Ben Langhinrichs

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February, 2007
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Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Wed 21 Feb 2007, 11:28 AM
Dick Cheney was speaking in Tokyo today and said he wants the United States to finish its mission in Iraq and "return with honor".  I wish it were possible, but I think that moment is long gone, as we never should have started this war, which was evident long before we did, at least to me.  But the part that rankles me enough to blog about it is his assertion that Americans would not back a "policy of retreat".  It rankles me enough to stand up and say, "Yes, I do."  I may not like it, and for a while I thought we might have to stay just to fix the incredible mess we have made there, but I don't think we are doing anything of the kind.  I think we are now fighting this war, and will go on fighting it for another couple of years, just so Dick Cheney and George Bush don't have to stop it themselves.  Cowardly and dishonorable is what I call that.  I personally don't think Americans will back a policy of letting more Americans and Iraqis die so that Dick Cheney doesn't get a Loss in the Win/Loss column of his personal ego, and can instead pin it on whoever inherits this mess.

Do I think it will be pretty when we pull out, as we inevitably eventually will?  No, I think it will be a bloodbath, but I think it will be no matter when we leave, and I think our being there will only prolong the madness, especially if Iran moves closer to fighting a proxy war through Iraq, and if we get sucked into that conflict.  Sad as it may be, I think the best we can do now is pull out and let the locals sort it out among themselves.  I wouldn't be surprised if we wind up with a fundamentalist, anti-American government, but I think that is even more inevitable if we stay.

So, as an American citizen, a voter and a tax payer, I say I back a policy of retreat.  It makes me sad, but that is how I feel.

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