Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tomato or To-mato?

I believe that the American military is on target when officers ask for a mission that includes maintaining -- either at bases in Iraq at the request of Iraq or in bases in Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia -- a military force powerful enough to launch special operations missions against al-Qaeda or Sunni insurgents in Iraq; train Iraqi troops to defend their own country; and guarantee the security of the Iraqi government, if so desired by Iraq.

This approach of drawing down our forces while maintaining the military presence needed to preserve democracy in the country and launch special operations missions against terrorists would save U.S. lives and tax dollars as well as prevent Iraq from becoming a base of operations for foreign jihadists and buy valuable time to train Iraqi forces.[1]

This is an excerpt from an open letter to the Washington Post from Republican presidential candidate, James Gilmore. It amazes me how important in the political spectrum words have become. It’s amazing because someone has obviously spent a lot of money and time figuring out that if you say the right word, it doesn’t matter what it is attached to it will sell or spin. We have completely divorced words from their meanings, they now just float aimlessly in space waiting to be brought down and used for any purpose we so desire. This administration has taken this talent to a whole new level; who could forget their many hits, Clear Skies, No Child Left Behind, Healthy Forests. Clear Skies weakened environmental laws NCLB has left millions behind and Healthy Forests allows for increased logging.

The point being if you say something often enough you can change the meaning of it. This of course is true, the reason the words have the definitions that they do is enough people used them enough to mean the same thing and it caught on. It is irrelevant that the words now mean the complete opposite of their original meaning.

Reading the above quote I was struck that the candidate was promoting a partial withdrawal from Iraq. Mr. Gilmore is attempting to distance himself from the presidents Iraq policy and current strategy. This on the surface would appear to be what the Democratic candidates are promoting, but according to Mr. Gilmore this would be in error. You see, Mr. Gilmore is promoting a “drawdown”, not a withdrawal. There is obviously a big difference between the two and yet for the life of me I am unable to figure out what they are. As I read through his letter I was looking for the differences, besides semantic and I couldn’t find it.

Like you, I reject the Democrats' policy of an immediate withdrawal or a withdrawal on a timetable. Unfortunately, they are playing to the polls to obtain political advantage at home, to the detriment of the United States. But I also believe we cannot continue our present policy. We must find a third way.[2]

So, when Democrats suggest another alternative for the failed Iraq policy they are playing to the polls, but when Republicans do it, it is for the sake of the country. This strategy is as much of a failure as Iraq has been. When the ship completely sinks which it will do, these die hard war mongers will have a difficult time selling this garbage. This just illustrates that both parties can see this war has been a failure, but for the sake of political expediency they have chosen to ignore our troops. I can hardly wait to see the language of withdrawal when the Republicans get done with it. I have a feeling withdrawal won’t really mean withdrawal; it will mean a “redeployment” of our assets. I don’t know about you, but I have had enough of this name game. It is time to do what everyone knows must be done. There is no honor in stupidity or stubbornness. Wishing will not make it so, more troops will not make it so, and word games will definitely not make it so…End this war now!

[2] Ibid

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