Despite Vice President Dick Cheney’s statement two weeks ago that the insurgency in Iraq is in its “last throes,” the situation in Iraq continues to get worse. A growing number of military officials have conceded that military operations will not end the insurgency, yet those operations continue to be the focus of the US efforts. The ongoing conflict is having a direct impact on Iraqi citizens as the United States is currently denying aid agencies access to the city of Karabila, where the US is in the midst of an operation that has resulted in numerous civilian casualties. Meanwhile in Baghdad, millions are without adequate water after an attack by insurgents on a water pipeline while millions more remain unemployed throughout the country, in part due to the instability.
It is within this context that calls for the Untied States to leave Iraq have amplified over the past few week. While these calls have come from traditional sources, such as the letter released by 82 members of the new Iraqi parliament calling for an end to the occupation, calls for a US withdrawal from Iraq have begun to come from more non-traditional sources as well. A resolution has been introduced in the House of Representatives calling for a withdrawal from Iraq starting in October of 2006 and an “Out of Iraq” caucus has been formed. Surprisingly Republican Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, who drew attention back in 2003 for renaming the French Fries sold in the House cafeteria to “Freedom Fries,” introduced the resolution calling for the withdrawal from Iraq, joining the small but growing number of Republicans who are questioning the war. Over the weekend, Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican member of the Foreign Relations Commission, said in an interview that the United States is “losing in Iraq.”
Some involved in the antiwar movement have started to talk of recent developments “as the beginning of the end” of the occupation, arguing that with increasing public opposition to the war and ongoing attacks by resistance fighters in Iraq, the Bush administration will soon have to announce a plan to leave Iraq. However, this seems unlikely, as the Bush administration continues to believe that the United States presence in Iraq is needed. In his radio address last weekend, President Bush revealed how out-of-touch he is with reality in Iraq and public opinion repeating old assertions that the United States is “fighting these terrorists in Iraq so you will not have to face them here at home” and that the United States went to war “because we were attacked,” although there was never a relationship between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaida.