We Need an Exit Strategy Before Going In

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“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
~ Thomas Paine

"In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these"
~ Paul Harvey

We all know that the enemy we fight is a coward. They are an enemy that destroys and kills for the sake of killing. This enemy cares not if its victims are children or women. This enemy is evil and must be destroyed.

Look, I’m all for rooting out dead-enders, terrorists, bad-guys, undesirables, shady-types, hippies, thugs and their gangs, people with moustaches, people who talk funny, (don’t forget geeks, freaks, and drag-queens) as much as the next guy, but I am a tad bit queasy about getting our military forces involved in another quagmire that could be open-ended. Yes, I know that our military forces are already there. I know that we’d look like wimps if we just u201Ccut and run,u201D (what would the neighbors think?) but I think the American public deserves some answers. I think it’s high time for the Democratic Party to stand up and show some of the magnificent leadership qualities it has shown in the recent past and say that now — right now — is the time we put our foot down and say u201Cenough is enough.u201D

Before deploying our armed forces into another area where they are not wanted — if even for the good of democracy and the livelihoods of the local folks — I think it is high time that American society take a good, long, hard look at where this president is taking us.

What is our total commitment? How many troops will we need? What will be the cost to the American taxpayer and for how long? These are the important questions that need to be asked and it is imperative that the Bush administration give us honest answers for once. I, for one, am not interested in seeing our troops sent into a death zone without a clear-cut objective and a set-in-stone exit strategy.

Sure the administration keeps repeating the mantra that "We will be in for just as long as necessary," and "Until local forces can be trained to maintain security and keep the peace;" but where have we heard this line before?

And what about reconstruction after the devastation wrought? How much will that cost? Why should the American public bear the brunt of these costs? What about our allies? How much of the burden are they willing to bear? I believe the Democratic Party should finally make a stand and demand some answers (or start an investigative commission) into just how and why contracts for reconstruction are given before awarding them to Halliburton.

So put me down as another person who is against sending our military into a jungle for the purpose of blasting out locals. If they want to live the way they live — with what they have in hand at the moment — then I say that that is their right. Who are we to say how they should live?

Join with me as I write to my congressman and say, u201CUS troops out of New Orleans!u201D

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has the distinction of being fired from every FM radio station in Tokyo — one of them three times. His first book, Schizophrenic in Japan, is now on sale.

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