"You know, I guess I'm like any other political figure: Everybody wants to be loved."
-George w. Bush, Washington D.C., July 13, 2007
So is the war over? Yesterday, (Saturday) the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki said that the Iraqi army and police are now capable of keeping security in Iraq, and that "American troops can leave any time they want." Isn't that what President Bush has been saying was our main objective? To train Iraqi military, and police so that they could sustain their own country in the face of the sectarian violence that has run rampant in the last few years? With al-Maliki's declaration of self sufficiency, I see no reason why America should lose one more life to this war. Of course, we haven't heard the spin from the White House yet. That will either come later this weekend or early next week. And it will also come with some vague reason about how and why al-maliki misspoke, or was somehow, otherwise in error. But wouldn't it be nice to think that maybe, just maybe this nightmare could finally come to an end. That we, as a nation, wouldn't have to lose one more of our military to this administration's violent whim? It's a nice thought. Al-Maliki has handed Bush a reason to begin pulling troops from Iraq. "American troops can leave any time they want."
It's so odd, early last week, Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, warned that Iraq would fall into total civil war, should American troops leave. Actually, just a couple weeks ago, al-Maliki was saying just about the same thing. On the other hand, the Iraqi parliament couldn't be dissuaded from taking a break from government for August, due to the fact that temperatures in that country can reach as much as 130 degrees. Temperatures our own service members would be working in. Yet, Iraq must feel that they have things under control, to take time off in the middle of escalating sectarian violence throughout their country. Al-maliki made it very clear, America is not wanted or needed in Iraq. It's time to leave. Now. Not September. No more waiting for reports. Now.
I have always balked at Bush's arrogant assertion that "we are fighting them over there, so we won't have to fight them here." I have always said, that it is a matter of time before we are hit again. Not if we are hit again. But I have also always said that I hope to one day say... "I was wrong." I don't know what Homeland Security Chief, Michael Chertoff, was thinking when he said he had a "gut feeling" about a heightened terrorist threat against the U.S. this summer, but I can't help but wonder if it wasn't code for, "something got by us, we don't know where it is, but we know for sure it is just a matter of time." Well, that is supposition on my part, but you know what? I really do feel that a day like 9/11 will happen again. It wouldn't at all surprise me that it could happen sometime before the end of the year. All we did in Iraq, was make the country ripe for becoming what it is, a breeding ground for future terrorists. And when we had Osama Bin Laden, we let the chance to bring him to justice go, in favor of keeping up relations with Pakistan, a country that has always catered to the Taliban.
Bush also once said, that America would track Bin Laden down, and bring him to justice, no matter how long it took. Well, that hasn't happened. He said that we would leave Iraq when they said they could stand up and hold the country. They have said that now... so what will Bush say and do? Will he keep his word on that? I am hoping, just hoping, we will begin a withdraw of our troops before we lose anymore, because I think we are going to need all our military personnel right here on American soil. Call it a "gut feeling." Bush never keeps his word, so deep down I suppose I already know what will happen. It's all just so sad. :(
"We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at any time they want."
-Nouri al-Maliki, July 14, 2007
NOTE: The above YouTube video, is from a White House press conference in 2006. It is a clip of Helen Thomas, asking President Bush what the real reason was for going to war with Iraq. A question he never really answered. Thank you Helen, for having the courage to ask.