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zimv20
Aug 27, 2003, 10:37 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A45132-2003Aug25?language=printer


washingtonpost.com

Unprepared for Peace in Iraq

By Robert C. Byrd

Tuesday, August 26, 2003; Page A13

As the situation in Iraq continues to spiral out of control, an anxious nation watches. Despite assurances to the American people that our troops would be welcomed with open arms as liberators, U.S. soldiers are increasingly being met with guns and car bombs. The bombing at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad has clearly exposed our vacant policy in Iraq. The American people are told to be patient, that winning the peace will take time. Meanwhile, the frustration of the Iraqi people grows by the day, as does their anger. The inability of the United States even to restore basic amenities further fuels the fire.

Before the war began, I urged the president to think through the consequences. There was no doubt as to the military outcome of war between the United States and Iraq; our might was unquestioned. But I was very concerned about the repercussions that would follow, especially if we were unable to persuade key allies to join our effort.

Today I urge President Bush to review his options. It is time to ask the world community not only for assistance in restoring peace and security in Iraq but also for participation in moving Iraq toward self-government. While the secretary of state has opened a dialogue with the United Nations, it must be a true exchange and not a U.S. monologue.

What has become tragically clear is that the United States has no strong plan for turning Iraq over to the Iraqi people and is quickly losing even its ability to maintain order. The administration is stumbling through the dark, hoping by luck to find the lighted path to peace and stability.

Despite the best hopes for an Iraqi democracy, the Iraqi people and the world see only the worst fears of occupation. Instead of inspiring steps toward self-government, we witness hit-and-run murders of U.S. soldiers, terrorist attacks and sabotage. Our military action in Iraq has forged a caldron of contempt for America, a dangerous brew that may poison the efforts of peace throughout the Middle East and result in the rapid invigoration of worldwide terrorism.

The president's stubborn insistence that much of the world be shut out of real participation in the rebuilding effort in Iraq is obviously costing lives. In addition, it is costing the United States credibility in Iraq and around the globe. We promised to improve the quality of life, yet so far we have failed to deliver. As a result, increasing numbers of Iraqis see the United States only as occupier, not liberator.

Instead of giving the young people of Iraq a reason to turn away from the violence of terrorism, we have, through failures and unkept promises, fed the seeds of discontent. The inability of the United States to secure the peace in Iraq virtually guarantees al Qaeda a fertile field of new recruits.

War has proved far easier than peace. We had the weapons to win the war, but not the wisdom to secure the peace. The coalition of those who might be willing to share the burden of building a new Iraq will be harder to muster now. But the challenge is too great for the United States alone. The rapidly rising anti-American sentiment demands that an international effort be initiated before Iraq slips from decades of dictatorship to decades of chaos.

The administration's reconstruction effort is costing the American people $1 billion a week. It is costing the lives of American soldiers and of civilians from many nations. Only an entirely closed mind could fail to grasp the need for a change in course. Close cooperation with the international community might yet yield a plan for peace and security for the people of Iraq. Haughty statements and unilateral actions will not advance our cause. We must work with other countries to forge what we cannot achieve alone: a lasting peace for Iraq and, in fact, for the Middle East region as a whole.

A hallmark of true leadership is the ability to admit when one is wrong and to learn from errors. Candidate George W. Bush spoke about the need for humility from a great and powerful nation. He said, "Let us reject the blinders of isolationism, just as we refuse the crown of empire. Let us not dominate others with our power -- or betray them with our indifference. And let us have an American foreign policy that reflects American character. The modesty of true strength. The humility of real greatness." It is time for the Bush administration to swallow its false pride and return to that philosophy of humility before it is too late.

The writer is a Democratic senator from West Virginia.

Sayhey
Aug 27, 2003, 08:00 PM
A hallmark of true leadership is the ability to admit when one is wrong and to learn from errors. Candidate George W. Bush spoke about the need for humility from a great and powerful nation. He said, "Let us reject the blinders of isolationism, just as we refuse the crown of empire. Let us not dominate others with our power -- or betray them with our indifference. And let us have an American foreign policy that reflects American character. The modesty of true strength. The humility of real greatness." It is time for the Bush administration to swallow its false pride and return to that philosophy of humility before it is too late.


I've never been much of a fan of Byrd, but I think his speech is quite helpful and lays out the right choices to get us out of this quagmire. Bush's quote should be replayed for him every morning before he meets with Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz.

mactastic
Aug 27, 2003, 08:59 PM
I'm not much of a fan of "Pork Barrel" Byrd myself either, but his staff sure knows how to write a fiery speech. The one he put out just prior to the war was as good as well.

zimv20
Aug 27, 2003, 10:00 PM
i recall byrd being the sole senator to stand up and ask the really hard questions before the war. i give him great props for that. too bad he's a dying breed.

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 12:02 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
i recall byrd being the sole senator to stand up and ask the really hard questions before the war. i give him great props for that. too bad he's a dying breed.

Yes, you are right. He is one of the last Grand Dragon's of the KKK that still serve in our government. He is a biggot, and a racist piece of filth.

People like that man have no place in our society, but yet they do. It is sad.

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 12:03 AM
And Rep Ford (D) from Tenessee just recently returned from Iraq, and said that the situation is not out of control, and that the troops are being met as liberators, and that the media, and select members of Congress are using the troops as political chips, and it is wrong.

Now, Ford is an honorable man, and I would vote for him.

Durandal7
Aug 28, 2003, 01:05 AM
Ah, Robert Byrd, the Strom Thurmond of the Democrat party. He's old, a little crazy, a bigot and will stay in office until he dies. :p

pseudobrit
Aug 28, 2003, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
And Rep Ford (D) from Tenessee just recently returned from Iraq, and said that the situation is not out of control, and that the troops are being met as liberators, and that the media, and select members of Congress are using the troops as political chips, and it is wrong.

Now, Ford is an honorable man, and I would vote for him.

Why? Because he tells you what you wants to hear?

pseudobrit
Aug 28, 2003, 01:42 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Yes, you are right. He is one of the last Grand Dragon's of the KKK that still serve in our government. He is a biggot, and a racist piece of filth.

People like that man have no place in our society, but yet they do. It is sad.

Nasty words from an Alabama man... quite a few of your politicians are/were much more actively racist than Byrd.

Byrd was never a Grand Dragon, and while he may once have been a racist bigot, can you show me something that proves he still is?

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Nasty words from an Alabama man... quite a few of your politicians are/were much more actively racist than Byrd.

Byrd was never a Grand Dragon, and while he may once have been a racist bigot, can you show me something that proves he still is?

Easy there tigger. I know quite a few of the people that serve in the state government here, an none are racist. We had a rough past here, but we have moved beyond it. People here (black and white) get along better with each other, and have more respect for one another than any other place that I have lived in here in the US.

As for Byrd.

"When Trent Lott said a silly thing that could have been interpreted as saying something he didnít say Ö you had a full case of 'conniptions.' I'm no fan of Trent Lott, just a fan of hanging men ONLY for the crimes they actually commit!

Conversely, when Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, former Grand Dragon of the American Knights of the Klu Klux Klan, used the vile 'N' word on TV, nary a word, much less outcry, was observed from the fourth estate. Remarkable."

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/5/6/141519.shtml

Yea, he was a grand dragon, and I am sorry, people with that much hate, do not just give that hate up. People have basic structure. Beliefs, attitudes, and values. Values are the most difficult to change. Do I think he did? No, he did not.

zimv20
Aug 28, 2003, 10:30 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

Yea, he was a grand dragon, and I am sorry, people with that much hate, do not just give that hate up. People have basic structure. Beliefs, attitudes, and values. Values are the most difficult to change. Do I think he did? No, he did not.

if he's really that bad a person, then how sad is it that he was the only one in the senate to stand up and passionately ask if invading iraq was truly the only recourse left?

voting for killing iraqis for the actions of saudis is, in my book, racist.

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 10:44 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
if he's really that bad a person, then how sad is it that he was the only one in the senate to stand up and passionately ask if invading iraq was truly the only recourse left?

voting for killing iraqis for the actions of saudis is, in my book, racist.

Voting to kill those that would kill you is not racist, it covering your ass. ;)

IJ Reilly
Aug 28, 2003, 10:58 AM
Well I can see this thread going nowhere worthwhile in a hurry. Moderator, please lock this thread before it gets completely out of hand.

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Well I can see this thread going nowhere worthwhile in a hurry. Moderator, please lock this thread before it gets completely out of hand.

Why would you say that. We are all getting along.

simX
Aug 28, 2003, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Voting to kill those that would kill you is not racist, it covering your ass. ;)

Sheesh, what has an Iraqi ever done to you? Blatantly labeling all Iraqis as "those that would kill you" is SUCH a non-racist statement. :rolleyes:

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by simX
Sheesh, what has an Iraqi ever done to you? Blatantly labeling all Iraqis as "those that would kill you" is SUCH a non-racist statement. :rolleyes:

OMG, I did not say all Iraqi's. Everyone here knew what was meant. Did we slaughter the Iraqi nation? No. We went after a targeted group of people that were a threat to the world, and our nation.

And the ;) at the end of the post showed it was in jest anyway.

IJ Reilly
Aug 28, 2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Why would you say that. We are all getting along.

Yes, we've been doing pretty well lately, which is why I expressed the concern that this thread seemed poised to devolve into name-calling. We don't need to go there again. Besides, the entire Byrd-Lott thing has been done to death already.

Backtothemac
Aug 28, 2003, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Yes, we've been doing pretty well lately, which is why I expressed the concern that this thread seemed poised to devolve into name-calling. We don't need to go there again. Besides, the entire Byrd-Lott thing has been done to death already.

I will agree with that. If anyone took offense to what I said I am sorry, but it was in jest.

simX
Aug 28, 2003, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
OMG, I did not say all Iraqi's. Everyone here knew what was meant. Did we slaughter the Iraqi nation? No. We went after a targeted group of people that were a threat to the world, and our nation.

And the ;) at the end of the post showed it was in jest anyway.

:shrug: If you meant it that way, it sure didn't seem like it to me. You didn't qualify your statement, and you were quoting zimv20 whose reference subject was "iraqis", so I had no reason to believe that you were saying anything else. Plus, it's not like an ;) makes everything right -- one could interpret my :rolleyes: as a sign of jest, too.

Of course, then there's always the debate about whether the Saddam regime was really a threat to the world and to our nation, to which I would respond with a resounding "No." But that's just my minority opinion. :rolleyes: