Iraq is getting worse? Well, duh

by Beacon Staff • October 4, 2006

The four pages of intelligence reports they released last week did just that.

At the beginning of the war in Iraq, US soldiers sailed down empty highways to Baghdad. Despite patches of intense fighting, America claimed a quick and decisive victory against Saddam Hussein's totalitarian government.,The White House needs to stop stating the obvious.

The four pages of intelligence reports they released last week did just that.

At the beginning of the war in Iraq, US soldiers sailed down empty highways to Baghdad. Despite patches of intense fighting, America claimed a quick and decisive victory against Saddam Hussein's totalitarian government.

At the time, the majority of the Iraqi population appeared to be supportive.

That's not to say there wasn't a lingering concern among Iraqis that the US would become an occupying army. But that wasn't the case then; major combat operations were over-mission accomplished.

Of course, that was way back in 2003.

The report the Bush administration released to the public tells what has happened to the American initiative since then.

According to the intelligence report, the American military occupation in Iraq has been feeding coal into the extremist locomotive. The report cites fear of Western influence, distrust fostered by corrupt governments and economic instability as reasons for anti-American extremism.

This is quite a step above the age-old "they hate us for our freedom and democracy" argument.

The White House has finally come around. Unfortunately, they're a few years too late.

Any reasonable person can see that violence in Iraq has only increased with our occupation. The report also said that the war is creating anti-Americanism worldwide, not just in that war-torn country.

Bush said that he declassified the pages of the report in order to encourage support for the war. He said that America must stand committed, or else Iraq's uncertainty will continue to threaten US security.

This is a valid concern. As groups like the Taliban have shown, any group of lunatics can hijack a government and use it as a platform for their ideology.

Iran poses an especially immediate danger. Its current government is fickle, volatile, hazardously ideological and has had a knack for standing in direct opposition of many US interests.

The largest mistake in post-mission-accomplished Iraq was the lack of an immediate plan to quell the social and economic factors that lead to extremism and give countries like Iran a potential influence. With the billions of dollars spent so far, there is little excuse for the lack of a restored infrastructure, an undisciplined Iraqi army and a divided Iraqi government.

But some of the problems may have been unavoidable.

Removing Saddam from power exposed inevitable sectarian woes. It's a shame because, for a few months, it seemed like America had a victory.

And according to a statement by retired Major General John Batiste last week, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld threatened to fire anyone who mentioned the need for a post-war plan. One can only hope that's a hyperbole, or at least a statement taken way out of context.

Should there be praise for the Bush administration for releasing information that criticizes the war in Iraq? Not even a chance.

Admitting that Iraq is creating a new generation of extremists is a conclusion any idiot could have drawn by now. Besides, this was just another thinly veiled attempt by the Bush administration to push the war effort.

It's the usual Washington public relations stunt.

While it is important to protect national interests, extremists in Iraq are a creation of the war itself. They were not the reason to go to war.

It is in the best interests of the public to end the conflict within the next year. Ending the war will save lives, save the economy and save our nation from a new age of anti-Americanism.

That is an endeavor worth fighting for.