Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19, 2003; The Anniversary

As we begin our 5th year in Iraq, I ask and pray for the following things:

- That security of Iraq is in the hands of the Iraqi people by year's end. The President has stated that this will happen by November.

- Once Iraqi security is turned over, there is a significant redeployment of troops out of the region. This is similar to what I said following the President's 'Surge' speech:
I may be in the minority, but I am willing to give President Bush till November, and then I expect a timetable for redeployment. Iraq needs to take ownership, and we will now give them a deadline, not open ended promises.
- The safe return of National Guard troops so they can be home with their families and protecting the homeland here, on American soil.

Ya know, Governor Bill Richardson lays it out pretty clearly:
Bill Richardson has offered a four-part plan for Iraq. He supports withdrawal of all troops by year-end 2007; transfer of security duties to the Iraqi government; accelerated reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure; U.S. facilitation of a national reconciliation effort between Iraqi religious and political factions; and diplomatic talks with Iraq’s neighbors, including Iran and Syria.
This isn't really all that different from what the President is saying, but you can bet a President Richardson would stick to it, not waffle and squirm the moment things aren't going well.

This is a difficult time, but we can not stay in the region forever, and we need to commit to a plan with contingencies for a variety of outcomes. I stand by my closing words from January:
My support doesn't come unconditionally, for I have a son who just may be a part of this process. But we must be aware of the consequences of an unstable Iraq in an already unstable region. Walking away now is not an option, presenting the Iraqi government with our ultimatum is.
Cpl. Tom is still in Southern California and is currently training. The earliest he would redeploy is June.

Godspeed to our troops in harms way with strength to those who are tasked with making the difficult decisions. Let's hope when we hit the five year mark, our conversation is centered more on rebuilding their economy and infrastructure, not lives and families!


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