Saturday, April 10, 2004

Time to look for the exits in Iraq

I agree with Sen. Byrd. It's time to Follow the Exit Signs in Iraq and get our troops out of there.

"The United States should get out of the business of running Iraq.
Additional military force from the United States, which is now widely viewed as an international bully by those in the region, will not ease the transition to a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. A new approach is urgently needed. We should work with the community of nations. It is time to turn full authority over to the United Nations."

It is very clear now, one year into this operation, that the Bush administration did not have the foggiest clue as to what they were getting us into.

As Maureen Dowd noted in the NY Times the other day:

"Every single thing the administration calculated would happen in Iraq has turned out the opposite. The W.M.D. that supposedly threatened us did not exist. The dangerous dictator was deluded and writing romance novels. The terrorism that would be thwarted has mushroomed in Iraq and is feeding Arab radicalism.
Mr. Rumsfeld thought invading Iraq would exorcise America's Vietnam syndrome, its squeamishness about using force. Instead, it has raised the specter of another Vietnam, where our courageous troops don't understand the culture, can't recognize the enemy and don't have an exit strategy. And the administration spins the war every day.
Rummy also thought he could show off his transformation of the military, using a leaner force. Now even some Republicans say he is putting our troops at risk by stubbornly refusing to admit he was wrong.
Dick Cheney thought fear was better than weak-kneed diplomacy, that if America whacked one Arab foe, all the others would cower. Wrong. The Iraq invasion has multiplied and emboldened our enemies.
Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld thought America should flex its hyperpower muscles, castrating the U.N. and blowing off multilateral arrangements. Now the administration may have to crawl back for help.
The hawks thought they could establish a democracy that would produce a domino effect in the Arab world. Wrong. The dominoes are falling in a scarier direction.
The president thought he could improve on the ending to his father's gulf war. Wrong again."

We supposedly went to Iraq to find WMDs which we now know did not exist (at least not in this decade) and to depose a brutal dictator. Well, Saddam Hussein has been captured and his evil sons are dead. So let's declare victory and go home.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

U.S. battles China, Iran for top executioner title

TalkLeft has a post linking to an Amnesty International study on the death penalty.

The U.S. is among the top three executioners in the world along with China and Iran. When you throw in No. 4 Vietnam, they account for 84 percent of all the executions in the world.

The U.S. continues to be increasingly isolated in its support of this backward and barbaric practice as Amnesty International's figures showed that 77 countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes by the end of 2003....

The study also shows that since 1973, 113 prisoners have been released from death row in the U.S. after evidence emerged of their innocence of the crimes for which they were sentenced to death.

I would like to think that if Mel Gibson's graphic film "The Passion of the Christ" inspires one thing it might be a revulsion for state-sponsored executions of which Christ was a victim.