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NEW GROUNDS FOR LEAVING IRAQ

Cowboy hat By Jim Hightower and Phillip Frazer - Fri., 8/3/07
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Ready for your monthlong vacation? You do get all of August off...don't you?

Well, one group planning to enjoy R&R for the entirety of August is the very group that most needs to stay on the job and--how shall I put this?--GET SOMETHING DONE! I'm talking about the Iraqi parliament, which has announced that its members are going to vacate the capital and chill out during August.

Excuse me? Isn't there a war rampaging over there? Aren't these the squabbling sectarian leaders who haven't been able to come to a political consensus and muster a security force to run their own country? Don't we suffer military deaths and casualties every day in THEIR civil war? Aren't U.S. taxpayers dumping $10 billion a month into the morass of Iraq?

And now the Iraqi legislators are taking a month off? If their summer abdication of responsibility is not grounds for voting to withdraw our troops, what is? I agree with Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, who says, "This is a fight that is theirs, not ours."

Yet Bush PR flack Tony Snow tried to rationalize the Iraqi leaders' abandonment of duty by saying, "Well, it's 130 degrees in Baghdad in August." You want hot, Tony? Go strap on the war gear that our soldiers have to wear. Will they be given August off to chill out?

Bush's excuse for keeping them in Iraq's civil war is that if we leave, chaos will follow. Hello! Iraq is chaos! It's not worth the life of another U.S. soldier to try to fix what Iraq's socalled "leaders" clearly feel no urgency to fix for themselves. Besides, the same "chaos" excuse was used to prolong the Vietnam War. We left, and what happened? Not chaos but -- golf! Yes, seven golf resorts are now strung along the Ho Chi Minh Trail...and Americans are invited to play.



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