Tuesday, August 23, 2005
By Stephen Schlesigner, The Huffington Post
Tue Aug 23,12:09 PM ET
President Bush told a convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars yesterday that America owed it to the more than 2000 Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan not to end their mission prematurely. "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for." By this logic, we should have continued fighting in Vietnam because we "owed" it to the over 50,000 Americans killed in that conflict. Or Ronald Reagan should have kept troops in Lebanon in the early 1980s after terrorists wiped out 200 or so American marines rather than -- as he did -- withdraw them because we "owed" it to the dead US GIs in that battle. This logic is twisted. The issue in Iraq today is assessing where our true national security interests lie. They are to set a date for withdrawal and force the three tribal groups at war in Iraq to come to their own peaceful settlement. They are not in prolonging the American presence in Iraq for a cause that has never been clarified or explained.
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