Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Iraq War

Three years ago, during the campaign season and shortly thereafter, the United States Congress debated heavily on the Iraq war resolution. This debate went on well into February 2003 before troops were ordered into Iraq in March 2003. This was a heavy issue during the 2002 midterm elections.

The Bush administration has not done their job to the troops. Our troops went into Iraq without the proper protection. Then, this past year, we all heard Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld state that "you go with the army you have, not with the army you want."

For almost three years now, American troops have been serving our country in Iraq. They have been there well after the President said the mission was accomplished.

Lately, many senators and former senators have started to call for the withdrawal of American forces in Iraq. I agree with them on that. I ask that President Bush start planning an exit strategy for the American troops. We must set a time-table for troop withdrawal.

Look at the comments that former Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) recently made.
Speaking Wednesday at Northwestern University, Daschle also said he had been given "misleading information" about Iraq's weapons before the war, but said he could not go into specifics.

"I wish I could share with you the misleading information I personally was provided in September and October of 2002," he said in remarks scheduled for delivery at Northwestern University in Evanston.

The misrepresentations, Daschle said, underscore the need for Congress to repair the nation's foreign policy initiatives in order to restore the public's trust in the use of U.S. military power.

"Nowhere as much as on this principle has the president so dramatically failed the country and our military," the former South Dakota senator - who lost his bid for re-election a year ago - said in prepared remarks.

"Misusing intelligence to start a war in Iraq, failing to plan for its aftermath and refusing to level with the country or our troops about what it will now take to correct those failures is just the start," he said. And speaking earlier in an interview, Daschle applauded Democratic Senate leaders for holding an unusual secret session on Tuesday to force an investigation of whether intelligence information had been manipulated to drum up support for the war.
I applaud Senator Tom Daschle on his comments. I also applaud Senators Bayh, Edwards, Kerry, Reid, and the rest of the Democrats in the United States Senate for their continued leadership. I applaud General Wesley Clark for his leadership too. The intelligence was wrong from the start. It was most likely distorted so that the President could get his wish to wage war on a country that his father just couldn't finish the job.

I still firmly believe that the we went to Iraq because Bush wanted the oil fields. Irregardless of that, this president has shown that he doesn't have the leadership needed to lead a war. His misled us in 2002 and 2003, he continued to mislead us in 2005.

Had I been in an elected member of Congress or the Senate, I would have had to look at the evidence very hard before making a decision on how I would have voted. I'm against war as much as the next person but Saddam had to go. I would have voted for a resolution encouraging diplomacy as much as possible instead of force. However, knowing what I do know now, I would have voted against the Iraq War Resolution. Too many people have died and many are starting to compare this to the Vietnam conflict.

I denounced the war as soon as it started but I support the troops. It would be unpatriotic to not support the troops. They are serving the country with honor and integrity but they were misled. They were misled by the Defense Department. And the honor of the White House. We should focus on Afghanistan and finding OBL--still missing at the last time I checked.

The United Nations weapons inspectors should have been allowed to do their job. They found nothing. Nadda. Zilch. Zip.

I welcome your comments at this time.

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