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Saturday, November 25, 2006

 

The Quagmire that Is Iraq


Iraq * Shifting Stance on Climate Change


If Vietnam was a quagmire, Iraq is turning out to be a bigger one. President Bush and his band of neocons exploited the fear following 9/11 and took us to war. Now it has become like a ball of fat that cannot be swallowed or spat out. We are stuck and how to get out of Iraq has become the primary issue facing the nation. The article by Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) in the Washington Post, "Leaving Iraq Honorably", deserves attention. When the time comes we might say that we left "honorably" but is the world going to see it that way? After all the lies, deceptions, and empty claims of accomplishments; after the high toll in lives lost and money wasted, "honor" is not a word that would be associated with the misadventure in Iraq.






Leaving Iraq, Honorably
by Chuck Hagel

There will be no victory or defeat for the United States in Iraq. These terms do not reflect the reality of what is going to happen there. The future of Iraq was always going to be determined by the Iraqis -- not the Americans.

Iraq is not a prize to be won or lost. It is part of the ongoing global struggle against instability, brutality, intolerance, extremism and terrorism. There will be no military victory or military solution for Iraq. Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger made this point last weekend.

The time for more U.S. troops in Iraq has passed. We do not have more troops to send and, even if we did, they would not bring a resolution to Iraq. Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose.

We have misunderstood, misread, misplanned and mismanaged our honorable intentions in Iraq with an arrogant self-delusion reminiscent of Vietnam. Honorable intentions are not policies and plans. Iraq belongs to the 25 million Iraqis who live there. They will decide their fate and form of government.

Climate Change

Al Gore should feel vindicated. Less than a month after the Democrats' victory, there are signs of changing attitudes about climate change! A volteface; quite different from the sky will fall scenario that the energy companies pushed in the past. Certainly, good news. Steven Mufson and Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post: "While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable."






"We have to deal with greenhouse gases," John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co., said in a recent speech at the National Press Club. "From Shell's point of view, the debate is over. When 98 percent of scientists agree, who is Shell to say, 'Let's debate the science'?"

"We have to deal with greenhouse gases," John Hofmeister, president of Shell Oil Co., said in a recent speech at the National Press Club. "From Shell's point of view, the debate is over. When 98 percent of scientists agree, who is Shell to say, 'Let's debate the science'?"

Hofmeister and other top energy company leaders, such as Duke Energy Corp.'s chief executive, James E. Rogers, back a proposal that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and allow firms to trade their quotas.

*****



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