Armstrong Williams

I strongly supported President Bush when he declared war on Iraq and sought regime change there once and for all. I adamantly defended President Bush when he outlined his post-Saddam Hussein plan to stabilize Iraq and rebuild it as a free and democratic country. I staunchly backed our President when he asked the country for patience and Congress for more money to win the war. But after last week’s speech in which he laid out plans to send in another 21,500 US troops to Baghdad, my support stopped.

After the President’s prime-time speech last week, I was able to speak with individuals on the ground in Iraq. They emphatically blasted the decision, saying that the President’s optimism didn’t match the “reality of the situation.” Adding 20,000 more troops - in their estimation - changes nothing, as long as the inept Iraq government is expected to meet the challenge expressed by the President in his speech. Relying on the Iraq government and President Maliki to be more responsible and accountable is a joke. His authority has never been demonstrated, and there is no evidence that he will step up to the plate now. His police and security forces are so infiltrated by militias, that they can never be trusted to do what's in the best interest of their country. They are bought and paid for by money, loyalty to the insurgents, and a genuine distrust and disgust of American presence there. Experts say that the security forces and perhaps government officials are involved in matters unduly sectarian, and are abusive and inhumane to Iraqi citizens. My sources on the ground believe Maliki feels no loyalty to President Bush or the Iraq people, and is just an enabler for the massive violence and destruction that continues.

To me, this seems like more of the same from our President. It sounds like the build up plan from last summer, only this time he admitted past mistakes (“Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.”), and added a few guidelines for the Iraqi government (Iraqis should dedicate $10 billion for reconstruction efforts, deliver three brigades for Baghdad effort, and crack down on all insurgents and extremists, regardless of sect or religion.). But the fact remains, President Bush is spurning the opinion of the American public (recent polling shows 70 percent of Americans are against sending more troops to Iraq), ignoring the Iraq Study Group plan, and acting against the majority of Congress. At this point, one has to wonder if the President is being stubborn or just getting misleading information.


Armstrong Williams

Armstrong Williams is a widely-syndicated columnist, CEO of the Graham Williams Group, and hosts the Armstrong Williams Show. He is the author of Reawakening Virtues.
 
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