Friday, June 24, 2005

What Is The "Mission" In Iraq?

Perry Jefferies' post on the OpTruth blog is so good today, I am going to treat you to all of it:

"Lots of Headlines, but for Some, It Still Boils Down to Rage

There has been plenty to comment on this week in the news - intemperate legislators and political operatives, corruption, revelations, outrage, death. But I find myself almost paralyzed with rage as each and every story about Iraq, the administration's handling of the "War on Terror", what the Democrats would do, what the Republicans have done; boil down to one fine point for me.

What is the "Mission?"

What is it? Can someone articulate it for me please? I know that I have asked this in this forum before but why isn't anyone asking this of our government? I certainly have my own ideas about why they may not voluntarily spell it out - but that is blather. Let us - puh-leeeze - hear it from those in charge. I think that anyone with any idea of what is going on in Iraq can spell out that the insurgency has grown and is nowhere near going away. But merely fighting an insurgency is not the mission. Some in the administration believe that the government in Iraq will produce a constitution and new elections on time, but that does not spell complete for our troops. Trillions of numbers have been thrown around referring to amounts of Iraqi security forces trained and even and expected time when they might be "ready" for prime time. But that may not mean the end of the Iraqi road for the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen in the country.

So what is it and how do we, they, the public, and the media allow anyone to talk about success, the mission, or winning or losing; without asking what it is we are trying to achieve? This is unfathomable to me - that a week after the President's radio address and a day after Mr. Rumsfeld's testimony about the "mission" that no one is asking - What is it? How do we know when we are done?

I like the idea of the Jones amendment only because it forces the administration's hand but the principle of a certain timeline doesn't seem to make much sense to me without events and goals that have to be achieved to bring us to the point where we safely exit. But a timeline does not address the things to be done. What are they? Is it staying or going? Are they realistic? How can we have any real discussion about the Nation's occupation in Iraq without knowing what we are trying to do there? It doesn't matter if we agree or disagree - we can't even talk about it until we know what it is. And it seems that few are asking. Meanwhile, Soldiers are sitting in the desert, trying to get through each and every day - not sure if they will come home on time, unsure if they will be cared for upon return, knowing what they have to do that day but not in the year's time they are there. Soldiers from 4th ID are all becoming pretty sure they will stay 15 or 18 months instead of the year they are scheduled for but still have no idea what they are going for or what overall goals they will fight for while in country. As always, they will end up fighting for each other, their buddies, and survival. But it would be nice to think that their leaders had some mission other than "go to Iraq and survive for some amount of time."

Here is a proposal - no politician or senior defense official should be able to use the word "mission" unless they can define it. No one from the administration should be able to use the word "success" until they say what it means. No reporter or investigator should ask any other question on this subject until "THE MISSION" has been spelled out in front of the public."

Good stuff, Perry.

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