Friday, September 28, 2007

A Different Lefty View On Withdrawal After Bush

During the last several months I have come to a conclusion regarding the war in Iraq which may be quite alien to many of my brothers and sisters on the lefty side of the great American divide. If for some reason my logic in this is wrong I would love to be told why, and I am open minded regarding this issue.

Let me attempt to establish some truth's. 1st, The administration of George Bush has proven breath takingly incompetent. It is hard to think of any large scale project they have embarked upon that has not wound up in disaster. I certainly do not mean to say that the President is entirely responsible for this. He has surrounded himself with cronies and knuckleheaded right wing neocons who just aren't able to govern effectively. So point number one is that this administration's initiatives tend to end in a bad way.

2nd, I can't think of a single initiative that this administration has been forced to govern against their will. All of the initiative disasters to this point have been on policies which this President actually supported. I conclude that if the President were dragged kicking and screaming into having to govern an initiative he did not care to oversee, that the disaster would probably be even greater than is typical for the Bush administration. (Just to give voice to the opposite outlook on this, the President is just always wrong, causing his initiatives to fail because of their inherently weak logical foundations, but if the President were forced to do the right thing that it may go well because it is the right thing to do. But really now... do you think he wouldn't screw it up anyway? I mean we're talking George Bush here people!)

If we can agree upon the first two principles, let us combine the twain when it comes to the possibility of withdrawing from Iraq and consider the consequences. A withdrawal from Iraq would be a massive undertaking. A huge initiative with many pitfalls and ways for a derailment if not governed well. Disengaging from an active and deadly enemy in a hostile environment is a hazardous enterprise under the best of circumstances. Next, George Bush will be the commander in chief of such an enterprise only if he is positively forced to do it. It is painfully obvious that his one and only plan for the Iraq debacle is to kick the problem off to his predecessor, and then be able to cry from the sidelines that the next guy lost the war when the troops come home.

The question as far as I'm concerned is not what is the right thing to do. The question is what can we trust the Bush administration to do right?

I understand the wish to have the troops home tomorrow, and I am with the vast majority of the American people in wanting to accomplish just that. But simply based upon our collective past experiences with this administration should we really trust them to be the ones to carry out this initiative. The fact that Bush would only carry out the mission grudgingly, being brought to that point kicking and screaming, only doubles my concern.

The reason I am writing this post is because a group of Senate Republicans have broached the possibility of passing a law that would give a timeline for removing troops from Iraq after President Bush has left office. That proposal has been declared a non starter by Democratic leaders of the Senate and widely panned by my fellow lefty bloggers. I would urge a more thoughtful consideration of the proposal based upon the truth's I have listed above.

If the debate shifts to an understanding that the next President will oversee the initiative of withdrawing, I would like the debate to also touch upon the mission of the troops until 2009. Our troops should not be patrolling neighborhoods and in other ways providing targets to the insurgency. If I were given my 'druthers', I would pull back to our bases and the greenzone. Let us maintain a defensive posture and protect ourselves until 2009, and then get out.

Again... I would honestly appreciate any commentary from anyone who disagrees with this outlook. My mind is not set on this, but the more I consider the situation and the history of this administration, the more sense this outlook makes to me.

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