Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Abandoning American soldiers in Iraq

While President Bush tells the American people we are winning in Iraq and calls on Senator John Kerry to apologize for an alleged slight to American soldiers, the relationship between the U.S. and the Maliki government deteriorates as the Prime Minister orders American troops out of Sadar City. The Americans were searching for a kidnapped comrade who was most likely held in the Shiite suburb of Baghdad. It appears we are abandoning a kidnapped soldier to whatever fate the kidnappers have in store for him.

Andrew Sullivan sums it up this way:

While the media is obsessed parsing the ad libs of someone on no ballot this fall, something truly ominous has just happened in Iraq. The commander-in-chief has abandoned an American soldier to the tender mercies of a Shiite militia. Yes, there are nuances here, …. But the essential fact is clear. In a showdown for control of Baghdad, the Iraqi prime minister took orders from Moqtada al-Sadr, and instructed the U.S. military to withdraw from Sadr City. The American forces were trying both to stabilize the city but also to find a missing American serviceman. He is still missing. ….

The U.S. military does not have a tradition of abandoning its own soldiers to foreign militias, or of taking orders from foreign governments. No commander-in-chief who actually walks the walk, rather than swaggering the swagger, would acquiesce to such a thing. The soldier appears to be of Iraqi descent who is married to an Iraqi woman. Who authorized abandoning him to the enemy? Who is really giving the orders to the U.S. military in Iraq? These are real questions about honor and sacrifice and a war that is now careening out of any control. They are not phony questions drummed up by a partisan media machine to appeal to emotions to maintain power.

1 comment:

Joel Monka said...

Either Iraq is a sovereign nation or it is not. If France ordered our soldiers out, saying their police would handle it, we would in fact leave. Doing anything else would be formally announcing that we do not recognize that government.