President Bush finally admitted to the nation today that the United States is not winning the war in Iraq. It only took him 3 1/2 years to realize the obvious, while the rest of us have been yelling this at him for quite some time. I guess when 70% of the American public disapprove of your handling of the war it becomes harder and harder to be oblivious to reality.
Mr. Bush, you say that the insurgents are the ones hurting US efforts in Iraq, but they wouldn't even be there if you would have followed the first basic rule of occupation, secure the entire country. There were so many things that went wrong that I'm not going to even begin listing them here. My point is, we need to admit to ourselves that this war is not worth it any more.
I don't like drawing too many similarities to Iraq and Vietnam, but some are unavoidable. During the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon ran on the platform of getting us out of Vietnam. In the four years of Nixon's first term, he tried just about anything to "win" the Vietnam War without a full military withdrawal (read: defeat). Nixon even contemplated using nuclear weapons on North Vietnam. Even with the best efforts of the White House, America was unable to solve the debacle that was Vietnam. Hence, in 1972, Nixon ran on the same platform as '68, ending the Vietnam War.
So what was accomplished during those four years? The war was still raging in '72 and American society was at an interesting point in our cultural history. Oh yeah, also an approximation of 32,000 US military personnel were killed during that four year period. And what happened in the end? We pulled out because the war was not worth it. From a military standpoint America was "winning" the war in Vietnam, but from a realistic standpoint there was nothing to win, nothing to gain, no real accomplishment. So, here we are, more than three decades later in the same sort of situation.
Mr. Bush, you failed your country by not learning the lessons of history. You failed your country by not planning a realistic occupation. You failed your country by ignoring reality for more than three years. If we are to fight a war against terror we must first look within ourselves before trying to quell the external forces. You cannot fight an enemy abroad if you cannot even fight your own incompetence within.
I hope for the sake of our brave soldiers and their families that you realize what you've done. Realize that there is no victory in occupation. There is no victory in sending soldiers off to die for nothing. The only victory that we can hope for, is that America will finally learn its lesson after history repeats itself for a second time.