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You really want to know what is pretty sad. What is sad is what are we going to do when we start to discuss how we're going to manage the new world that we've created by turning Iraq into the ultimate terrorist breeding ground.

We are already seeing pushback and blame, just like in Vietnam. Right wingers (like whomever wrote this) are blaming our failure on France, on the anti-war crowd, on our lack of resolve. They're mad because we don't trust our government.

But the blame belongs to our leaders, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush, who never took the time or made the effort to earn our trust. All they did was to continue to speak to Americans like we are fools. It is like when Bush makes the laughable statement that Americans don't torture. Then people such as you and the Republican spin machine wonders why the average American thinks the president is a liar.

I was against this war from the very beginning. I never believed that Iraq was a major threat to us, and I always believed that we should go after the person who had attacked us. That was Osama Bin Laden. But in the end I was and still am hoping we will win it, and get out and take care of America and Americans. I remember talking to friends and co-workers of mine and saying "If things work out in Iraq, I'm going to admit I was wrong." I wanted to be wrong so badly. I figured the president knew things I didn't know. And he did. But he manipulated the intelligence and took us to war anyway.

The blame for the fiasco in Iraq has nothing to do with Americans questioning the war effort but rather the architects who failed to anticipate an Iraq that didn't welcome our occupation. They also didn't anticipate a public at home that is tired of being lied to and has ceased to believe them.

It is very clear to me that we'll be dealing with the mess we created for generations, but we can't even begin to fix it until we elect leaders who at the bare minimum are willing to be honest with the American people.


Here is another interesting take on this issue from someone who has been and has fought in Iraq. It comes from Paul Rieckhoff from Operation Truth (operationtruth.com). For those who do not know Operation Truth is the first and largest nonprofit, non-partisan organization representing those who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

What was interesting is that Rieckhoff recently offered this opinion:

I thought this was pretty interesting. I get a lot of questions about why Soldiers serving in Iraq don't speak out. The common sense answer is that they are busy and would rather spend time talking to their families when they can. There are other reasons: there are few reporters with them to ask why they don't speak out, unit chains of command mistake the prohibition on officers insulting their superiors for homogenity of opinion, and the Department of Defense has extensive rules on blogging and comments.

When able to speak freely, Soldiers look a lot like the rest of America on the reasons and conduct of this war:

More than half of North Carolina military members surveyed in the latest Elon University poll disapprove of President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and his overall job performance.

Nearly 53 percent of military members said they strongly disapproved or disapproved of Bush's handling of his job. And just more than 56 percent of that same group strongly disapproved or disapproved of how he has dealt with the Iraq war.

This is no surprise to me. We knew first-hand that there was no plan for what to do after we hit Baghdad. And our troops know that an exit strategy makes sense. It is an important part of making our country safer. When we don't have a complete plan from our President, he is failing to give us proper guidance and leadership. That why we have problems with his handling of the war in Iraq. And a major reason why we are running this http://operationtruth.com//index.php?option=content&task=view&id=264&Itemid=133
ad on CNN and Fox.

by Paul Rieckhoff


OK, Greg. So what do you want to do to fix it? He who criticizes should at least provide some direction in what he considers the right thing to do.

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