General’s spin doesn’t fool us

When Gen. David Petraeus testifies that “our” objectives in Iraq can be achieved by delaying the withdrawal of our forces, it is plain that he, and Bush, and the ever-dwindling cadre of his mindless die-hard loyalists are fervently hoping that we won’t notice, or will forget, that the objectives he is talking about are not “our” objectives. They are the objectives of a failed president, whom history will judge very harshly.

Our objectives, those of the majority of the American people, are to withdraw our forces from that unhappy country as fast as can be done without unacceptable harm to those Iraqis who committed themselves to the American intrusion. David Brooks, with whom I almost never agree, says it well in a recent column in The New York Times: “Iraq is feeling its way to partition, and we must get out of their way, and let them do it in their own way. The new states emerging may be democratic, or not. We can’t force them to be democratic if they don’t want to be; they have the right to choose their own forms of government, and they will achieve that, sooner or later, with or without our approval.”

When Petraeus speaks of “our” objectives, he is talking about Bush’s objectives, not ours, and Congress will remember that when it comes time to vote the money. It must be funding for withdrawal, not funding for more war.

Norman K. Marsh


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