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Regarding the Beacon's reprint today of a column from Kevin Ferris, Philadelphia Inquirer commentary editor, entitled " The power of positive thinking in Iraq":
The next "big thing" on the national political scene will be General Petraeus' report to Congress on how everything is going in Iraq. Specifically he will give a briefing on the Bush political play of 2007, the "surge".
Now The Reverend already knows what will be reported and how Petraeus' words will be used and what direction the neo-cons still directing our foreign policy will advocate for....but I'll save that for a future post.
Today's Ferris piece in today's ABJ, however, is the type of column and "journalism" we'll see more and more of leading up to Petraeus' mid-September report.
Ferris uses the words of John Wroblewski, father of John Thomas Wroblewski who was killed in Iraq in 2004, to compose his column.
Wroblewski says what Congress should be talking about is this........
"....more discussion about victory and how we're going to win"."
Of Wroblewski, Ferris says....
"He's told the president to his face...twice....how important it is that the United States complete the mission in Iraq."
Later Wroblewski is quoted saying....
"Do people really think that if we pull out, the terrorists will say: 'We're going to leave you alone now'?"
Towards the end of the article Ferris writes this....
"The determination to finish the mission that JT and others have died for is made clear."
Disclaimer: No disrespect is meant to Mr. Wroblewski. He has lost his son in Bush's war of choice and so I don't want what's to follow here to be interpreted as an attack on him or his son who proudly served his country and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
All of this reminds me of a line from a Don Henley song..."I wonder how things got this crazy".
In Wroblewski's words are found all of the White House's talking points for staying in Iraq. "victory, win, complete the mission, terrorists...won't leave us alone, finish the mission....soldiers have died for." It's as if White House speechwriters had handed Wroblewski Bush's notes.
Describing the real problem in Iraq as being political in nature Petraeus said in March of this year...
"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq. Military action is necessary to help improve security... but it is not sufficient. There needs to be a political aspect." Link
How is that "political aspect" coming along?
"So it is a disappointing picture for the central government right now, but there are some positive things happening at the local level. And obviously in the security arena," he(Def. Sec. Gates) said separately on NBC.
The main Sunni bloc withdrew from the Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last week, dealing a blow to US efforts to promote reconciliation.
The Iraqi parliament, meanwhile, ignored US pleas and went into a month-long recess without passing any legislation aimed at giving Sunnis a greater stake in the political process.
"We've been very clear that we don't think that they have achieved enough and that they need to work harder," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Fox News Sunday. We've been very clear that there is an urgency to this." Link
There is no "mission" to "finish" for our military. Our soldiers are now acting as police officers. Policing is never finished. Police work is not really about "victory" or "winning".....it's about a never-ending job.
Iraq is not now, nor ever has been, about the "terrorists". Yes, there are now Islamic extremists in Iraq that were not there before we illegally invaded. However, these extremists are not the reason the Iraqi "government" can't make political progress. Not at all.
It's beyond my capabilities of thinking, I admit, that the way to honor fallen soldiers is to jeopardize more of them in a police action "mission" while Iraqi politicians argue over how much oil revenue they're going to split up. That kind of talk is simply Vietnam talk. It was wrongheaded then and it's wrongheaded now.
Ferris' type of column will, undoubtedly, be repeated many times leading up to Petreaus' report. It's the kind of writing that would omit the facts and instead, try to manipulate emotion. As if talking more positively and using words like "victory" and "completing the mission" is all our Congressional leaders should be doing.
George Walker Bush has made in crystal clear for anyone who will listen. When it comes to Iraq...."leaving is losing". We invaded a sovereign nation that posed no threat to the U.S. We decapitated the leadership there and began what has now become a 4 year military occupation to police the country while we set up a permanent military presence. THAT was why we went to Iraq. In that light, and only in that light, would it be possible to see why "leaving" would be the only way we could "lose".
No neo-con 'happy talk' and no 'positive thinking' White House talking point words from a grieving father are going to change that truth.