Thursday, August 12, 2004

Yes, Complete the Mission -- But What Is It?

Bush Raps Kerry on Iraq Troop Reduction ( "ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - President Bush on Wednesday pushed back against John Kerry's criticism of his handling of Iraq, saying, 'I know what I'm doing when it comes to winning this war.' Bush used an re-election rally to sharply reject Kerry's proposal to begin to withdraw troops from Iraq within six months of taking office.

'We all want the mission to be completed as quickly as possible. But we want the mission completed,' the president said. 'The mission is not going to be completed as quickly as possible if the enemy thinks we will be removing a substantial number of troops in six months.'"

As of early August 2004, 87% of the Iraq war "coalition" are US troops; 88% of the Iraq war "coalition" deaths are US deaths. If United States' mission was to form a coalition representative of broad international support, the Bush administration's diplomatic strategy has sabotaged that mission at every juncture. Bush's insistence on going it alone has allowed him largely to set his own course with regard to Iraq, but at the cost of perceived legitimacy both in the eyes of the world and among his own citizenry.

If the mission was to promote democracy in the Middle East, does the United Sates think that the overthrow of the government of a sovereign nation by military means -- counter to the will of the relevant international authority, as expressed in a UN Security Council vote -- is the best way to demonstrate democracy in action?

If the mission is to integrate Iraq's factions and sects to form a stable, cohesive whole -- a nation at peace with itself, among its neighbors, and in the world -- is the US President well-advised to refer to those Iraqis whom Iraq's new government most desperately needs to bring within its fold as "the enemy"?

To the extent the elements of the Iraq resistance derive their impetus from a common resentment of US troop presence, perhaps the sooner the US troops are removed, the more quickly this mission, whatever it is, will be completed.


Post a Comment

<< Home