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Carolyn Quinn

Right now our Congress is once again discussing a bill that would provide President Bush

with additional funds to continue the War in Iraq.

I wring my hands knowing that the discussion most likely focuses how to supply the military

operations and operatives rather than how to bring our operations and operatives home- and

how we will fund their care for decades to come.  But the climate in the world this time is a

little bit different while our congress deliberates. 


Last year, Tony Blair, who had been the most popular Prime Minister in Great Britain’s

istory, also became the least popular - because of his close alliance with George W. Bush

and the Iraq War Fiasco. Tony Blair resigned and was succeeded by Gordon Brown.

Last November, John Howard in Australia was unseated by their new Prime Minister,

Kevin Rudd.  Rudd’s campaign promise was to end Australia’s participation in the Iraq

War and bring their 550 combat troops home by the middle of 2008.


Last Sunday, Australia ended combat operations in Iraq, and the first troops actually arrived

at their mainland.  In the course of the next few weeks the rest of the Australian combat troops

will go home.  No grand chaos erupted, just grand homecomings for those 550 military families. 

Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon declared the mission a success, saying it had allowed Iraq’s

own security forces to successfully take control.


Last Monday, Prime Minister  Rudd publicly told his Parliament that his predecessor, John

Howard, had abused intelligence to lead his country into a war that has only served to

increase global terrorism. Rudd has said the Iraq deployment made Australia more of a

target for terrorism.


Last Tuesday, the Canadian House of Commons passed a non-binding resolution in

response to widespread opposition to the war in Iraq throughout their country.  It calls on

their government to stop the deportation of Iraq war resisters who came to Canada seeking

refuge from participating in a war not sanctioned by the United Nations and recognized that

those resisters view the war as illegal and immoral.


Also last Tuesday, Barack Obama clinched the delegate count for a Democratic nomination

and became our presumptive nominee.  His campaign promise has been to end the war in Iraq

altogether and bring our troops home in an orderly manner.


This has been a big week.


Thursday, our own Senate Intelligence Committee declared that the Bush administration “led

the nation to war on false premises.”  The committee chairman is John Rockefeller of West

Virginia.  Rockefeller has now personally declared his support for Barack Obama.  Some

Republicans on the committee voted to support its conclusions, some Republicans immediately

published a dissent document calling it partisan gamesmanship.  Hello?  That, my friends, is

why we elected a Democratic majority.


The media tells us that the results of this fall’s election is likely to be the result of economic woes

and issues.  I don’t think so. 


I continue to wring my hands, but within their clasp is a glimmer of hope.  Here is my prediction

of what CHANGE is going to look like. THIS is the change I believe in:


Next November we elect Barack president and celebrate a historic record in terms of citizen

participation across the country.  Before New Years’ Day, President Obama announces an end

to U.S. combat operations in Iraq and our flag is calmly and respectably taken down from

combat camps there.  “The focus of our military operations is now finding bin Laden in



The Democratic Secretary of Defense can officially claim that Iraqi Freedom was a success. 

Fine. Whatever. The March issue of Time Magazine has a cover picture of grand homecomings. 

Pride of service and valor is all the wave.  Patriotism surges beyond the levels of September 12,



Next June, President Obama publicly tells Congress that his predecessor had abused intelligence

to lead our country into a war that has resulted in less Iraqi freedom, not more.  Less security in

America, not more.  If anybody can deliver a speech that validates the servicemen and women,

and validates theirservice while at the same time denouncing the decisions to both begin and

maintain war in Iraq… (well, Kevin Rudd did it in Australia this week.) If anybody can deliver

that speech here in the U.S. and pull it off with style and grace, that would be Barack Obama. 

I am looking forward to the day. 


Back to current events in Australia:

Rudd's predecessor, former Prime Minister John Howard, said he was "baffled" by the decision

to withdraw the troops. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Howard in an interview published

Monday,"If I had been returned at the last election we would not have been bringing (troops)

home, we would


have been looking at transitioning them from their soon-to-be terminated role to a training role."


Can’t you just picture McCain being interviewed in the wings next year saying he was “baffled”

by the decision to withdraw troops?


The Arizona Daily Star will quote Senator McCain’s response to President Obama’s latest

speech,  ‘If I had been elected president last November, we would not be bringing troops home

or sending them to Afghanistan, we would have been looking at transitioning them from their

soon-to-be terminated roles in Iraq to training roles.  And what about Iran?’ – AP.”


Carolyn Quinn

June 6, 2008



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 5th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Follow Spain's steps
The promise to move troops out of Iraq was one of the main reasons that gave José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero a close victory in the Spanish parliamentary elections in March 2004. Now, four years later, that decision has been confirmed by a second, and larger, victory in the 2008 elections. Then we were called cowards and traitors by many people (including, sadly, some American liberals), but now it should be clear to everyone that Spain's decision was the good one and we hope that the USA will soon follow if Obama wins the presidential election.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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