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New York Times columnist David Brooks gave President Bush a great piece of advice (News and Observer, 11-22-05) about the debate in Congress on Iraq.

My problem on Iraq is I’m beginning to suspect we’ve gotten ourselves into a real mess. And the only thing that makes sense is to get out of it. But I also know I don’t know anything about the religious differences between Shi’ites and Sunnis or why Iran supports one and Syria supports the other and why Turkey supports the Kurds. The hard truth is I don’t understand the subtleties of what’s happening in Iraq or why. And I’m not smart enough to figure out what to do.

But the little I do know has me plenty worried. I know that, today, what the President said about there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was wrong. And his explanation – that he didn’t mislead anyone because the intelligence reports he got were wrong – doesn’t give me much comfort. That means he made a pretty awful mistake – believing false intelligence reports – and that mistake got us into a war. The President of United States shouldn’t make mistakes like that. Surely, he could have found someone in this entire country who could tell a false intelligence report from a real one.

Today, the Democrats are saying we should get out of Iraq.

President Bush is saying we should hold on and keep on doing what we’re doing and hope the tide is about to turn (which seems less likely every day).

And one man – Senator John McCain – is saying we should send more troops to Iraq and you’ve got to admire his courage for taking an unpopular stand and it’s for certain he’s one person who’s not ‘playing politics’ with the war.

Which brings me to Mr. Brooks’ advice to President Bush.

Mr. Brooks states, “On February 23, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt asked Americans to spread out maps before them and he described step-by-step, what was going on in World War II, where the United States was winning and where it was losing. Why can’t today’s President do that?” He added: “Since the President doesn’t give out credible information, it’s no wonder Republicans are measuring success by how quickly we can get out; it’s no wonder many Democrats are turning the war into a potential tool to bash the president…”

That’s not good advice, it’s great advice.

We went to war to stop Saddam for building weapons of mass distraction and to stop Al Qaeda. The American people supported the war because those reasons made sense. Today, those reasons are gone and I don’t know what terrible threat we are stopping by staying in Iraq.

The President should tell us. He should say to the American people, ‘All right, here’s where we stand. Here’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. And here’s the threat we will eliminate by winning this war.’

Until he does that it is going to seem like there is no threat and that getting out of Iraq is the only alternative that makes sense.


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One comment on “Debate on Iraq

  1. cwrenn says:

    I’d take this a bit more seriously if you’d not misspelled Iraq in the title.

    Comment by Lorrie — November 23, 2005 @ 3:22 pm

    “I don’t know what terrible threat we are stopping by staying in Iraq.”

    How’s this for a threat: Iraq’s fledgling democracy fails, an anti-U.S. strongman takes over and rebuilds the Iraqi military and intelligence services with oil money, and offers safe haven, training, and material support to terrorist organizations such as Al-Queda. We would be right back where we were prior to the invasion, only we would have sacrificed over 2,000 Americans for nothing.

    I agree that President Bush has done a miserable job communicating this threat, as well as his plan for dealing with it, to the American people. We’re doing the right things there (and winning), but it will all be for naught if we allow the anti-American left here at home to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by pulling us out before we’re finished.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 24, 2005 @ 4:29 pm

    One bumper sticker I saw recently stated:

    “Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot”

    Let’s send the idiot home!

    Comment by Abe — November 25, 2005 @ 9:47 am

    Regarding the False intelligance, one man did see through the it Sen. Russ Fiengold of Wisconsin,

    Comment by Chris — November 28, 2005 @ 8:12 pm

    Everytime I think that the Democrats have all gone over to the dark side, Joe Lieberman comes along and does something that restores my faith in the two party system. He’s back from Iraq with a refreashingly honest and non-partisan appraisal of the situation. I just hope the news media give his comments as much time and space as they gave those of Representative Murtha last week.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 30, 2005 @ 2:05 am

    And of course, as of today the main stream media have virtually ignored Senator Lieberman’s comments. But they still keep interviewing Murtha.

    Comment by Jim Stegall — November 30, 2005 @ 9:46 pm

    I understand that the following weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. Why Bush does such a poor job of communicating this, as well as the fact that we know that Saddam once possessed and used these weapons on his own people, I don’t know?

    1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium

    1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents

    Chemical warheads containing cyclosarin (a nerve agent five times more deadly than sarin gas)

    Over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas

    This is only a PARTIAL LIST of the horrific weapons verified to have been recovered in Iraq to date. Yet, Americans overwhelmingly believe U.S. and coalition forces found NO weapons of mass destruction.

    The question is… WHY do they believe this lie?
    So Carter, please step up and carry a little water for this guy Bush, at least on this issue, because it’s the truth.

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    Comment by weight loss — February 17, 2006 @ 2:23 am

    I completely agree about getting out of Irag it was a good idea at first, but we’ve gotten over our heads and it’s time to admit this and deal with it.

    Bush sucks!

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