There were two interesting articles in the New York Times today. The first article should be of no surprise to anyone, if your backs against the wall and you have an ace in the whole and that is your only card, you play that card. The Republicans have been looking at deuce, 3, 4, 6, for months. In the other hand they have an ace. The Republicans really have not played this ace since the 2004 election. As we all remember, during that election cycle they play that is over and over and over again. The card is now worn and frayed.
The Republicans now believe they can run on the war. Now they believe that the general public is sympathetic towards the Bush Administration (maybe they should read the polls). I guess, they hope, that the general public has forgotten the abysmal state of Iraq. They hope that the public has forgotten that we have found no weapons of mass destruction. The only thing that we have found is violence. We've found tons and tons of violence. We found car bombs. We have found improvised explosive devices. We have found sectarian violence. We found a lack of infrastructure. And we also found corporate corruption, like we needed to leave home to find that.
The other article in the New York Times had to do with the death of one of Saddam Hussein's lawyers. The lawyer seemed to be a victim of sectarian violence. Witnesses have reported that there were 10 gunmen. The gunman actually pulled Khamis al-Obeidi out of his own bed and drug him into the street. Witnesses report that the gunman shouted let Saddam save him if he can. The article went on to question whether a trial can truly be fair and just under these situations.
Surrounding all this craziness is the fact that seven Marines and one Navy corpsmen have been charged with kidnapping and murder in connection with the April death of an Iraqi man. The exact circumstances which caused the incident still remain unclear... or at least unpublished. It appears that the Americans sought out this man (Hashim Ibrahim Awad), drug him out into the street, bound his hands and shot him. Witnesses have told reporters that after the man was shot the Marines placed an AK-47 and a shovel in the man's hand.
All of these acts of violence and deception are tied together. They're all tied together by lies. When you start with a lie it is hard to gain the moral high ground. We were lied into war. We were told that everything was going to be OK. It was going to be a cakewalk. We're going to be greeted with flowers. When the looting started again they told us that this was normal. That this was freedom. Then there was sporadic violence. Weapons caches that were found suddenly disappeared. We were told that this was no big deal. Soon, things began to explode. Beheadings started. Those were the good times. Remember when only one or two people dying in Iraq per day? Hardly a day goes by now without a car bomb or a kidnapping or both. The violence has really never stopped.
We need a new direction. I personally believe that any direction is better than our current path. Complete and total pullout by the end of the week, almost can't be worse than continuing on the same path. I personally believe that the best course of action has laid out by the Center for American Progress. They discuss the redeployment. A gradual pullout which will redeploy troops around the world. There is a special emphasis on Afghanistan, as there should be. We need to get control of that country. At the same time, we need to tell the Iraqis that we made a mistake, that we are sorry, but this is their country and it's time for them to run it. As we leave, we need to warn the Syrians and the Iranians. If they try and fill the void that we leave that we will be back and we won't be happy.