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Bush: Troops to Stay in Iraq for Years

Well, how far we have come from the days of W. prancing around on the aircraft carrier declaring “Mission Accomplished.” Reality has finally set in and the president is forced to admit that our involvement in Iraq will stretch well beyond the end of his administration. The fascinating quote is this article is that even 70% of Republicans believe we’re headed for civil war in Iraq.

Looking forward to the radio debate next Tuesday, but feel free to comment now on Bush’s remarks about Iraq.

“President Bush said Tuesday that American forces will remain in Iraq for years and it will be up to a future president to decide when to bring them all home. But defying critics and plunging polls, he declared, “I’m optimistic we’ll succeed. If not, I’d pull our troops out.”

The president rejected calls for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, chief architect of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Listen, every war plan looks good on paper until you meet the enemy,” Bush said, acknowledging mistakes as the United States was forced to switch tactics and change a reconstruction strategy that offered targets for insurgents.

The president spoke for nearly an hour at a White House news conference, part of a new offensive to ease Americans’ unhappiness with the war and fellow Republicans’ anxiety about fall elections. He faced skeptical questions about Iraq during an appearance Monday in Cleveland, and plans another address soon on Iraq.

Public support for the war and for Bush himself has fallen in recent months, jeopardizing the political capital he claimed from his 2004 re-election victory. “I’d say I’m spending that capital on the war,” Bush said.

The White House believes that people appreciate Bush’s plainspoken approach even if they disagree with his decisions.

“I understand war creates concerns,” the president said. “Nobody likes war. It creates a sense of uncertainty in the country.”

Bush has adamantly refused to set a deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. Asked if there would come a day when there would be no more U.S. forces in Iraq, Bush said, “That, of course, is an objective. And that will be decided by future presidents and future governments of Iraq.”

Pressed on whether that meant a complete withdrawal would not happen during his presidency, Bush said, “I can only tell you that I will make decisions on force levels based upon what the commanders on the ground say.”

White House officials worried Bush’s remarks would be read as saying there would not be significant troop reductions during his presidency. They pointed to comments Sunday by Gen. George W. Casey, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, who said he expected a substantial troop reduction “certainly over the course of 2006 and into 2007.”

More than 2,300 American troops have died in Iraq. At home, nearly four of five people, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq, according to a recent AP-Ipsos poll.”

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  1. Rich from Paso
    March 22, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    Dave, if you recall, remember when you asked me when the troops were coming home and I told you that we still have troops in Germany 61 years later and we still have troops in Korea 54 years later. No one should be shocked to hear Bush make this statement. I told you all the same thing almost 6 months ago. It should have been obvious considering the president we are talking about.

  2. Guy Murray
    March 24, 2006 at 4:05 pm

    Dave, There’s no time like the present. There is no reason, other than the incompetence and hubris of George Bush why the troops cannot begin coming home today. We went through this nonsense in Vietnam. Nixon called it “peace with honor.” Then there was the whole “Vietnamization” of the war. None of that worked. In the final analysis, Congress finally got its act together and simply cut off the funds. If George Bush refuses to honor and support our troops by bringing them home NOW, then Congress should again act before any more of them are injured or killed. I believe, as with Vietnam, at some point America will withdraw its forces–and it may very well come about as it did in Vietnam, with a cutoff of funds.

    I only hope and pray that it happens sooner than later.
    Nipomo News

  3. Rich from Paso
    March 24, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    Again, Guy, I have to ask you, as a veteran of Iraq, why do you want to rob me and my comrades-in-arms of the honor and dignity of victory? To leave now will let the terrorists win, get every brave Iraqi that has stepped up since we took over the country killed, throw the entire middle east into utter chaos and consign every wounded and killed US soldier to the purgatory of having sacrificed in vain.

    As an Iraqi War veteran, I will volunteer to go back if it will keep you and the other pacifists of making my friends’ ultimate sacrifices pointless. We, the soldiers in the military, want to be there because we know what is at stake, even if you don’t. Guy, you are not smarter than us in the military, so don’t presume to know what we want or need. Re-enlistment rates, the true bellweather of troop morale in combat, exceeds goals by 150%. We in the military, want to accomplish the mission. Please, step aside, stand down the rhetoric and let us get the job done. All the carping and complaining about Bush and the policy does is divide the country, dilute support of the troops and aids the terrorists. The troops will tell everyone when a war is unwinable. Trust your sons and daughters to be smart enough to know when to get out of there. Right now is not the time.

  4. Guy Murray
    March 25, 2006 at 4:19 am

    Rich,

    Before I respond, please let me make in abundantly clear I honor, respect, and revere the men and women like you who have worn, and do wear the uniform, and have served our country with honor and dignity. I have absolutely no quarrel with the American fighting soldier. They are what makes our discourse here possible. They provide the freedom in the freedom of speech because of their sacrifice and willingness to enforce that right and keep it safe. That said, none of that applies in this war of choice over in the middle east.

    I don’t mean to rob you or anyone of their honor. The fact you have worn and continue to wear the uniform of our country and are willing to defend her affords you the highest honor possible. You don’t need to win a battle or a war to achieve honor. As far as I’m concerned you and every other brave American soldier has served and continues to serve with honor, no matter how bungled and incompetent the civilian leadership over this war and our great military.

    The fact is that Iraq (and most everywhere else in the middle east)is already in chaos. On the third anniversary of the invasion, the situation is much worse on the ground than at the time of the initial invasion itself. The terrorists are already winning in that Iraq is already at civil war, or by all objective accounts about to erupt in civil war. That said the military achieved great success in doing away with Saddam. We were never going to win the middle east peace. We never will. They have been fighting amongst themselves for thousands of years, and will continue to do for the rest of time–regardless of what we do.

    I’m no pacifist. Had I been the commander in chief at the time, I would have had Congress actually declare war on Afghanistan, and gone in with overwhelming force, such that there would not be the remnants of the Taliban that still exist over there. 9/11 needed a forceful and effective response. We didn’t get that out of Mr. Bush. He outsourced that war to warlords, and lost Mr. Bin Laden, when we could and should have either killed him, or captured him. So, here we are on the five year anniversary of that horrible tragedy, and act of war, with the architect still thumbing his nose at us safe within the Pakistan and Afghanistan mountain ranges. We should have, and still can give Pakistan’s government the ultimatum to let our military have free reign and do whatever it takes to bring Bin Laden to justice. No excuses, no politics, no negotiation with the State Department. Either give us free reign to bring him in, or face the consequences.

    So, Rich from Paso, I think you misjudge from where I am coming. I think every young man and woman who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere in the world has already earned the greatest honor and respect from their fellow Americans. I honor and respect their service. I support them 100%. And, that, my friend is why I want them home–Now!

    This Iraq) was a war of choice. It was a poor choice. It is time to let Iraq stand or fall on its own. Time to stop spending American blood where it should not be spent.

    Thanks again for your own service to our country.

    Regards,

    Guy
    Nipomo News

  5. Rich from Paso
    March 25, 2006 at 5:20 am

    Guy, than you for the kind words. I am heartened by people who have such nice things to say about me and my brothers and sisters-in-arms. However, I am also saddened when people try to speak knowledgably about the situation in Iraq. The fact is that Saddam Hussain did have WMDs, my Brigade, on of 15 on the ground in Iraq found some. Not a lot, not enough to say that the “WMDs in Iraq” statement has been validated, but there none less. Your statement, “The terrorists are already winning in that Iraq is already at civil war, or by all objective accounts about to erupt in civil war.” The objective acount I trust is my firend that is there with the 101st Airborne right now. He has told me that the “civil war” is a creation of the liberal media, nothing more than that. The Sunnis in Iraq understand that a civil war would spell there annihilation. There are 60% Shia in Iraq and only 20% Sunni. A genuine civil war would be a suicidal gesture by the Sunni. Furthermore, my firend told me that it is in fact the Iraqi forces that kept the peace after the Samarra mosque was destroyed, not US forces. It is the integrated security forces that are going to keep the country together.

    As for my honor… I know that I did an outstanding job there as well as my peers, subordinates and superiors. I know that we made a difference for the year we were on the ground there. I know that there was no one in that country that could beat my brigade in Ramadi. The craven cowards that make up the insurgency would move at night, in small numbers, in trunks of cars in order to avoid detection by us on patrol. I refuse to surrender Iraq to those pieces of excrement. Do you know what you are saying when you say that all of our troops should come home? You are saying that those cowardly bastards can beat us, the most powerful military in the world. Since you were not over there, you have no idea what that means to us veterans. How can that be an acceptable outcome? To let Iraq stand or fall on its own is unacceptable either. Those are real flesh and blood people over there. Just like Americans or Spanish or British or Nigerians or Chinese or anyone else. They have children that for the first time in their lives know freedom. Freedom from being killed for not supporting Saddam enthusiastically enough. 12 and 13 year old girls don’t ahve to worry about Uday or Qusay, or their relatives, coming to their school and kidnapping them so they could be mercilessly raped for a week or two. Women voted not once, not twice, but three times where no vote existed for them before. To say that throwing the Iraqis to the wolves of al Qaeda or the Syrians or Iranians because less than 2,000 hard-core terrorists create a little havoc in 3 of the 12 provinces and that the chaos of the vacuum that the our early departure would cause is more acceptable than the status quo of today is equally unacceptable. If you truly respect and honor those of us in uniform, trust us to get the job done and done right for all time. Bush and the other politicans are not on the ground in Iraq, those of us in desert cammies are and we are the only people the people of America should listen to and trust when we say that we are winning the war there. There is one other point on about leaving Iraq now: for you to say that we have our honor now and therefore, leaving Iraq unfinished and in shambles is no big deal is like telling schoolchildren that it’s okay to lose because “we are all winners”. Sorry, but that does nothing for me except make me think you really don’t care what meaning the death of Staff Sergeant Joe Dunigan will have. Or how the sacrifices that Captain John Tipton’s family made while he served and died in Iraq. Or that Specialist Michael Edgerton got blown up by a car bomb for nothing. Those were friends of mine. They knew why they were there, they believed in what they were doing and they wouldn’t want us to quit until the day was won. I know this for fact!

    As for Afghanistan, yeah, could have gone in ther with more, but Afghanistan is like the Alps. Friends of mine that have been there tell me it is a lanscape littered with impossibly shear, high mountains with increadibly narrow valleys in between. The major obstacle for any invading force in Afghanistan is that we really don’t know the terrain or the people. Those warlords knew both and they were fighting the war for us. A large mechanized force would have been trapped in those passes and would have been sitting ducks for anyone in the mountains. The Forces we used enabled the warlords to win their own country back, which gives them buy in to how things turn out. I also think that we should use this opportunity to stamp out once and for all the opium poppy that grows like dandilions there. But the politics of that decision at present demand a price deemed too high right now.

    Lastly, as wars of choice go, the upside is far greater than other wars of choice we have fought in the last 50 years. Vietnam was a failed containment of Communism. Yugoslavia posed no perceived, present or future threat to America, period. Bosnia was a humanitarian relief mission. Somalia was overreach and mission-creep gone horribly wrong. The Gulf War liberated Kuwait, but created ten years of appeasement and cloak and daggar crap with Saddam Hussain. A solidly democratic Iraq in the center of the Muslim world will be catalyst for more democratic change in the middle east.

  6. Rich from Paso
    March 30, 2006 at 4:11 am

    Here is something for all you poll-watchers out there. If you can get over the fact that it is written by Ann Coulter, she wrotes a very interesting piece at Human Events Online where she details the fact that 3 of 4 Prime Ministers that went into Iraq with Bush and America got reelected in overwhelming majorities. The only one to not get reelected was in Spain because they coward to terroists. Point is that the onloy polls that count are election polls.

  7. Rich from Paso
    April 1, 2006 at 3:09 am

    I also would’t say that Bush was “prancing” on the decl of the aircraft carrier. It was more struting. I would be too if I could land a jet on a carrier. Furthermore, the mission was accomplished, folks. The Iraq Army had been routed, Saddam was out of power and on the run and the Iraqi people were free from oppression for the first time… ever!!. Let’s all face some facts here: the U.S. has not faced an organized military force in Iraq since that day. We are fighting no more than 2,000 islamofacsist thugs trained by Chechens in the art of the IED. The violence going on now is the powers that be in Iraq are sorting out who is going to rule that place.

  8. ANONYMOUS
    June 20, 2007 at 2:07 am

    ahhh!

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