typical day in Iraq will see two or three U.S. troops and dozens of Iraqis
That day will be followed by many more of the same.
All because our government leaders cling to the nationalistic vanity of
futilely seeking to “win” a despicable war that’s absolutely wrong and
utterly indefensible by universally accepted standards.
Meanwhile, antiwar activists chant “Peace, now!” in our streets.
They do so because peace deferred means indefinite death, terrible
dismemberment, and long years of suicide inducing Post Traumatic Stress
Many more Americans who served in Vietnam committed suicide, after
returning home, than were actually killed in combat.
That grim reality should haunt us all during uneasy, pensive moments
before our nightly sleep.
How do we exit Iraq? There’s only one correct way.
By loading departing ships and planes with our sons and daughters,
immediately, not six, twelve, or eighteen horrendous months later.
To those who say we can’t let Iraq join Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia in a
string of humiliating U.S. defeats that cumulatively expose us as a paper
tiger, there are two emphatic answers:
“That train has already left the station.”
“You were the ones who put the locomotive on the tracks in the first
We can’t let habitual incompetents, oblivious to reality, continue
repeating policies that never had any possible outcome but disaster.
Not unless we want American youth, still frolicking on the playgrounds of
carefree childhood, to become roadside-bomb fodder in perpetual wars
But what about the “chaos” and “anarchy” that would supposedly follow if
we left “too soon”?
Even if they materialized -- which never occurred after finally leaving
Vietnam -- how could things get any worse than what our occupation is
responsible for having stirred up already?
The Iraqi people, who ran their civilization nicely for thousands of years
before our country was formed, will order their own affairs much better
than if we foolishly stick around -- saturating the sand with everybody’s
blood -- arrogantly trying to do the job for them.
Besides, Republicans are completely two-faced on this score.
Right after the “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia, prominent GOP
leaders loudly called for immediately pulling our troops from that
Their advocacy of cutting and running was so intense that one wag called
it “severing and sprinting.”
Now, when confronted with their own administration’s far greater disaster
in Iraq, Republicans apparently want to remain there forever. That’s how
long we’d still be chasing impossible victory, at the unacceptable cost of
thousands of wasted U.S. lives.
Not to mention a virtual genocide endured by the Iraqis.
Let’s leave Iraq, and use the billions being squandered there on programs
that would benefit our own populace. Affordable, national health care for
all U.S. kids would be a good start.
Some political figures advocate “redeployment” or “withdrawal” in
successive, delayed stages. Such a false solution isn’t morally
Dwight Eisenhower admitted in his memoirs that the Vietnam War was
actually fought to acquire Southeast Asia’s “tin, tungsten and rubber.”
There was no nobility in America’s purpose back then, just as our
occupying presence in Iraq is totally bereft of any righteous, redeeming
It’s all about achieving oil “access” and heavy-handed U.S. control in the
region. Wall Street profiteering is the operative motive factor, not any
genuine concern for the Iraqi people’s well being or right to
In other words, it’s foreign policy reduced through abject greed and power
hunger to an equivalent of violent rape.
In cases of rape, demand an immediate pullout, not a phased, negotiated
Also, staying longer than objectivity allows would almost certainly result
There are no viable options for us. Nothing will magically transform
Bush’s wretched war into something worthy or successful.
In another part of the world, decades ago, blindly patriotic false pride
doomed a similarly misbegotten French intervention to crushing
Policy makers in Paris, so stubbornly like our own today, didn’t have the
sense to depart Indochina while they still could.
Before Dien Bien Phu.
Let’s not make the mistake of garrisoning our troops in isolated outposts,
any one of which could tragically become our own, relentlessly assaulted
Dien Bien Phu.
Everyone needs to face facts.
We’ve already lost in Iraq.
Forced to choose between cutting and running and watching their precious
children get cut to pieces in a murderous debacle without end, American
parents will opt -- have already opted -- for the former.
Their capacity to endure senseless sacrifice is far weaker than the Iraqi
insurgents’ iron will to battle however long it takes to repel hated
foreigners from their violated homeland.
Any honest way we look at it, the handwriting is clearly on the wall.
Bring the troops home, now.
Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior,
Wisconsin, was a regional coordinator for the People’s Coalition for Peace
and Justice during the early ‘70s.