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"Stay-the-course" is no longer official line on Iraq


Fri, Oct 27th, 2006
Posted in Commentary

A few short weeks before Americans go to the polls, the administration is making a significant policy change on Iraq: the president will no longer use the words stay-the-course.

For several months, the President has used stay-the-course to show his administration's resolve against those doomsayers and cowards that would have us cut 'n run in Iraq.

"America will never cut 'n run," the president was oft to say in response to criticism that our efforts in Iraq were going nowhere. He won't say that anymore.

He will now say that we have a flexible plan that will allow us to adjust our tactics.

He will also say that we have now given the Iraqi government a timetable to end sectarian conflict and stabilize their nation. This includes getting the private militias to end their ethnic cleansing and put down their arms.

General George Casey Jr., the American Military Commander in Iraq, said that if this occurs, in 12 to 18 months, the Iraqi security forces will be the dominant force in the country. He later qualified this by saying that this won't happen unless there is political progress.

That said, it is almost as if the administration's new motto on Iraq has become wishful-thinking.

So, our wishful-thinking on Iraq is that the ethnic groups will stop killing themselves, that the government can provide their own security, and that the US forces can begin to leave the country.

The reality in Iraq is that we are looking for an exit strategy where we can get our troops out without the country collapsing on itself, period. There is no winning to be done, no introducing democracy to be completed. Iraq is lost; it is a quagmire and we don't know how to get out.

Donald Rumsfield, Dick Cheney and George Bush are still in charge, nothing has changed.

We just won't say stay-the-course anymore. Be warned that the words civil war, quagmire, torture and secret prisons are next.

As of this writing, 96 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq during the month of October.

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