Critical to Democratic prospects in November, as well as to our country’s future, is keeping the commitment to the American people to end the war in Iraq. Yet there exist so-called “democratic realists” (some of whom are also Democrats, cousins of the “neoconservatives”…you know, those guys who wanted to “liberate” Iraq and “democratize” the broader Middle East) who consider Iraq their base for future mischief in the region, continue to enjoy billions of dollars in contractual profits, and want to occupy Iraq indefinitely. Although Barack Obama has always forthrightly opposed invading and occupying Iraq, we must not allow the “realists” to undercut his determination to end the war. He will keep the promise to the American people, but we need to have Barack's back.
And we who have a voice here at home, in this critical election, need to bring our brave troops home safely and now. We need to honor their sacrifices.
We need to have our troops' backs.
Tacking to the center on Iraq is analogous to scuttling the ship.
Fortunately, the recently completed draft Democratic Party Platform’s plank on Iraq reflects Obama’s determination to end the war rather than the so-called realists’ – and John McCain’s -- determination to remain. In the paragraph entitiled “Ending the War in Iraq," the Platform calls for:
- “bring(ing) the Iraq war to a responsible end.”
- “re-center(ing) American foreign policy by responsibly redeploying our combat forces from Iraq and refocusing them on urgent missions.”
- “giv(ing) our military a new mission: ending this war and giving Iraq back to its people.”
- “remov(ing) our combat brigades at the pace of one to two per month and expect(ing) to complete redeployment within 16 months.”
- “keep(ing) a residual force in Iraq to perform specific missions: targeting terrorists; protecting our embassy and civil personnel; and advising and supporting Iraq’s Security Forces, provided the Iraqis make political progress.”
- "mak(ing) clear that we seek no permanent bases in Iraq."
Of course, there’s much more in the Platform…and more that we all need to focus upon, both analytically and with energetic political advocacy. But this represents a solid plank on the war in Iraq.
And we must remember that no matter how sweet the Platform, only the ultimate policy results count.
We invaded and continue to occupy Iraq based on false pretenses. We took our eyes off Al Qaeda, and instead attacked a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 (have we forgotten the Iraq WMD sham?)
Those who wanted to invade Iraq in the first place have not lost their dream of having American troops based in Iraq -- accompainied by multi-billion dollar sweet deal contracts.
How many brave American lives must be lost in a war which makes America less safe?
How many more billions must be wasted in Iraq while our own economy suffers?
How many more young lives will be shattered fighting a war that should never have been fought?
If we want to make our country more prosperous and the world safer, we must:
- Bolster our Party’s stated determination to end the war in Iraq.
- Elect Barack Obama in November, giving him a clear mandate to end the war.
- Following the election, guard against the machinations of the so-called foreign policy and national security realists as they do whatever they can to maintain our occupation of Iraq indefinitely.
Nothing is more important to American security and prosperity than ending the nightmarish misadventure in Iraq.