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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Memo to John McCain

When Senator John McCain said yesterday to win the general election he must convince a war-weary country that U.S. policy in Iraq is succeeding. If he can't, "then I lose." But no sooner than he uttered those words he quickly backed off, "Let me not put it that stark, Let me just put it this way: Americans will judge my candidacy first and foremost on how they believe I can lead the country both from our economy and for national security. Obviously, Iraq will play a role in their judgment of my ability to handle national security. If I may, I'd like to retract 'I'll lose.' But I don't think there's any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me, my support of the surge. Clearly, I am tied to it to a large degree." For many Americans, myself included, it would be a mammoth undertaking to reverse the notion that this war was and remains a failed war.

You see, most of us, if we've not had out heads buried in the sand, or someplace else, realize a few truths about Iraq that will not change tomorrow, next week or next year. Those truths go something like this:
  1. The war was not only unnecessary, it was unwarranted. The lies that the Bush administration fed the American people are so blatant that only the narrow mindset individuals cannot see that one after another the stated reasons were false.
  2. The war has not made us safer and has in fact detracted from pursuit of Osama Bin Laden (you remember him don't you).
  3. The was has stretched our military commitments to dangerous levels.
  4. Some $500,000,000,000 of non-budgeted expenditures later, we are in an economy that requires extraordinary measures prevent economic crisis and we will be passing this ongoing cost for the war to our children and their children.
  5. The problems in Iraq [caused by this failed policy] are no longer military but political and require the Iraqi people to start working together to achieve success.
  6. The unknown cost of this war is not the casualties or monetary price tag, but the loss of American respect and prestige around the world. How long will it take us to recover that respect and what are the sacrifices that will have to be made in foreign policy as a result of the war?

Memo to John McCain. Seventy-five percent of all Americans killed in Vietnam were lost after Lyndon Johnson privately acknowledged what most Americans already knew. The war was lost. Like Vietnam, Iraq was not a war lost by the military it was lost because it was a failure of policy. There were no real justifications to go there and once there, we had no strategy to win anything, only destabilize. As we approach the 5 year anniversary of this war you need to "get it" because what Americans want to do is to get over it and move on.

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