An Occupation of Iraq is Not Ours to Choose
by Ward Reilly
Attacking Iraq was a war crime, and to sit back now and debate how much control we are entitled to is disgusting. With typical U.S arrogance, our Congress, and the White House, now debate if, how, and when, to leave Iraq, and also about how many troops we should leave for a "training force," if we are to leave troops there.
What they are blind and deaf to is the cold and bloody fact that the people of Iraq have already spoken, and they have told us to get all of our troops out in a very loud voice.
Nowhere in the discussion is heard a word about how the citizens of Iraq feel about our genocidal presence. You'd think that the USA wasn't guilty of an illegal war. A small band of egomaniacs plotted to destroy Iraq, and now the choice of whether to stay there or not isn't ours to make.
Any U.S. soldier that is forced to stay in Iraq may well be killed, if left behind, and any Iraq citizen who complies with those troops is also subject to be killed.
There is only one way to leave Iraq, and that is completely. Once our troops are out, we are obliged, on our knees, to assist in rebuilding what the criminals that created this war have destroyed.
Many people say that we should leave troops in Iraq, but to do so is to sentence those troops to hatred and the likelihood of a violent death because of what we have done. Many people say that we should leave troops there, but to do so is to sentence those troops to hatred and the likelihood of a violent death because of what we have done.
We have no right to leave any U.S. presence in Iraq. It is a well established fact that attacking Iraq was a war crime, and to sit back now and debate how much control we are entitled to is disgusting, and a very sick joke.
We have dishonored ourselves, and our allies, through the actions of Bush and Cheney, and the only true justice will be when Bush and Cheney are forced to become the respective mayors of Fallujah and Baghdad. Let them enjoy the "freedom and democracy" that they have brought to Iraq, and let them experience what they have forced more than one million U.S. troops to endure.
It is time to leave Iraq, lock, stock, and (gun) barrel. Their people will never allow any U.S. occupation troops to live side by side with them in a country that will forever reflect the U.S. shame that Bush and Cheney have brought us to.
This war is lost. It was lost the day we invaded an innocent nation. Some of my friends say we are never leaving Iraq. I say tell it to the Vietnamese people.
We have about 16 months left to see to it that the neocon leadership of our nation learns the truth about justice and democracy, and to save the USA.
The only chance we have of saving our nation is to ensure that Bush and Cheney are not allowed to retire into the sunset. If they are allowed to do that, the concept of our nation is lost forever, and we will all be branded as war criminals in the eyes of the world, because "We The People" allowed all of this to happen.
Ward Reilly is active with Vietnam Veterans against the War and Veterans For Peace.
He was a volunteer Infantryman in the First Infantry Division from 1971 to 1974. He writes from Louisiana.
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This story was published on July 13, 2007.