Abdicating responsibility in Iraq

The Bush administration has no plan for victory in Iraq.

In a recent news conference President George W. Bush stated that the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq would “be decided by future presidents and future presidents of Iraq.” This statement is illustrative of the complete lack of responsibility and credibility the administration has on its only issue – the war. The task of ending the war will be placed in the hands of the next American administration, and our country likely will be patching the holes for decades to come.

The president has no plan for victory in Iraq. Thus far the best reason for success he has offered is because he “believes” it will happen. Rather than give the American people a clear picture of what is going on in Iraq and providing an honest exit strategy, the president seems to be content consistently misstating the facts and passing on the mess he created to someone else.

Three years, $200 billion and tens of thousands of lives later, the U.S. is engaged in an occupation that is on the verge of failure. Death squads roam the streets freely; each day the insurgency gets larger and more aggressive. Freedom certainly is not on the march in Iraq when the nation is on the brink of a civil war, when citizens are kidnapped and murdered daily for their religious beliefs, and when living conditions for the Iraqi people remain worse now than prior to the U.S. invasion.

The war in Iraq was sold to the American people as a “slam dunk,” in-and-out operation, one that was necessary for national security. Vice President Dick Cheney promised we would be “greeted as liberators” and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld assured us he knew “exactly” where the weapons of mass destruction would be found. It is obvious that these assurances never were and never will ring true.

The flip-flopping and downright lies regarding the war have gone far enough. The president needs to turn around his Middle East foreign policy now rather than pass off his mistake to his successor. The way things are going now, the future of the war in Iraq looks endless. The president’s abdication of responsiblity only increases.