Saturday, June 25, 2005

Rove's Words a Distraction

Letter to the Editor, Rocky Mountain News:

Karl Rove recently made some outrageous remarks about liberals. He said that instead of striking Al-Qaeda militarily we wanted to give them therapy, that our motive for criticizing the Administration's actions is to cause harm to the troops. Not only are these remarks base and inaccurate, they are part of a tried-and-true technique Rove has used to win political campaigns; ignore his candidate's weakness and attack his opponent's strength. Our strength is that we opposed the Iraq War as a distraction from the true war on terrorism taking place in Afghanistan.

Public opinion is turning against the conventional wisdom that Republicans strongly support the military and war, for good reason. The Bush Administration has made many missteps in the War on Terrorism, starting with the decision to move troops, intelligence assets, and $700 million from Afghanistan to Iraq before Al-Qaeda had been broken and bin Laden captured or killed.

In his desire for an Iraq War, Bush ignored warnings of the difficulties, including the numbers of troops needed or the costs which would be incurred. Instead, he relied on pie-in-the-sky assessments from Rumsfeld and Ahmed Chalabi's INC that few troops would be needed; Saddam's army would surrender, Iraqis would welcome US troops with flowers. While the initial ground assault did go quickly because the Ba'athist Army wasn't much of a threat and the Republican Guard disappeared into a guerilla force and insurgency, the battles continue with rapidly mounting casualties of troops who are still inadequately staffed and armed.

The latter mistake is part of Bush's worst error in Iraq -- not preparing for an aftermath. Knight-Ridder reported that mere days before the invasion began, "the Pentagon's plans for rebuilding Iraq after the war, known in the planners' parlance as Phase 4-C," had to be referred to as "To Be Provided." Since then, many post-war decisions have been severely wrong, for example, disbanding the Iraqi Army and disenfrachising all Ba'athists, not just the true Saddam loyalists. This excluded the people most experienced in running a country and keeping order. Suddenly loose in the countryside were a lot of soldiers and bureaucrats with nothing to do and foreign troops to kill.

And yet Karl Rove would have America believe liberals are the threat to our troops and our security. He's just attacking our strength; we have the best interests of the troops in mind because we oppose Bush's misguided and badly planned and executed venture in Iraq and are calling for a true assessment of what is needed to keep our troops safe.

Julie O.

Progressive Women's Blog Ring
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