...This has never been a popular war. From the beginning, one of its most vocal critics was Pope John Paul II. Always mindful of Christian-Muslim relations, the pope urged the president to forgo an invasion.
The president and his administration didn’t listen. So the pope spoke a little louder....
....Many in this country and abroad felt a deepening unease. The Iraq Study Group, also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission, was a bipartisan panel of 10 former judges, politicians and executives. This group was appointed by Congress on March 15, 2006, to assess the problems in Iraq. Their 79 recommendations were published online in December of 2006.
The report asserts: “Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq. A senior American general told us that adding U.S. troops might temporarily help limit violence in a highly localized area. However, the violence would simply rekindle as soon as U.S. forces are moved to another area.
“As another American general told us, if the Iraqi government does not make political progress, ‘all the troops in the world will not provide security.’”
The president, yet again, ignored advice and pressed on. With this move, our country’s stock with the rest of the world plunged lower than his stateside approval ratings...
...to be an armchair critic is a freedom that we enjoy, not from the declarations of a president, but from the labors of our soldiers.
And nowhere is the tragedy of war felt more urgently than by the brave and battered men and women who are embedded in a fight they did not start, waging a war for reasons no longer apparent, battling an enemy with no clear face.To insist upon their safe return is a commendable—and, yes, patriotic— outcry. What better way to support our troops than to speak the words that are so richly deserved and painfully long-overdue: “Welcome home.”
That is a very powerful message coming from a highly respected Catholic publication.
Meanwhile, an update from Iraq Coalition Casualties:
|U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD:||3244|
|Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation:||2|
Also, the following news story is from Iraq Coalition Casualties from the AP and Yahoo News:
The U.S. military death toll in March, the first full month of the security crackdown, was nearly twice that of the Iraqi army, which American and Iraqi officials say is taking the leading role in the latest attempt to curb violence in the capital, surrounding cities and Anbar province, according to figures compiled on Saturday.
The Associated Press count of U.S. military deaths for the month was 81, including a soldier who died from non-combat causes Saturday. Figures compiled from officials in the Iraqi ministries of Defense, Health and Interior showed the Iraqi military toll was 44. The Iraqi figures showed that 165 Iraqi police were killed in March. Many of the police serve in paramilitary units....