Steve Russell: America hasn't saved Iraq from the Iraqis

Steve Russell reflects on the war in Iraq and the fall of Fallujah:
The Sunday New York Times reported that Al Qaeda has taken control of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, for the first time since the U.S. Marines hauled down the Stars and Stripes over the memory of the Second Battle of Fallujah at the end of 2004, having first spilled their blood earlier in the year in the indecisive First Battle of Fallujah in April. It was a nasty bit of business, taking Fallujah, and it inspired a famous song written by Billy Joel and performed by Cass Dillon.

Hearing this sad news from Fallujah in the first week of 2014 reminded Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) that they warned President Barack Obama back in 2011 not to carry out the plan that elected him, to remove combat troops from Iraq.

My memories drifted back to the early seventies. A young John Kerry, testifying for Vietnam Veterans Against the War, confronted with Congressional hawks in doves’ clothing, was famously asked "how" we could get out of Vietnam?

"Ships and planes, Senator, ships and planes."

Serving in the Senate on Oct. 11, 2002, the same Kerry voted to go to war in Iraq based on a pack of lies even more egregious than the lies that led him to earn three Purple Hearts in Vietnam. Still, he was back to wondering about the means of disengaging when I wrote to him in 2006 to advise him how to get out of Iraq, circling back his own words: “Ships and planes, Senator, ships and planes.”

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Steve Russell: Fallujah on Fire: A Fight Not Worth Our Blood (Indian Country Today 1/10)

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