Saturday, September 15, 2007

JMO - Dear Mr. Bush

Dear Mr. Bush,

After listening to the hours of testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker and listening to your speeches this last week, I have some questions and comments about your position on Iraq. I have followed the war in Iraq since your January 2003 State of the Union address when you pronounced Saddham Hussein and Iraq one of the axis of evil. And over these last four and a half years of your speeches to the American public, it's time you owed the American public some honesty.

First, I would like to know why you have kept changing the basis for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. You keep saying about not dwelling on the past, but it's clear to me, and likely a lot of the American public, the past has caught up with you as every word to date has proven to be false at best and a lies at worst. We know that the premise for the invasion and occupation was built on politically created information which you told Congress, the American public, the UN and the world.

Over the years of the occupation, every milestone and benchmark you have said should and will be met hasn't really been met by us and especially the Iraqis. None of them have been met more than the minimal threshold, and nothing near what you promised with each of the annoucements about them. So, are all your words really only your hopes and prayers telling us about promises likely can't and won't be satisfactorily met?

Now you and your advisors are promising more of the same. So what evidence can you show that these goals will be met, or are we beginning to see the truth to "your war"? I mean, the whole plan was about oil and you knew in reality we would be in Iraq for decades? Did you or any of your advisors understand the history of the region and the people? And our history there?

Did you really believe after our failures after the first Gulf War, the Iraqi people would really put the trust in a country that has betrayed them over the last 25+ years? First, when we supported Saddham Hussein after 1979 in their war with Iran and second when we asked for them to fight Saddham in 1991 but we walked away when Saddham attacked his own people? Or was that the plan, set the stage to attack him as a brutal tyrant you said he was? Didn't we help him then by simply not doing anything to protect the very Iraqi people we made promises?

In January you promised the surge would work to stablize Iraq and bring a strong, united national government. Has it? You established the benchmarks for "success" but then after only 3 of the 18 were met, you declared it a success to provide a space for the Iraqi government to start working on a national government. And now you're saying the continuation of the surge will help set the stage for accomplishing the very same benchmarks over the next 9-12 months. Why should we believe you now when we know it's all been a trail of misinformation so far?

Or is your plan now simply to stall? After all once we get to the fall of 2008, all you have to do is say you'll leave things for the next President. You can say you did your best and it was everyone else's failure if they didn't meet your demands to make Iraq a safe place for democracy. I certainly hope this isn't your plan and it will surely convey to the American people that you aren't the President you said you were. Remember the "I'm a uniter." words?

I don't expect answers to my questions. I'm just another citizen, and a Vietnam-era veteran, who has concern for the damage your decisions have done to my life and future, to our position in the world community, and especially to Iraq and the people of Iraq who deserve better. But most of all your betrayal to the American people.

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