Wednesday, October 25, 2006

"Declare victory and withdraw"

It seems quite clear to me that the US is planning for Iraq what Senator George Aiken urged President Johnson to do exactly 40 years ago.

In October 1966 the Senator urged Johnson to “declare victory and withdraw” from Vietnam.

The noises now coming from various US politicians seem to be suddenly moving in that direction.

In spite of reports that the training of the new Iraqi army – America having disastrously disbanded the original army! – is going well enough to hand over to them, a report by Lt. Col. Nick Demas paints a very different picture.

The colonel’s soldiers, most of them inexperienced reservists from Maryland, had been tapped to serve as advisers to the Iraqi army. Bush has touted such advisory teams as key to the US strategy for stabilising Iraq and bringing American troops home. Lt Col Demas and his troops expected some of the best instruction the army had to offer. His report says: " In my 28 years of military service, I have never seen such an appalling approach to training. Nowhere else in the army system would this have been acceptable." His soldiers received only a few hours of instruction in Arabic, Iraqi culture and advising foreign forces.

However, whether the Iraqi army is ready or not, victory will be declared, Bush and his poodles Howard and Blair will claim they stayed the course, saw it through until the job was done, didn’t cut and run.

They will wash their collective hands of the devastation they have caused, the civil war, the ongoing carnage, the likely break-up of the country into three.

The Iraqi government will then be blamed for what happens in the future.

Foreign forces need to be withdrawn, of that there is no doubt. But to leave without taking responsibility for causing the disaster is dishonest in the extreme.

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