Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hindsight Is Always 20/20

Isn't it? Finally, someone is taking responsibility. Of everyone who ran for election last year, John Edwards gave the most and received the least.
"It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.

The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth.

While we can't change the past, we need to accept responsibility, because a key part of restoring America's moral leadership is acknowledging when we've made mistakes or been proven wrong -- and showing that we have the creativity and guts to make it right."
When I think of morals, ethics and politicians, words that don't naturally go together, I think of John Edwards. I know that sounds weird, but look at the competition. If it had been an Edwards/Kerry ticket, people might have gone for it. There would have been an obvious choice. He gave up being a senator so he could run for a higher office. Everyone else hedged their bets. Kerry and Lieberman, the spineless wonders, had fallback plans. Lieberman actually ran for Senate at the same time and people wonder why Democrats look wishy washy! When you run for one of the highest offices in the land, you don't have a fallback plan, you run full out, balls to the wall as the saying goes. If you can't do that, take some risks, show who you are, then you shouldn't be leading the country! Which they aren't.

Anyway, back to the editorial.
"George Bush won't accept responsibility for his mistakes. Along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, he has made horrible mistakes at almost every step: failed diplomacy; not going in with enough troops; not giving our forces the equipment they need; not having a plan for peace.

Because of these failures, Iraq is a mess and has become a far greater threat than it ever was. It is now a haven for terrorists, and our presence there is draining the goodwill our country once enjoyed, diminishing our global standing. It has made fighting the global war against terrorist organizations more difficult, not less."
So very true.
"First, we need to remove the image of an imperialist America from the landscape of Iraq. American contractors who have taken unfair advantage of the turmoil in Iraq need to leave Iraq. If that means Halliburton subsidiary KBR, then KBR should go. Such departures, and the return of the work to Iraqi businesses, would be a real statement about our hopes for the new nation.

We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals. Therefore, early next year, after the Iraqi elections, when a new government has been created, we should begin redeployment of a significant number of troops out of Iraq. This should be the beginning of a gradual process to reduce our presence and change the shape of our military's deployment in Iraq. Most of these troops should come from National Guard or Reserve forces."
Let's get a move on. Bekins, PODs or Atlas moving, you pick.
"Second, this redeployment should work in concert with a more effective training program for Iraqi forces. We should implement a clear plan for training and hard deadlines for certain benchmarks to be met. To increase incentives, we should implement a schedule showing that, as we certify Iraqi troops as trained and equipped, a proportional number of U.S. troops will be withdrawn."
When I joined the Army I boarded a plane, flew across the country and was locked up on a base for 10 weeks while I went through basic training. Why aren't the Iraqi recruits doing the same? You don't go home for dinner when you are being trained. It might eliminate some of the infiltration problems, to say nothing of killing the recruits before and while they are being trained. Only people with no military background would think the military was a 9-5 job and that everyone goes home at the same time.

They don't have cocktail hour in wartime. Our current behavior in regards to "prisoners of war" invites comparisons to a horrendous period in the world's history and we just don't care. We have devolved being unable to empathize and understand that these are people too, they have parents, siblings, spouses and children. We don't care. We have dehumanized them to make ourselves feel justified for causing untold death and destruction in the name of peace and democracy. Can we pull ourselves back from the brink? When I was a little girl it was all about the Cold War, now we are fighting a cultural and ideological war that the American people have abbreviated down to 30 second sound bites. Us against them. Fight them over there so we don't fight them here.

Why fight at all? The world is a family and we seem to think we are the dad, administering punishment and rewards to insubordinate children. Eventually children grow up and sometimes they rebel. Especially if they felt the leash was too short.

Good start Mr. Edwards, let's see if anyone has the courage to join you.

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