Upon watching Mr. Stephen Hadley again explain how the cost of failure in Iraq would be to turn the area into an Al Qaeda territory brimming with terrorist camps — I was immediately struck with 3 revelations:
1. Working in Iraq to prevent it from becoming an Al Qaeda territory brimming with terrorist training camps — why didn't Dubya take the time to eradicate the Al Qaeda group in the first place so as to prevent it from spreading? I am really tired of hearing how American Forces have managed to eliminate the leader of Al Q in Iraq. Dubya, it would seem, essentially only likes to kill the V.P. of operations in one district — I'm still waiting on the disposal of the CEO.
2. The highlighting of the Gold Mosque of the Samarra bombing as the moment when real instability overtook Iraq (as if it was stable before that!), and that it was Al Q that was responsible for the bombing. That was in February of this year.
a. why wasn't Al Qaeda as an organization destroyed yet?
b. why wasn't there any Iraqi police around to keep order? I would like to think that the U.S. might have been able to train some forces in 3+ years of occupation.
c. where is the money that supposedly was spent on standing up Iraqi forces, I really want to know who had that contract and for how much?
3. Last I heard the blue helmet NATO forces were balking at being deployed in the south and east of Afghanistan because there is renewed Taliban violence occurring in those provinces. Seems even the Germans do not wish to commit any more troops (Germans not wanting to send troops? we are down the rabbit hole aren't we!) to what was supposedly a mainly humanitarian mission that has turned back into a war. As I remember, NATO and the UN had forces in Iraq, too — up until the acting director was assassinated; I don't figure it will be too long and the blue helmets will be on their way, I do kinda wonder about who's going to go after Mr. bin Laden when that happens.
Which brings me to what I would have told Tim Russert if I had Mr. Hadley's job and been in the hot seat on Sunday . . .
The national security of this country was severely compromised by the invasion of Iraq. When US Forces were diverted away from the Al Qaeda organization to engage Iraqi forces, not only was a dangerous terrorist operation allowed to recover and commence operations, it created a situation where the perpetrators of 9/11 were left to be brought to justice by NATO and UN forces.
Now, in my opinion, the invasion of Iraq was purely a personal policy decision by the current administration based on a political calendar. Yes, the president did take an oath to defend this country, but he unfortunately couldn't rely on the American public (as evidenced in the last election to be sure); that business of the Supreme Court deciding the first election, couldn't count on that again. So Dubya was left with all these prepared plans for invading Iraq while actually having to fight a real war based on national security, he decided to combine them.
I can actually see why the president would want me to come out and explain to the American public that it was a dire threat that dictated America's invasion of Iraq, but it wasn't. America could have just as easily maintained the pressure on Saddam through inspections and over-flights until Osama bin Laden was killed or captured, would not have threatened U.S. security at all to do that; of course, it would have taken time — time that a political calendar would not allow. So the president and his staff to this day make connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq. I understand their position, but as National Security Advisor to the UNITED STATES, I must say that I blame them.
I read the blogs, understand the animosity, and deservedly so; American lives are being wasted since they are in no way dying in defense of America if they are killed in Iraq. Unfortunately, the current commander-in-chief is of the stubborn sort, so, for the security of the country — this is what I propose:
Immediately pull the bulk of the American military out of Iraq and redeploy them to Afghanistan. This still leaves a long row to hoe for the Army and Marine Corps, but at least in that endeavor the troops themselves, their families and the American public can be sure that if a precious life is lost, it is in defense of their country; not some idiot's asinine foreign policy.
30,000 to 40,000 troops left to set up two bases. One in western Iraq to make sure that nothing really stupid happens near the Israeli border, the other one in northern Iraq to insure that the Kurds be allowed to maintain Kurdistan and remain out of the possible resulting sectarian violence.
Will this result in an extremely bloody civil war? Possibly, or the possibility exists that Saudi Arabia will extend its borders up to meet the new border of Iran (not that a bit of territory would make up for all the help we rendered Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war!) and Iraq cease to be a political entity. Either way U.S. security is still advanced by having ground forces applying direct pressure on Al Qaeda by being in Afghanistan.
Now I understand how resistant the current administration is going to be to this plan, I'll be fired after this interview I'm sure, but as an American I advise this plan for the Congress. Failing to appropriate money for the war leaves the U.S. vulnerable, yet any money proffered will be utilized by the current c-in-c first in Iraq — quandary. Time for some old fashioned horse trading — the Congress must move to impeach.
The grounds are many; torture, civil-rights, fraud, etc., but in this particular instance, it's treason. The current president, by diverting forces away from the terrorists, gave aid and comfort to the enemy. By allowing a halfhearted effort by blue helmeted troops against the terrorists this administration is again aiding and abetting the enemy. By continuing to simply prune the branches in Iraq instead of attacking the trunk of the terrorist tree in Afghanistan, this administration exhibited either nonfeasance or malfeasance or both — a mistake tantamount to treason due to the damage done to the national security of this country.
Yes, the Congress of the United States has another way of forcing this administration to uphold the oath and defend this country, and it should.
FRANCIS JENS ERICKSON
December 05, 2006