Now Playing: Lietta Ruger on Washblog
Topic: Members Speak Out
Maria Cantwell; Now can you find the courage? Kerry's new Iraq exit plan
Kerry Joins Cantwell in Seattle
announcement at Daniel Kirkdorffer's blog.
NY Times; John Kerry speech; exit Iraq plan April 5, 2006.
Half of the service members listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work. It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion. We want democracy in Iraq, but Iraqis must want it as much as we do. Our valiant soldiers can't bring democracy to Iraq if Iraq's leaders are unwilling themselves to make the compromises that democracy requires.
As our generals have said, the war cannot be won militarily. It must be won politically. No American soldier should be sacrificed because Iraqi politicians refuse to resolve their ethnic and political differences.
So far, Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines -- a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, and a deadline to hold three elections.
Now we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet.
Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military. If Iraqis aren't willing to build a unity government in the five months since the election, they're probably not willing to build one at all. The civil war will only get worse, and we will have no choice anyway but to leave.
We'll see, there's time left before the election for Senator Cantwell to emerge publicly as a newly converted opponent to the never-ending war in Iraq. I won't be impressed if that happens, as it would be a 'safe' move given the shift in political dynamics. On the other hand, maybe the courage of her convictions is to stay the course and in some backwards way, I guess that is courage - foolhardy courage, but courage nonetheless.
However, if she does have a soul-searching epiphany and finds that she suddenly feels compelled to change her views on Iraq war, well I guess that plays too.
Right - whatever! Too late for too many, but I guess that ol saying 'better late than never', huh? I won't admire her if she changes her view and has some influence on an end to Iraq war but I will be grateful. If the two returning Iraq veterans in our family (both from Washington and her constituents too, right?) don't have to redeploy to Iraq, it will be an immense relief. I'd guess that extends to every other military family in our state whether they say so publicly or not. And of course, an extension of that is that military families across the nation will be relieved. What can possibly be said about the Iraqi people who have paid a heavy price ... not sure it is 'relief' they will be feeling as the civil war there is underway already.