NYT: 'It is time for the US to leave Iraq'
In an editorial today, the New York Times calls for the immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, "without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit."
The Times writes that it has become "clear that the president had neither the vision nor the means to" build a stable and unified Iraq, and that the "surge" as failed to mitigate the sectarian violence that continues to rage in the country.
"The political leaders Washington has backed are incapable of putting national interests ahead of sectarian score settling," writes the NYT. "Additional military forces poured into the Baghdad region have failed to change anything."
The paper argues that continuing to fight in Iraq "is wrong," and that despite President Bush's repeated claims that Iraq is a front line the war on terror, it is actually a "dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists."
The editorial concludes that withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is the only responsible course of action.
The United States has about 160,000 troops and millions of tons of military gear inside Iraq. Getting that force out safely will be a formidable challenge. The main road south to Kuwait is notoriously vulnerable to roadside bomb attacks. Soldiers, weapons and vehicles will need to be deployed to secure bases while airlift and sealift operations are organized. Withdrawal routes will have to be guarded. The exit must be everything the invasion was not: based on reality and backed by adequate resources.
Accomplishing all of this in less than six months is probably unrealistic. The political decision should be made, and the target date set, now.
President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened — the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.
READ THE FULL NYT EDITORIAL HERE