Survival of Ideology at Stake

Last week President Bush stood in front of a nation where, according to a report in The Washington Post, nearly three-quarters of its people say the number of casualties in Iraq has not been a price

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Last week President Bush stood in front of a nation where, according to a report in The Washington Post, nearly three-quarters of its people say the number of casualties in Iraq has not been a price worth paying and nearly six in 10 people say that the war hasn't been worth fighting at all. More than four in 10 Americans believe the U.S. presence in Iraq is mirroring the experience in Vietnam more and more as the days go on. Only 42 percent of Americans feel safer having gone after Iraq.

Knowing these facts and figures, knowing that the majority of the nation now questions his leadership, Bush stood before the soldiers at Fort Bragg and the nation and told us that we're not leaving Iraq, no matter what it costs us. Yet again, Bush is leading the country in the same dead end direction and leading with arrogance, imperialism and using the fear of the American people to fuel his war.

Bush told the American people, "There is only one course of action against them — to defeat them abroad before they attack us at home." The Iraqi people never attacked us in the first place, and to use memories of 9/11, something it has been shown Saddam Hussein was not involved in and the Iraqis were not responsible for, is preying on a still grieving nation to forward his own agenda.

Bush told the nation that "we are removing a source of violence and instability and laying the foundation for our children and grandchildren" — but what about the children and grandchildren of the Iraqi people. Where is their future? Is our war not also promoting the same violence and instability Bush spoke of?

Iraq today is no closer to stability than it was a year ago. Things keep getting worse every week. More than 1,700 Americans have been killed and more than 12,000 wounded.

The U.S. occupation is fueling a growing insurgency. Our presence is exacerbating the problem. There are tens of thousands of insurgents backed by hundreds of thousands of supporters.

We got into this war based on lies — the wrong way. It's time to get out the right way. The first step is to realize that the Bush policy is out of touch with reality. We need a real exit plan with a real timeline providing real accountability for our leaders. We need to turn control of the training of Iraqi forces and the rebuilding of Iraq to the international community. And we must renounce permanent military bases in Iraq because that angers the Iraqi people.

President Bush himself stated, "They (the insurgency) fight because they know that the survival of their hateful ideology is at stake." Perhaps the truth of that statement is not why the insurgency continues to fight but why our troops remain in Iraq.

— Lisa Zimmerman, Withamsville

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