We have just completed our Memorial Day celebrations, which includes honoring the 1,584 men and women killed in the current war in Iraq. We are told that it is "a tough situation," and that we have no idea when it will be over so our troops can come home.
We are in a quagmire, as we were in Vietnam, and with no reasonable exit plan. We are waiting to see how the rest of the world through United Nations will react. Our leaders are waiting and wishing.
Today I learned about the Downing Street Memo. This is a news item that must be brought to the attention of every United States citizen so they can, as individuals, assess its value. It is the authenticated minutes of a top secret meeting of the British Prime Minister and members of Parliament dated July 23, 2002, discussing the desirability of going to war with Iraq. This document can be found on the Internet at downingstreetmemo.com.
We need an Exit Plan to extract ourselves from this mess.
Saddam's regime no longer exists. Our work is done. The remaining work to be done should be left to the people of Iraq with the help of the United Nations. Removing Saddam from power will hopefully prove to be the best thing for the Iraqi people, but the manner in which it was done was wrong. We did destroy Saddam's army with a comparatively small well-trained strike force as envisioned by our Secretary of Defense.
Now we are fighting a different war and our troops are ill-trained for this type of warfare, ill-equipped and under strength with few replacements. Re-enlistments are almost nil and the recruitment drive is failing. What next, a draft?
Our troops have done an exemplary job, way beyond their call of duty, but their leaders have not. The Downing Street Memo shows that military action was not justified.
The action served a different purpose, the American people were lied to and our troops were misused. President Bush and his administration must be held accountable and explain the Downing Street Memo.
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