselves embroiled in a controversy. Generals often take cushy jobs upon retirement and their motivations in criticizing the war now should be questioned.

Senators and Congressional Representatives are not capable of leading, much less winning a war. Wars are won only through perseverence and sound military strategy. Sound military strategy is not developed in front of television cameras or on campaign trails.

Right now, several Democratic and Republican party members are in the process of either consolidating their power in Washington or setting themselves up for the Presidential election in 2008. We can expect yet more anti-war rhetoric intended only to pleae the voters who are frustrated with the war. The leaders in Congress have not proposed any useful, meaningful solutions.

Whether President Bush is right is another matter. But we have already had to send miitary resources back to Somalia because this country allowed itself to be humiiated by Al Qaeda once before. If we leave Iraq before we achieve stability there, we will have to return in the future. We had to invade Iraq to begin with because we created Saddam Hussein and diplomacy had failed completely to resolve the international community's concerns about him.

He may not have been making weapons of mass destruction, but he was unwilling to prove that he wasn't making them, he continued to posture and pretend that he was making them, and he continued to inflict suffering on his own people. Most Americans continue to be ignorant of the fact that sanctions were responsible for the deaths of thousands of Iraqi children because the aid that was permitted for Iraq during the sanction years was in many cases diverted by corrupt politicians from the United Nations and/or Hussein's government.

Members of Congress need to stop abusing their mandate for change. They are trying to use it as a mandate for cowardice and humiliation. It's way past time for the United States to accept responsibility for the fact tha we created this problem and we need to address it. Bullets are not the long-term solution. But neither is running and hiding.


Anonymous Patrick Slavenburg said...

Michael, although I admire your SEO analyses which I discovered recently, and which I am trying to read up on on all the different venues, your Iraq analysis is much more flawed.

Not only did UN Inspections make clear he did not have those weapons, history should have made the USA clear that moving into Iraq and bringing democracy would be a merely impossible task, something the English failed at almost a century before.

Now.. supporting the troops sounds really patriottic (and as a foreigner it always surprises me how one can never criticize a policy in this country when troops abroad are involved because one is then automatically unpatriottic) but it really is too little too late.

You should see the footage the rest of the world sees which America is so nicely "spared of". Any European or Arab news agency will give you totally different footage, different comments and different insights than any US TV station will show or tell you. Even CNN in Europe is so absolutely different than it is in the USA.

Perhaps it has also has to do with "patriotism".

It's too little, too late, over and out. Focus on Afghanistan where the risk of things falling out of your hands is growing daily: huge opium deals, insurgent Taliban, and still no stability. Al Qaeda is retaining organizational powers again, the London attacks now seemed to be coordinated with Al Qaeda in Pakistan, as were many other planned but discovered attacks. Al Qaeda is not on the run, it is on the march as the Economist put it so eloquently.

What Iraq HAS done is not so much create a potential Afghanistan if you leave, but to create a "blow-out" of battle hardened insurgents that can fight elsewhere. A perfect training ground for 4 years of how to fight Americans.

If you had kept your focus on one country (which is a hell of a task to begin with) instead of 2, you might have had a chance.

Forget about it now.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Michael Martinez said...

"Not only did UN Inspections make clear he did not have those weapons, history should have made the USA clear that moving into Iraq and bringing democracy would be a merely impossible task, something the English failed at almost a century before."

The U.N. inspections had not occurred for about four years before we invaded Iraq. During that time, Saddam Hussein refused to allow the inspectors back in, and he intentionally behaved as though he had the secret capability to produce more weapons of mass destruction.

And as we learned last year, there were indeed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that the U.N. (and U.S. Army) inspectors had missed.

I don't want to see American troops stay in Iraq, but we have a moral obligation to do everything possible to ensure that the Iraqi people have a stable government. If we don't, we'll have to return eventually.

We have already had to return to Somalia.

It's time that people stopped lying to themselves about why we're in Iraq. We went in for the right reasons (despite the faulty intelligence used to make the case).

We just had the wrong leadership.

7:23 PM  

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