It is also important to remember that more than 200 Iraqis died this week. They also are losing life and limb and suffering most immediately.
Which leads me to my Iraq war thought for the day.
The main talking point coming from the 30% of "DEAD-ENDERS" in government and among the populous who believe in the War and that it is going quite well thank you, is that ANY plan for withdrawing troops from Iraq and ending the catastrophic occupation is a "Blueprint for failure" and a "surrender, an admission of defeat."
I counter that defeat was decided long ago and I also counter that the real "BLUEPRINT FOR FAILURE" was created and executed by the men and women who planned, started and carried out the war and occupation.
Their "Blueprints" were on paper and laid out for the world to see. Part one of the blueprint set the table for everything else. An unnecessary war of choice based on lies.
-Falsified, untrue and unsubstantiated accusations of "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" were laid out for the world to see, most embarrassingly by Colin Powell at the United Nations. This as Hans Blix was on the ground in Iraq saying there were no weapons.
-General Shinseki recommended that at least 300,000 troops would be needed to win the peace, he was fired and 150,000 were sent.
-An official in the Bush Administration countered the Bush claim that the war would cost at most $50 Billion by saying it would cost at least $150-200 billion. He was fired. Tally so far $450 billion and counting.
-The United Nations and the world at large were told "we don't need you." Rather than the successful coalition of Gulf War I, the Bushies decided unilateralism and the ignoring of international opinion, help and advice was the way to go.
-----After the Iraqi Army surrendered quickly:
-The ONLY Ministry to be protected was the Oil Ministry. All others were sacked and overran.
-140,000 troops were expected to conquer, police and rebuild a nation of 25 million
-U.S. Taxes were cut 3 times
-Weapons stockpiles were left unguarded and the future insurgents scooped them up.
-The Iraqi Army and Police Force was completely disbanded, putting 500,000 armed and unemployed men on the streets
-A prison/torture center was set up in Saddam's very own prison/torture center, Abu Ghraib
-Paul Bremmer oversaw what everyone now agrees to be the most incompetent occupying force and administration of the 20th century
-The Green Zone occupying force was made up largely of nepotistic political appointees with no experience in occupation and nation building.
I could go on and on but the story should be a familiar one to all.
The bottom line is this. Everything that has happened in the last 5 years of this war has been an unmitigated disaster and all of it has been the result of the BLUEPRINT created by an extremist right wing PRESIDENT, HOUSE and SENATE. They wrote the "blueprint for failure."
And now, they have the audacity to use as their talking point the idea that any idea proffered for getting us OUT is a blueprint for failure, its is shameful on their part, even more shameful for the people who buy into it. We have lost our way here in the U.S.A.. There are decisions and actions and collective thoughts that have led once great powers to stray from their path, never again to find their way again.
With the axis of the earth tilting toward Asia, as China and India rise, with Europe declining in population and power, and with the need for natural resources leading to worldwide changes in power-centers (e.g. Russia) it is not hard to imagine that the past 5 years have been the diversion from the straight path that could prove to be the final act in American hegemony and influence as the world's lone Superpower.
From a vantage point of 5, 10, 20 years hence, the real "blueprint for failure" will be seen to have been written by neoconservative ideologues with complicity from the military-industrial-petro-dollar complex.