Iraq: FUBAR* that never ends

At some point, someone somewhere will have to stop talking about what we should do in Iraq and, instead, just do it.

While the politicians, pundits and experts pondered the release Wednesday of the Iraq Study Group’s long-awaited report, 11 more American soldiers died in that stupid war launched by a mentally-ill President under false pretenses.

The death toll for Americans stands at more than 2,900 and is closing in on 3,000. About the only thing any of us knows for sure is that many more will die before America extricates itself from a war it can’t win and never should have launched.

And let’s not forget the thousands upon thousands of Iraqi civilians who have died and continue to die. Some estimates put the civilian death toll at more than 100,000, a figure that the United States, of course, disputes.  But the bottom line is that too many Americans and Iraqis have lost their lives because of George W. Bush’s madness and the madness must stop.

Even if Bush and Congress accepted every one of the Iraq Study Group’s 79 recommendations, it will not stop the carnage in Iraq and American combat troops would not be out of harm’s way before 2008 at the earliest. Even then, we would be replacing the combat brigades with a sharply-increased number of military advisors who would be easy prey among the poorly-trained and ill-equipped Iraqi military.

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, an analyst for NBC News, calls the idea of sending in more military advisors stupid at best.

"You increase the chances for American military casualties under such a plan," McCaffrey says.

Military advisors were tried in Vietnam. They failed and we sent in combat troops. So 30 plus years later, our answer is that when combat troops fail we send in the advisors?  Someone is letting the inmates run the asylum.

Forget the political pandering and propaganda. Iraq is lost. The country is embroiled in a bitter, uncontrollable civil war that we created and cannot cure. Americans and Iraqis will continue to die while politicians talk.

The Iraq Study Group is correct when they say Iraq is a colossal failure by Bush and his minions. It will go down as the worst military, diplomatic and political debacle in this country’s history and will define forever George W. Bush’s failed, miserable, pathetic, insane Presidency.

But they are wrong if they think their weak list of recommendations can salvage the FUBAR in Iraq. We took a nation that posed no threat to the security or welfare of this country and turned it into a hellhole where civil war reigns, a breeding ground for extremists who will threaten this nation’s security for generations to come. We destabilized not only Iraq but the entire Middle East.

And there ain’t a damn thing we can do to fix it. Whether it happens now, next week, next month, next year or in 2008, our only option is to admit defeat, get the hell out and live with the consequences.

We destroyed a nation, a people and a culture with our invasion of Iraq. In the end, we may have destroyed ourselves as well.

*(FUBAR is a military acronym that stands for (depending on the branch of service) "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair" or "Fucked Up Beyound All Recognition.") 

38 Responses to "Iraq: FUBAR* that never ends"

  1. Joe Keegan  December 8, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    The democrat congress can stop the neo-con FUBAR in Iraq simply by not funding it.

  2. DVL666  December 8, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    Watching W yesterday made me puke…”i Understand ya-da ya-da…Has any other President ever asked for less sacrifice by all Americans in a tinme of War than W? Iraq unless you have someone there has a total disconnect with the average American.. A real leader would’ve presented us with a plan and asked for sacrifices from all not just the SOB’s that he sends over..my heart goes out to them..as for W I hope there is a Hell for him to spend eternity in with our other great Texan who FUBAR’d a War, LBJ.

  3. David Williams  December 8, 2006 at 6:23 pm

    The last time I posted a comment on this site(Your Rant about the MSN finally using the C word when describing our cakewalk in Iraq) I mentioned opinion polls that ran as high as 87% supporting Mr. Bush’s impending invasion.I am proud to be able to truthfully say that I was equally against that terrible misadventure then as I am today. Anyone who knows the history of the Arabic and Persian cultures in general,and more specifically,the European and American imperialistic forays of the last two centuries,had to know that we were biting off a bit more than we could easily chew.Perhaps I expect a little too much of my fellow citizens,especially in light of the fact that our fearless leader did not even know that there were Shiites and Sunnis,and Shock and Awe,they don’t much care for each other.Anyway,nearly four years into our now permanent Mid East War,the American people are beginning to grumble.One small problem though;it’s too fucking late! Fred wants people to quit bitching and come up with constructive steps toward a solution. That solution probably includes”peace with honor”.Sorry Fred,we are way past that possibility.There is only one way to stop Americans from needlessly dying and that is to get the hell out just as fast as we can.That’s it,period.No more commissions,no more study groups,and for God,s sake,please,no more new”plans for victory,new ways forward,new strategies” blah blah blah.It’s time to cut and run.Most people,from the least of us all the way to the movers and shakers and leaders now know that this war was based on lies(not mistakes,LIES)and that there is no “honorable”way out.How do you ask people to continue to die?Who will be the last man or woman to give up their life for George W Bush?Bring our soldiers home.Give our brave uniformed Moms and Dads back to their children.Give sons and daughters back to their aging parents.Give brothers back to their sisters and sisters back to their brothers.Bring all of our soldiers home and do everything neccesary to help them recover their lives.Then impeach and imprison every single member of this horrible mass murdering administration.Require all war proffiteers to refund every stolen nickle back to the taxpayers,then try and imprison all those who would trade someone elses son or daughter to enrich there already wealthy greedy lives.If seeking justice for the needlessly dead brings our government to a halt,so be it.There is nothing more important.The message must be sent that we will never allow such a horror to occur again.Bring our soldiers home starting today. David Williams in Western N.C.

  4. Donna Hughes  December 8, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    Right on, David! I wrote a number of “You must be nuts!” letters to the White House and my congressmen when this whole Iraq war thing came up, which of course did no good, but instead of blaming every congressman who voted for the war in that screwed-up period, just where were their constituents who also should have been writing their congressmen and the White House, speaking out against making war on Iraq? Bush made that “Walk in the Park” speech, and I nearly fell out of my chair!

    Like you say, David, anyone with any knowledge of the Middle East would have KNOWN better! Go look up T E Lawrence and read “Seven Pillars of Wisdom.”

  5. Howard Singer  December 8, 2006 at 6:53 pm

    Doug, here is a playful comment that I hope you like enough to use. All best, HS

    
    “This business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever.”
    President GEORGE W. BUSH, on talk about the administration’s plans to
    withdraw from Iraq

    The meaning of the election seemed as clear as anything in politics could
    be. The people wanted us out of Iraq. Well, lets say more wanted us out than in, so
    the withdrawal had to be swift. That’s how democracy works, doesn’t it? But the
    Great Ship of State needs room and time to turn around. The waiting began.

    The withdrawal has to be orderly, right? Which means it must not be
    precipitous. It will take time to heal the sectarian rift we exacerbated. We are
    obligated to try, and stay long enough to mend some of the things we destroyed.
    So there are no quick fixes. Statesmanship is called for. Studies have to be done,
    reports issued, studied, debated. What with one thing and another, the two parties
    couldn’t seem to agree on the manner of withdrawal, or the timing. So the war
    dragged on, and the killing, and the dying.

    Mature, realistic people understood, but the young were impatient, and pressure
    began to build. This was what government hoped to avoid after Vietnam, by
    switching to a professional army instead of draftees. But professional soldiers also
    had parents, spouses, children. When soldiers were killed, families were bitter,
    complained, won wide sympathy. Pressure to withdraw kept building. Letters to
    Congress piled up. There were protests, demonstrations, marches. Some even said
    it was Vietnam all over again. Most of those were young and irresponsible, but
    there was a resemblance, and it seemed to be growing. Why was it taking so long?

    And then, quite suddenly, the big break came.

    One Monday the director of a branch of Naval Research who had been working
    with porpoises made the announcement. He had solved the language problem,
    mastered the technique of communicating with other species. It was now possible
    to increase animal intelligence exponentially, and equip animals with prosthetic
    devices as useful as human hands. The animals could then be trained to fight.
    Thousands had been secretly training at Fort Bragg.

    Doberman Pinchers made excellent infantrymen. German Shepherds handled
    tanks with skill, Beagles could pilot attack helicopters and Great Danes made find
    and steady bomber pilots. Now there was swift movement. Within weeks regular
    army forces began their orderly withdrawal and replacement animal units were
    sent to Iraq. The White House was relieved. Things were looking up. But it didn’t
    last. As in Vietnam, television cameras gave people too intimate a view of war.

    One night the NBC news report showed a heart rending picture of a parakeet who
    had been scouting ahead of a company of poodles and been shot by an insurgent.
    The sight of the bloody feathers had a thousand bird lovers picketing the White
    House by morning. Another night, Fox News described the heroic demise of a
    Siamese cat that had charged an insurgent machine gun nest. It evoked thousands
    of calls and letters to the White House. But it was the death of the bunny rabbit
    that finally did the program in. The rabbit had been gathering information on
    Sunnis who might be sumpathetic to the insurgents when it stepped on a mine.
    The remains were pathetic and by the end of the program one could hear sobbing
    from Maine to California. By the end of the week thousands of animal
    lovers were threatening to withhold their taxes and refusing to register their
    animals for the war effort. Emotions ran high as hundreds of thousands marched
    on Washington chanting, “I didn’t raise my doggy to be a soldier.

    And so, a week after the great protest, the government went back to deploying
    eighteen year old “professional” soldiers instead.

  6. Paul Stam  December 8, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    Since the invasion of Iraq was not to defend against imminent threat, then it was a war of aggression. Not many people are still around that remember the Nuremburg War Crime Trials, but under the Nuremberg Principles, any war of aggression is the supreme international crime from which all other war crimes follow. Bush and his minions are guilt of the crime of “aggressive” war.
    In line with that, under the U. N. Charter, ratified by the U.S. and binding on it, any U.N. member including the U.S. which ratified the Charter, is prohibited from using force against any fellow member state except to defend against an imminent attack. Iraq is also a member of the U.N. Even the U.S. Army’s field manual requires such authorization for an offensive war.
    It has been said that the Democratic takeover of Congress was an expression of a nation who said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.” It is time the people rose up and did something about the madman in the White House because Congress sure ain’t going to do anything about impeaching our leading war criminal. Only if the people rise up and demand it and the politicians become afraid of losing their place on the gravy train, will there be impeachment proceedings. You, Doug, and others like you have to keep hounding the people until they require that their representatives demand justice.

  7. TRUTH 101  December 8, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    IN MY OPINION the Iraq study group is and was NO MORE that commissioned by (DAD’s GHWB 41)people to extracate his son GWB 43 from the totally screwed up mess he got America into.

    So of course is standing there by himself and with Blair saying I will not accept everythin…I mean soory, this report and ALL of it’s recommendations should have all been on the table BEFORE GWB invaded IRAQ.

    But when will people understand. GWB our PRESIDENT, Commander in Chief and DECIDERER, the smirking one always in front of the cameras

    IS NOT CALLING THE SHOTS: ANY OF THEM.

    This IRAQ invasion was totally IMO conceived and launched by three people…ALL signatories to PNAC. They are Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld is GONE… REALLY ?? Want to bet on that?

    WOLFOWITZ is out of the Administration….but IN charge at the World Bank. He’s gone too right ??
    Want to bet on that.

    Dick Cheney who has been running GWB since DAY ONE
    We know where he is for all but brief periods.

  8. Bill Robinson  December 8, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Call him whatever–a murderer, a traitor, dupicitous (sp?), devious, drunk, a druggie, insane, or whatever, but he is not a fool. He is getting richer by the day from this war, he and Cheney, and they are not going to relinquish the purse strings. Do you think that he cares about the lives of the American kids being wasted there and in Afghanistan? Of course he does not. If he did, he would not have started the false war. He cares for nothing but power and money. More of both than Daddy. He will NOT listen to the report because it was written by Daddy’s boys. He will not even read it. It is too long and too carefully crafted, and it proposes stuff that Jr does NOT want to hear–leave Iraq. He and Dick are making too much money to leave. So what if another 10 kids died? They would have died anyway.
    But the fact is that they wouldn’t. These soldiers are not the cannon fodder that the Vietnam soldiers were. These are professional, well-trained men and women of our armed forces. They are noble warriors defending what they believe is a good cause, or following orders because that is what they swore they would do when they enlisted. They do not want to be there, but they are people of good character for the most part, and they deserve our respect. They are people of honor. They are not heros. Heros were the men of the Eighth Air Force in WW2 who despite a casualty rate of 80% got back into their planes and went out onto another bomb run in daylight because it was their job, and for no other reason than that. Those are heros.
    These guys in Iraq are soldiers, and just that term deserves our respect.
    Their leaders, however, are something else.
    These generals, these syncophants, these fat cat cowards who do not lead men in battle but push men into a war that they know is unjust and unwinnable and then come home and tell lies to congress and to the people, and our congressmen, our senators and our non-representing representatives who lie to us and to themselves and say: “What is the solution?” when a teenager knows that the solution is to leave NOW, TODAY, admit we lost and screw up and get the hell out, they are the guilty ones and the ones deserving of our derision and scorn.
    Do I sound angry? Well, I hope so, because I am. I’m angry because I hate to see our young people wasted for the enrichment of George Bush and Dick Cheney. How much money do they need? I’m tired of seeing people blame Israel for all the shit in the Middle East. If the Arabs would give the people in the refugee camps 1/10 of the money they spend on guns, those people could buy land and leave the camps and live prosperous and happy lives, but no, it is better to leave them in camps and make them suffer.
    Jews never leave their people in camps. They always take them out and resettle them somewhere. Then the people become productive and contribute to society. Seems to work rather well. Look at Einstein, Fermi, Me, we were all refugees.
    So blame the refugee problem on the real cause–the Arabs themselves. They certainly had the money to fix it.
    And don’t be so naive as to think that the Saudis are our friends. Most of the guys that flew the planes into the World Trade towers were Saudis. Saudis are not going to allow a democracy to flourish in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is a kingdom. There is no voting there. Women have few rights there. It is a totalitarian state with beheadings, cutting off of right hands, and other mideval punishments as normal behaviors. They employ George Herbert Walker Bush, our former President. Pay him a pretty nice salary. Probably will employ Jr. too. Their embassy is guarded by Secret Service police. They are NOT our friends. They do not want a democracy in the middle east. It threatens their monarchy. They do not want democracy. They want kingdoms.
    Think about it.
    So Iraq was about money. It still is. Bush is stalling. He can and will stall for another 2 years unless we get rid of him and Cheney. With Pelozzi as speaker, that might be a viable option, altho she is no bargain. Sounds like she is more Politics as Usual. You scratch mine, and I’ll scratch Yours.
    Three year terms, one only, for all elected and appointed officials, that’s my solution.
    Bill Robinson

  9. Joe Keegan  December 8, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    Don’t fund it.

  10. Gerald Sutliff  December 8, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    “Cutting and running” is the only winning stratigy available to us. As in poker the smart player when dealt a weak hand folds and waits for a better hand or, at least, an opportunity to run a successful bluff. It’s obvious to everyone that GWB is huffing and bluffing. God, what a fool.

    Will we take two more years of his non-sense?
    Personally I doubt it.

  11. Ted  December 8, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    All the excuses why we can’t leave Iraq: chaos, mayhem, terrorists will take over etc….. is the same kind of crap we heard before we cut and ran from Vietnam. Just replace the word terrorists with communists.

    Bush remains in the “stay the course” paradigm and is just conning the citizenry, again.

    Fire (impeach) the idiot that leads us down the path of death and destruction and get new leadership. Else buy stock in a body bag manufacturing plant.

  12. Joe Lawrence  December 8, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    A couple of givens have to be paid their last respects, then set aside before this Middle East thing can be sorted out…to any extent or to any degree.

    First, we all have to know the whole mess is the creation of the Bush/PNAC crowd, no matter who enabled or abetted, and any further dithering about whom to “blame” is pointless.

    Second – and here is the elephant in the room – we all have got to stop pretending that George W. Bush even has the power to act. It is plainly in nearly perpetual evidence that all but the most lightweight duties of the office of POTUS are now, and have been from the beginning, done by Dick Cheney and his own craven advisors and sponsors.

    Thirdly, let’s all quit pretending that any congressional vote in support of the resolution to allow force against Iraq was, in all cases, a “vote for war.” How easy it seems for us to all act as if we don’t know the vote was presented as one merely to strengthen our nitwit president’s hand in delivering ultimatums. As well, we know the Democrats continue to be too pussified to mention this, but we, the people, don’t have to play that game. Failure to just admit these things and move on will only perpetuate the charade.

    ‘Charades’ can be a fun parlor game, but it’s no way to run a country; nor is it any way to police our elected representatives.

    Comprehensive plan? If we had a standing military, there would be two plans, the first of which would involve the Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force. Sadly, our military is laid waste, so that’s not an option.

    The only plan available to us now is a strategic and immediate retreat of all forces. Get a significant enough number of them over the horizon to serve as a strike force when needed, and bring the rest home to rebuild a strong military.

    Save the re-invasion for that future date when we are able to make good on our threats and promises.

    While we are doing this, just mandate a two-country solution for Israel and Palestine, and enforce it ourselves, if we have to.

    I hope this is “comprehensive” enough for those of you who never served, and who never will.

  13. Ralph L. Anderson  December 8, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    Mr. Williams, from Western NC said it all. “There is only one way to stop Americans from needlessly dying and that is to get the hell out as fast as we can.” We did it in Vietnam — we just left. That is exactly what needs to be done now. Not tomorrow — now. No warning just leave. What is so hard about that?

  14. ng  December 8, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    What to do?
    Send these warmongers children to Irak.

  15. Chet Gilbert  December 8, 2006 at 11:55 pm

    Bush has taken ‘cavalier’ to a historic depth which will be discussed for 500 years if a future is to be had. The story will include how OTHERS were left to task Peace by breaking up America into its tribal fiefdoms.

  16. Nicholas H.  December 9, 2006 at 12:59 am

    Dream on, Doug. I couldn’t agree with you more, but you and everyone needs to realize there is just too much money being made (or stolen) and just too many promises made by the whores in Congress to Big Oil and other corporate interests reaping those billions in Iraq to end the cash cow now. BushCo is going to hem and haw as long as possible because BushCo is stealing at least $120 million per day. And both Republinazis and Demowusses in Congress are going to talk about it and study it and talk about it and then argue about it until their corporate pimps at Halliburton, Bechtel, and the Carlyle Group tell them there’s no more money, or oil, to be drained out of Iraq. It’s going to be just like the so-called peace efforts between Israelis and Palestinians. How many years now have we been involved in that royally fucked-up situation, that the U.S. makes sure stays fucked up? Forty? Sixty? How many “peace summits” can you recall over all those years? And how many cease-fires? And how many times have those peace summits failed and those cease-fires been broken? Hell, I’ve lost count.

    Oh well, there IS one upside: Iraq and the Israeli/Palestinian situation give the folks at NPR plenty to talk about . . . day after day after day after day.

  17. Sharkie  December 9, 2006 at 1:23 am

    The McGovern-Polk Plan Summary and Highlights

    1. Staying in Iraq is not an option. Withdrawal is not only a political imperative but also a strategic requirement. Withdrawal is not without cost (neither is staying), but it is also inevitable and we will pay costs at some point. The decision to withdraw soon will not require additional expenditures – on the contrary it will effect massive savings. We are not advocating “cut and run” we are urging an orderly withdrawal on a reasonable schedule that will prevent further damage to U.S. interests.

    2. The Iraq government would be wise to request the short-term services of an international force to police the country during and immediately after the period of American withdrawal. Such a force should be temporary with a firm date fixed in advance for withdrawal. Our estimate is that such a force would be needed for two years during this period the force would be slowly but steadily cut back. It’s focus should be limited to public security. Such a force would be most acceptable if its composition were drawn from Arab or at least Muslim countries, as suggested by Brent Scowcoft in a Washington Post column of January 16, 2006.

    3. During the period of withdrawal if the Iraqi government requests U.S. assistance the U.S. should do all it reasonably can to assit it in embodying and training a permanent national police force. Once the American troops are withdrawn, the Iraqi public is unlikely to continue to support the insurgents, so the level of combat is almost certain to fall. This has been the experience in every comparable guerilla war. The American withdrawal plan should include a provision of $1 billion to help the Iraq government create, train, and equip such a force – the cost of four days of the American occupation.

    4. America should immediately release all prisoners of war it holds and close detention centers. Physical control of former members of the Iraqi regime who have been indicted by the Iraqi government should be made to the Iraqi government. A respected nongovernmental organization should be appointed to process claims of and pay compensation to those who have been tortured as defined by the Geneva Convention.

    5. America should not encourage the growth and heavy armament of a reconstituted Iraqi army as such have frequently acted against civil governments and Iraqi citizens. The U.S. should encourage the transfer of soldiers it has already recruited to a national police force or to a national reconstruction corps. The U.S. should commit to an allocation of $500 million, the cost of two days occupation, for the training of a national reconstruction corps.

    6. Withdrawal of U.S. forces must include immediate cessation of work on U.S. military bases. Fourteen so-called “enduring bases” are under construction and five are already built – massive bases amounting to virtual cities.

    7. Americans should withdraw from the Green Zone, their vast sprawling complex in the center of Baghdad. The U.S. is spending $1 billion on its headquarters in the Green Zone, which contains or will contain some three hundred homes, Marine barracks and 21 other buildings along with its own electrical, water and sewage systems. This should be turned over to the Iraqi government.

    8. Before the turnover the U.S. should buy, rent or build a “normal” embassy for a much-reduced complement of U.S. officials. This should be outside of the Green Zone so it is symbolically not part of the occupation.

    9. Mercenaries (euphemistically known as Personal Security Detail) now amount to 25,000 armed men – a force larger than the British troop contingent – hired directly or indirectly by the U.S. government. They must be withdrawn rapidly and completely. The way to withdraw them is simple – stop the payments we make to them.

    10. The U.S. must assist in digging up and destroying the land mines and unexploded ordinance and clean-up the depleted uranium in artillery shells and their targets. Much of this work should be turned over to Iraqi contractors in order to employ Iraqis but it does require professional training. The U.S. should make available a fund of $250 million – one day’s occupation – to assist in the survey and planning the removal.

    11. Rebuilding should be, and can be, done by Iraqis, alleviating the socially crippling rate of unemployment. The U.S. should make a generous contribution to this effort in the form of grants and loans through the Iraqi government. This will also increase the power of the government. The U.S. should also allocate funds for survey, planning and organization of the rebuilding of the Iraq economy – a sum of $1 billion (four days of wartime expenditures). After this survey the U.S. and Great Britain should determine in consultation with the Iraqi government what it is willing to pay for. Parallel to reconstruction should be the demolition of the ugly monuments of warfare, i.e. dismantling and disposing of miles of concrete blast walls and wire barriers erected around American installations. Further U.S. destruction of Iraqi cultural sites, including building military installations on top of them, needs to be corrected and a fund of $250 million (one day of war) should be made available to assist in the restoration of these sites. Rebuilding should also include civic institutions where the U.S. should provide fellowships for the training of lawyers, judges, journalists, and a variety of nongovernmental social workers. This should cost $500 million (two days cost of war). Many skilled Iraqis have left their country and the U.S. should assist in encouraging their return, another $500 million should be provided for this effort.

    12. An independent accounting of Iraqi funds is urgently required. This will cost approximately $100 million. If funds were misappropriated or misused they should be repaid.

    13. The U.S. should make reparations to Iraqi civilians for loss of lives and property it caused. The British have already begun to do so in their zone. The U.S. already authorizes individual military units to make condolence payment of up to $2,500. This amount compares to $400,000 paid to beneficiaries of an American military casualty. If the number of unjustified deaths is 50,000 and compensation is $10,000 per person the probable total allocation would be approximately $500 million. If the number of those incapacitated is between 15,000 and 25,000 (the best we can make) and the same payment is made the total cost would be about $200 million.

    14. The U.S. should not object to the Iraqi government voiding all contracts for petroleum exploration, development, and marketing made during the American occupation, so these can be renegotiated or thrown open to fair bidding.

    15. The U.S. should encourage with large-scale assistance various UN agencies – including the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the World Food Program and the Food and Agricultural Organization – as well as nongovernmental organizations to help reconstitute organizations to help reconstitute the Iraqi public health system. While this is a massive undertaking the total cost of such rebuilding would only amount to eight days of the occupation, about $1.7 billion.

    16. Finally, America should express its condolences for the large number of Iraqis killed, incapacitated, incarcerated, and/or tortured. A simple gesture of conciliation would go far to shift our relationship from occupation to friendship. It is a gesture without cost but with immense value.

    In summary the total monetary cost of the basic program might total roughly $7.75 billion. The second tier programs would amount to approximately $5.5 billion. Assuming these programs would save the U.S. two years of occupation – expenditures of at least $350 billion, but more likely $400-$500 billion – this would be a tremendous savings to the U.S. taxpayer. And, these are just the monetary savings. Even if our estimates are unduly optimistic and the actual costs turn out to be far higher, we believe that implementing our plan for withdrawal would be perhaps the best investment ever made by our country.
    http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=16836

  18. Janice  December 9, 2006 at 2:30 am

    Bravo Doug, you always say it like you see it; this time you said it like it is. It’s time for we Americans to face reality, accept responsiblity for what we allowed Bush and co. to do, apologize, and leave. The legacy this evil little man has created will haunt us for generations.

  19. james kapsa  December 9, 2006 at 6:28 am

    hello,what i have to say ill make brief.im a navy vet and what ive discovered
    scince i finnaly got on line disturbs me greatly.ive known for years
    that our so called leaders
    were evil people but now im
    certain they are desiples of satan.i only hope and pray that the almighty keeps me around long enough
    that i can participate in
    the coming apocolypse and
    help right all of mans inhumanitys. jek

  20. BG1  December 9, 2006 at 7:12 am

    QUESTION
    How do you justify sending someone to die to clean-up George Bush’s mess?

  21. woody  December 9, 2006 at 8:17 am

    “We destabilized not only Iraq but the entire Middle East.”

    FYI, while the Neo-cons in the Administration would have preferred a stable democracy in Iraq they were also fine with this scenario and even considered it. So long as they got their permanent bases and access to the oil, all is peachy keen. Just ask Dick Cheney.

  22. Carl Nemo  December 9, 2006 at 8:44 am

    The Iraq debacle will not end because it’s about the M.I. and the “oil patch” making money, plain and simple. Cheney has several hundred thousand stock options that are all “deep-in-the money” based on the surge in the price of oil. We also will never know how much money is clandestinely deposited in Cayman Island, Swiss, and Isle of Man accounts as tribute to these monsters for enriching their shadowy sponsors. Under Rumsfeld, outsourcing became the order of the day with almost 20,000 contractors sucking on the U.S. Treasury with little oversight. While the little guys get the crumbs the big-money is handed to Halliburton, Bechtel, KBR, et. al. on a “no-bid” basis. This war can’t end in one year or less because the Bushista’s must make their money. They have ties to the Carlyle Group, the worlds 8th largest defense contractor. So that’s why Bush 43 seems to be “spring-loaded” in the stupid position! It’s a stalling technique and we best get used to it. It’s my belief that to end the war in Iraq, Bush/Cheney must be impeached. End of War=Impeachment…!

  23. Charlie Couser  December 9, 2006 at 2:00 pm

    Doug;

    Great minds think alike!

    Thanks for telling it like it is!

    Please keep up the good work!

  24. TRUTH 101  December 9, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    TO

    JOE LAWERENCE
    NICHOLAS H

    I think BOTH of your comments should be mandatory reading. Both of you have said precisely what not only needs to be sais but in short, bullet-like statements that describe the situation beautifully.

    One comment though that MUST ring true.

    The American people, on TWO seperate occassions, both suspect I might ad, elected George W. Bush and we have done absolutely nothing to remedy that situation. Even after all the commentaries on all the blogs and websites including this one, as a people and as a nation we have done nothing.

    Now with a “new” Congress soon to take over, we hear that IMPEACHMENT of the entire crowd IS NOT on the table because it simply will not look good and we need to be in the spirit of cooperation and not tit for tat.

    What total bullshit (sorry)

    If ANY American citizen breaks the law they must pay based on the laws of the land they broke

    Why then are we about to allow our new Congressional leaders to let GEORGE W. BUSH, DICK CHENEY, PAUL WOLFOWITZ, and DONALD RUMSFELD and a host of minor players, continue unchallenged for another two years when it is as clear as day, ALLof them have broken the law by the actions they have taken since coming to power by the hand of our own people.

    Today with the Patriot Act, and now this unbelieveable DHS program we are spied on, lied to, harrassed and can be told that in THEIR OPINION and we don’t even know often who THEY ARE that in THEIR OPINION we have broken some law or fit some profile that we may not see, or challenge, or anything else.

    IS THIS AMERICA ?

    I am afraid it is and still we are silent as a nation

    WE should all be ashamed of ourselves.

  25. cearbhallain  December 9, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Doug, you said it pretty much the way I feel it. Enough is enough. Now the timid and venal Democrats will show us how to sit on and screw up the mandate given to them by the people, leading to more death and destruction. Doing this they will dig their own political graves as the Iraq war becomes theirs and they are identified by it.

    Bush is a criminal and a disgrace to our nation. The only up side to his presidency is that we know he REALLY didn’t win a fair election, that he stole it and is not exercising the will of the people of this country.

    I was hoping for a breath of fresh air from the Democrats. But already I see them cozying up to K street, thwarting the people’s will to impeach Bush and Cheney, and deferring to the Iraq Study Group on our “war” policy. This is absurd. Our country has gone over completely to venal and absurd politicians and those that back them. It’s sad.

  26. dave  December 10, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    The mission in Iraq was to remove Saddam from power and to check for WMD’s. This was accomplished in short order. We could have left then and claimed the most successful military campaign in the history of the planet.

    But no. Iraq has oil and Halliburton and military contractors that Dubya’s daddy owns a major interest in are making billions off this deal.

    So now, with thousands of our troops dead and countless maimed and wounded, we are billions in debt and bogged down in a war with no end.

    There will never be a vicory because the people of Iraq do not want us there. The enemy will never be defeated as long as they have one man standing.

    The problems of Iraq are not our problems they are Iraqs problems.

    Pull back, monitor, observe. Leave them to themselves. Anything that poses a threat to our nation can be eliminated in short order. Hit, run, and hit again. Do not wonder aimlessly about their country offering them targets of opportunity.

  27. Fred Goepfert  December 8, 2006 at 3:45 pm

    Doug, I’m not trying to bash; but in all talk about what we should not have done in Iraq and the Mid-East (connected you know), I’d like to hear someone stand up and give a comprehensive presentation of what we should have done across the board.

    In addition I’d like to hear a comprehensive presentation of what we SHOULD be doing now across the board.

    If you feel the panel report is the whole thing, say so.

    But what I’d like to see is an action plan, sans ideology(like the Neo-Con ideology), that considers ALL the interelated factors.

  28. Doug Thompson  December 8, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    Fred Goepfert writes:

    Doug, I’m not trying to bash; but in all talk about what we should not have done in Iraq and the Mid-East (connected you know), I’d like to hear someone stand up and give a comprehensive presentation of what we should have done across the board.

    In addition I’d like to hear a comprehensive presentation of what we SHOULD be doing now across the board.

    If you feel the panel report is the whole thing, say so.

    Fred:

    I thought I did. The ISG report is too little too late. I wrote:

    But they are wrong if they think their weak list of recommendations can salvage the FUBAR in Iraq. We took a nation that posed no threat to the security or welfare of this country and turned it into a hellhole where civil war reigns, a breeding ground for extremists who will threaten this nation’s security for generations to come. We destabilized not only Iraq but the entire Middle East.

  29. John Hanks  December 8, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    Gullibility has been the commercial media’s most important product. When the public doesn’t matter, it just gets used.

    Positive Middle East Policy? Dump Israel. It has nukes so it has a right to exist without us.
    It has a strangle hold on congress. It is an unscrupulous foreign power – like all the rest.

  30. Lysistrata  December 8, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    He said, they are not succeeding as fast as they want, so they are winning only slowely, so why change anything?
    It is the most scary, the guy does not learn anything, no matter how hard the teacher named experience is.
    What a fool and Blair is right there with him.

  31. Martha Humphreys  December 8, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    When Iraq’s oil is completely under our control–which will never happen–the neocons will consider removing troops, leaving enough of course to protect “our” oil.

  32. Godstar  December 8, 2006 at 4:50 pm

    “Some estimates put the civilian death toll at more than 100,000, a figure that the United States, of course, disputes.”

    Actually, that isn’t anywhere near the reported number of civilian deaths. The Lancet report published this year estimates that civilian casualties number around 600,000. At the current death rate they are predicting it will reach over a 1,000,000 by 2008.

  33. LindaJ  December 8, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    Like Fred said, does anyone have a comprehensive idea for a plan? It can’t bother placing blame, we’re well past that; it doesn’t need to be bipartisan, just sensible and do-able; I wish someone–you–would gather together some brains & see what comes out of a discussion. Maybe General Clark as leader, he did ok in NATO/Kosovo, and some others with real problem-solving experience. Include Saudis, Israelis, and a Jordanian or two. We don’t have to “win,” we have to mitigate the REGIONAL damages. Otherwise the outcome is going to be Shi’ia takeover of the entire region, and the whole area will be like Afghanistan all over again.

  34. kiki  December 8, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Fred, what we should have done directly after 9/11 was what we did. We went into Afghanistan looking for the Taliban to neutralize them & break up their organization. Even though we were fighting an organization and not a country, had we stayed there and finished the job, we would have diminished their power.

    But, no! The idiot in chief and his evil neocon minions pulled the bulk of our forces out and invaded Iraq for no discernable reason other than greed for oil.

    Now Iraq has been destroyed and the Taliban in Afghanistan are stronger than ever.

  35. Wedjat  December 8, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    I suspect that something else may have to be done…whatever will be ultimately be done.

    G.W. Bush Jr can then blame them for whatever it will be.

    We have about two more years of this of fussing and fuming…two more years and many lives all around.

    It will always be someone eles’s fault.

  36. Ray  December 10, 2006 at 8:58 pm

    Well said Doug
    But the people of this nation need to realize where the source of the evil comes from. The evil that took our government hostage comes from Isreal. Who has the biggest lobby? Who calls the shots that our sell out leaders follow? Israel. Who keeps innocent people in sufferage and poverty? Israel is killing Palestine. Next will be Lebanon. Just look up who owns the mass media. 95% Jews own most corporate interests. It is not the true Jewish People, it is the Zionists who are not even true Jews. They are Kahzars who centuries ago adopted the Jewish religion juist so they would be recognized as a nation to the Europeans. These fake Jews took over Europe, and now want world control and they are using the United States Military to achieve thier goals of one world government.

    We won’t be leaving those new military bases or embassy in Iraq. It is just starting. Unfortunately the Zionists ( pnac ) have a very strong strangle hold on our Nation and average tax paying citizens don’t even realize that fact. Its bigger than just Iraq. Sad to say ” we ain’t seen nothing yet”.

    Ray

  37. Will Write  December 11, 2006 at 5:07 am

    I am convinced that the only solution is borne out by my new mantra:

    IMPEACH BUSH!

    Today, I have written my two U.S. Senators, my Congressman and the House Speaker-Elect asking that they:

    IMPEACH BUSH!

    If they receive even 100,000 communications a week on this topic, it will get their attention, to:

    IMPEACH BUSH!

    So, please, oh, plese, write, email, call and visit your elected national representatives, and urge them to:

    IMPEACH BUSH!

    The lives of so many depend on it.

  38. Rice Farmer  December 11, 2006 at 8:22 am

    And dump Israel.

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