Sunday, March 15, 2009

Six Years of War

For what?
Three days from now, on the 19th of March, the United States invasion of Iraq will mark its sixth year. A million dead Iraqis, more than 4,000 dead U.S. military persons, an eventual cost, according to the economist Joseph Stiglitz, of 3 trillion dollars.

Many people who voted for President Obama believed, quite irrationally as far as I’m concerned, that once elected, Obama would remove all U. S. troops from Iraq within sixteen months. I said many times on my radio program that Obama was being too clever by half with his semantics about withdrawal. He said then, and he confirmed my worst suspicions a couple weeks ago, that he would remove “combat” troops from Iraq, as if every service person there is not in combat. His intension during the campaign, confirmed in a late February speech, was to leave thousands of U.S. military personnel in Iraq beyond the now 19 month period of his supposed withdrawal. 50,000 troops to be exact. Non-combat troops to be sure. I suspect that by the time August 2011 rolls around the 50,000 will have grown considerably, more in line with the 60 to 90,000 I predicted during the campaign.

According to the withdrawal agreement drawn up by W. and his puppet in Iraq, the United States must have all troops out of Iraq by the end of 2012 - - just in time for the November 2012 election. Don’t count on it.

The speech Obama gave at the end of February could very well have been delivered by W. We found no mention in the speech of the on-going and worsening conflict between the Shia and the Kurds that will undermine any Iraqi government. We heard no mention of what is now to happen to the Suni forces the United States has been paying not to kill U. S. soldiers for the last two years.

According to the highly respected military correspondent Tom Ricks, author of The Gamble, Obama’s plan for exiting Iraq is the “sixth plan he has covered that attempts to get U. S. forces out of Iraq.” Mr. Ricks warns in his book that Bush’s war is about to engulf Obama. He writes that the United States will be in Iraq for many years to come, “and that in the end, we will be the losers.” What will emerge, Ricks told MSNBC’s Keith Olberman, “is not a democracy, not an American ally, run by a strongman, probably tougher, smarter and more adept than Saddam Hussein and who is, ironically, an even worse guy.” The winners, as far as I’m concerned, are the mullahs in Iran who will be quite content to have the war continue to bleed billions from the United States every month.

If you are concerned about the continued occupation of Iraq and the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, join with your fellow citizens for an anti-war vigil on Thursday, 19 March, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at Zelasko Park, in Aberdeen, Washington.

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