is a mess, and we urgently need a new direction- but our
leaders offer only hand wringing and platitudes. They have
no clear-cut ideas to end the suffering and war. Even the
most ardent war hawks cannot begin to define victory in
As an Air Force officer
serving from 1963-1968, I heard the same agonizing pleas
from the American people. These pleas were met with the same
excuses about why we could not change a deeply flawed policy
and rethink the war in Vietnam. That bloody conflict, also
undeclared and unconstitutional, seems to have taught us
little despite the horrific costs.
Once again, though
everyone now accepts that the original justifications for
invading Iraq were not legitimate, we are given excuses for
not leaving. We flaunt our power by building permanent
military bases and an enormous billion-dollar embassy, yet
claim we have no plans to stay in Iraq permanently.
Assurances that our presence in Iraq has nothing to do with
oil are not believed in the Middle East.
The argument for staying-
to prevent civil war and bring stability to the region-
logically falls on deaf ears.
justifications for war were wrong;
If the war is going badly;
If we cant afford the costs, both human and
If civil war and chaos have resulted from our
If the reasons for staying are no more credible than
the reasons for going;
Why the dilemma? The
American people have spoken, and continue to speak out,
against this war. So why not end it? How do we end it? Why
not exactly the way we went in? We just marched in, and we
can just march out.
More good things may come
of it than anyone can imagine. Consider our relationship
with Vietnam, now our friendly trading partner. Certainly we
are doing better with her than when we tried to impose our
will by force. It is time to march out of Iraq and march