Rock with The Issues: Iraq

Today we rock with the issue of Iraq. Our guest contributor is Marcus Gadson, the deputy director of RockwithBarack.com (for more information check out the “Blog Team” section). I hope you enjoy the dicussion and it provokes you to further debate this topic amongst yourselves and further check out Obama’s stance on it.


The Bush administration’s decision to go to war in Iraq was one of the worst policy decisions in American history. Almost four years after bush declared “mission accomplished,” The US has squandered the lives of over 3,000 brave young soldiers and wasted $407 billion and counting on a war that should never have been authorized or fought. Now, President Bush has decided to make matters worse by surging 20,000 more soldiers.

This came despite the advice of several of his commanders on the ground. General John Abizaid, the former of head of central command argued that more soldiers were not the answer before he left his post. The head of the Iraqi government, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki was against the surge as well, thinking that an increased American force would only add to the perception of an imperialistic American occupation at a time when increased Iraqi control of the effort was vital.

Of course this is not the first time, that Bush has ignored good advice. In private, Colin Powell advocated against launching the invasion, or going into Baghdad. Bush rejected calls for a larger invasion force and a larger occupation force at the war’s outset. He disbanded the entire military structure. This decision is to blame for much of today’s chaos in Iraq; the country would be much further along had the old military been in place to keep some semblance of order.

Needless to say, escalating hostilities is not the answer. More troops on the ground simply means more targets for terrorist, and more dead young Americans. The only way increasing the number of troops would help is if we put in an overwhelming number of troops: think 100,000 or more to destroy the insurgency. There is neither the public support for this, nor the resources necessary to do this. What we need now is a political solution, not a military one. We need to focus on getting a working Iraqi government, and developing a plan to share oil revenues.

Even worse, the surge is detracting from our ability to fight not only in the rest of Iraq, but in the wider war on terror. To surge troops in Baghdad we will have to pull soldiers from other problem areas like Tikrit and Fallujah. The insurgents will soon move back in, and then we will have to deal with them too. In short, condition will deteriorate in the other parts of the country we leave.

Barack Obama had the wisdom to foresee the disastrous consequences of fighting this war in the first place. Way back in 2002, as a state senator, he said the following:

(See related video – Ed.)

“I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined costs, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaida”

Obama made this statement when the President’s popularity was at a high point, and speaking out against the war was construed as unpatriotic. Despite the political pressure, Obama had the courage and principle to buck the popular opinion and the President, and oppose the war.

While other Senators offer non-binding resolutions that Dick Cheney, George Bush, and Karl Rove will ignore, he offers us the Iraq De-Escalation Act of 2007. This legislation, if enacted would bring our soldiers home by March 31 of 2008 with exceptions in place should an emergency require soldiers. This is the only responsible thing left to do. With our soldiers out of Iraq, we can refocus our energies on stabilizing Afghanistan, and we would force the Iraqi government to taking responsibility for its own security, a prerequisite for any sovereign state. In any case, the time is long since past for escalation of hostilities. So, in the upcoming election, ask yourselves this question: do want someone who wants us to keep sending American citizens to fight a needless war or someone who has been opposed to said needless war from the very beginning?

Don’t be fooled by other candidates who keep going back and forth on their stances. For example, both John Edwards and Hillary Clinton voted for the war in Iraq. Don’t let them re-write history just to gain votes. If you really care about this issue then surely you will make the right decision in the coming election and primaries. Hopefully this has provided some initial insight to help you make that decision. We’ll keep providing you with facts about Obama and the other candidates as well as Iraq in general.

Stay tuned and as always, keep rocking,

Marcus Gadson
Deputy Director
RockwithBarack.com

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One Response

  1. […] the record, I strongly applaud Obama’s early opposition to the war, and I agree this gives him a level of credibility that Hillary and others who initially voted in […]

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