My problem on Iraq is I’m beginning to suspect we’ve gotten ourselves into a real mess. And the only thing that makes sense is to get out of it. But I also know I don’t know anything about the religious differences between Shi’ites and Sunnis or why Iran supports one and Syria supports the other and why Turkey supports the Kurds. The hard truth is I don’t understand the subtleties of what’s happening in Iraq or why. And I’m not smart enough to figure out what to do.
But the little I do know has me plenty worried. I know that, today, what the President said about there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was wrong. And his explanation – that he didn’t mislead anyone because the intelligence reports he got were wrong – doesn’t give me much comfort. That means he made a pretty awful mistake – believing false intelligence reports – and that mistake got us into a war. The President of United States shouldn’t make mistakes like that. Surely, he could have found someone in this entire country who could tell a false intelligence report from a real one.
Today, the Democrats are saying we should get out of Iraq.
President Bush is saying we should hold on and keep on doing what we’re doing and hope the tide is about to turn (which seems less likely every day).
And one man – Senator John McCain – is saying we should send more troops to Iraq and you’ve got to admire his courage for taking an unpopular stand and it’s for certain he’s one person who’s not ‘playing politics’ with the war.
Which brings me to Mr. Brooks’ advice to President Bush.
Mr. Brooks states, “On February 23, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt asked Americans to spread out maps before them and he described step-by-step, what was going on in World War II, where the United States was winning and where it was losing. Why can’t today’s President do that?” He added: “Since the President doesn’t give out credible information, it’s no wonder Republicans are measuring success by how quickly we can get out; it’s no wonder many Democrats are turning the war into a potential tool to bash the president…”
That’s not good advice, it’s great advice.
We went to war to stop Saddam for building weapons of mass distraction and to stop Al Qaeda. The American people supported the war because those reasons made sense. Today, those reasons are gone and I don’t know what terrible threat we are stopping by staying in Iraq.
The President should tell us. He should say to the American people, ‘All right, here’s where we stand. Here’s the good news. Here’s the bad news. And here’s the threat we will eliminate by winning this war.’
Until he does that it is going to seem like there is no threat and that getting out of Iraq is the only alternative that makes sense.