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My Party Raises The Flag Of Surrender

By: Ed Koch

Sadly, the war in Iraq appears to be lost. The Democrats – like terriers shaking a rat (Iraq), using a plan of funding war for three months (salami tactics), causing the Army command to recognize that Congress, not the president, is effectively in charge – have achieved their goal: implementing withdrawal.

The Democrats will be responsible for affecting army morale. No one will want to lead the last charge and be responsible for (or themselves suffer) the last death, or be taken prisoner before the order to stand down is issued.

When and if – God forbid – the war and the acts of terrorism now faced daily in Iraq follow our retreat across the ocean to our homeland shores, the Democratic leaders who forced the withdrawal will be held responsible.

While they will reject responsibility for the deaths and destruction that occur here in our homeland, the American public, remembering the dire predictions of what would follow if we gave up the fight, and recalling the valiant efforts of George W. Bush to save us from those consequences, will switch their support honor Bush in larger numbers than those who mistakenly now loathe his very name.

The Democratic Party will reap the political whirlwind, notwithstanding that President Bush and his advisers, particularly former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, failed in a host of ways in the conduct of the war through incompetence. Our army easily won the war, but then lost the occupation.

While President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld failed in their leadership and strategy and bear the responsibility for those failures, they did recognize the true and long term danger of international Islamic terrorism – unlike the Democrats – and sought, albeit inadequately, to stop it in the center of the hostile Islamist world, Iraq.

The two men most responsible for causing the debacle other than President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld were CIA director George Tenet and former administrator of the U.S.-led occupation Paul Bremer – Tenet for his totally incompetent operation of the CIA, e.g., foolish and inaccurate reporting on what was taking place in Iraq with respect to WMD and the dangers to the U.S., and Bremer for his disbanding of the Iraqi army of more than 500,000 soldiers, which had been toughened in an eight-year war with Iran from 1980 to 1988 and was capable of policing the country and preventing the now ongoing insurrection and terrorism.

To see these two men honored by President Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom was shocking. They both deserved major reprimands and removal from their posts, rather than medals. That their effrontery has no bounds was evidenced when each produced a book seeking to absolve himself of blame. Both have since been hooted off the stage by the reading public.

My position until now has been different from that of either the Republicans or the Democrats. The Republicans take the position that we must remain in Iraq until the Iraqis are able to defend themselves. The Democrats believe the Iraqis will never reach the ability to do that and that therefore we should leave now.

My position is that we should provide our allies – the regional Arab countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey, all Sunnis – with the following ultimatum, with a similar ultimatum to our NATO allies: Unless they come in with boots on the ground, we will commence getting out in thirty days.

I believe that while our NATO allies under the leadership of France and President Jacques Chirac would never come in, our Arab allies, out of fear of the consequences to them of our leaving, would come in to prevent the enormous calamity of Iraqi refugees and terrorists crossing their borders by the millions.

I learned recently from a U.S. general who was in Iraq that in fact former Secretary of State Colin Powell had gotten Turkey to agree to provide one army division to serve in Iraq and help police the occupation – but the Iraqi government vetoed the offer, refusing to accept the services of those troops.

Our government, instead of insisting the Iraqi government accept the offer, acceded to the Iraqi refusal.

Our government has similarly acceded to the refusal of the Shi’ite majority in the Iraqi government to share power and oil revenue with the Sunni population.

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