I'm going to climb up atop my blogging soapbox for a moment. CNN was running footage of anti-war protests this morning, and as I was working on my second cup of instant coffee I watched scenes of people yelling in support of bringing our troops home and ending the war. The news network took the opportunity to outline the Presidential candidates' stances on pulling the U.S. forces out of Iraq. Here's a news flash for you; the only people that want the U.S troops to pull out are 1) the insurgents, and 2) people who have never actually been here.
Oh sure, all of the candidates themselves have all been here, but does anyone seriously think they're not just simply echoing the wishes of their perspective voters for political expediency? It's politically stylish to hold up a sign on the street corner or yell at a public gathering demanding the return of U.S. forces from Iraq, and an end to the illegal war, etc... All very chic, very 1960's.
Ask the troops that are serving over here. The vast, vast majority of them are in favor of staying here and finishing the job that they were sent to do, the job that 4,000 of their friends died for. I've never meet a soldier that doesn't believe deep in his or her soul that being here is the right thing to do. Sure they want to go home and see their families or go to a football game, but that is very different from not believing in the underlying purpose of their presence.
If you spend more than ten minutes in Iraq it's easy to see what will happen when the U.S. forces are prematurely withdrawn from this country. This country will devolve into another Lebanon, but on a massive scale. Hundreds of thousands of people will loose their lives because you've removed the only force capable of barely keeping a lid on the violence that is threatening to explode across Iraq. Trust me when I tell you that the Government of Iraq is no where near ready nor capable to accomplish that feat. The brutal truth is that the Iraqi central government is only a loose coalition of political agendas and is decades away from being able to fairly and freely govern this country to a degree necessary to heal the sectarian divisions.
So here we have our Presidential candidates laying politically expedient plans on the table for the unconditional or accelerated withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Why does no one ask them what they believe Iraq will look like after their plans have been implemented? That's the ugly truth that no one wants to talk about. Someone should make a sign that questions, "Then what?"