Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The War in Iraq

Yeah, pretty lame title for this blog, I know. I couldn’t think of anything more entertaining.

The news these days seems to be, understandably, bursting with opinions on both sides, for or against, the war in Iraq. Hundreds of bloggers have voiced their feelings; along with the editorials in thousands of media rags they call newspapers.

Anyway, I thought I'd give my two cents worth about the situation as well.

Personally, I don't agree with us being in Iraq. In some ways, I am a bit of an isolationist when it comes to foreign affairs. I think we have enough problems here at home that need to be dealt with before we try exerting our authority elsewhere. I really think that the health care situation over here, for instance, is much more important than sending our troops to fight someone else's war.

There is quite a bit of talk about us being over there to protect our national interests and to protect our national security. However, personally, I don't really think that Iraq was a threat to our national security but that’s just me.

In any case, I don't think we should have gone over there. Now don't get me wrong, I support our troops. The TROOPS, but not necessarily their commander-in-chief. These guys are risking their lives over there and I fully support them even though I disagree with what they are doing.

So bottom line, we should have never gone over there, in my opinion.

That being said, we are over there and now it is time to shift our attention elsewhere. Yes, we should not have been over there in the first place. But there is no better time than now to quit all the squabbling about it. We're over there. How do we deal with it?

Senator Barack Obama spoke to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs recently and told them that we should stop “coddling” the Iraqi government and start pulling out our troops. He feels that we should begin a gradual reduction of forces over the next several months and that we should step up our efforts in training the Iraqi security forces so that they can figure their issues out for themselves.

Senator John McCain, however, feels that we should increase our troop levels in Iraq. He stated, in his address to the Senate floor, that the Iraqi security forces are unable to maintain security on their own. He says that even though their forces are serious about fighting the insurgents and stabilizing the country, they are simply not capable and that if we pulled out we would be effectively abandoning their army and police to the insurgents. He feels that our mission in Iraq is, not only to see our mission there through to victory, but also to send more troops in order to ensure that victory.

Senator Obama responded in that same speech in Chicago to McCain’s comments, saying there is little reason to believe that additional troops would achieve the desired results.

So, these are the opinions of two supposedly highly-respected politicians.

Personlly, I think Senator Obama is right and we should let them work out their own problems.

Honestly, I would have to say that the isolationist in me leans toward the later side.

There is this focus group, for lack of a better term, called the Iraq study group, which is basically a bunch of politicians getting together to try to figure out alternatives to our strategy over there. It consists of James Baker, former Secretary of State under the first George Bush, Lee Hamilton, formerly the chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Eagleburger, also a former Secretary of State, Edwin Meese, formerly the Attorney General under Ronald Regan, Sandra Day O’Connor, formerly of the United States Supreme Court, William Perry, Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton and Leon Panetta, who served as Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff, among other notables. So why did I go to the bother of listed all these names? To bring up a question. If all of this supposedly highly-respected members of the political community have gotten together to figure this thing out, why haven’t they come up with any ideas yet? You would think these people, with their high statues would be fairly intelligence, don’t you think? But apparently, if they are part of this committee, or whatever you call it, they have an opinion of some sort on the matter too.

Which goes back to my question for all of us. Or more appropriately, my question for all of you reading this. Do you have an opinion on the matter? Surely you do. If so, what is your opinion? What do you think we should do? Should we pull out completely? If so, why? If not, why not? Should we stay in and fight until it’s won? Why or why not? As I stated earlier, I am really up in the air about it all.

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