Administration should bring soldiers home

In fighting across Iraq over the past week, almost 50 American soldiers and more than 550 Iraqis have been killed. Virtually every day brings another report of a U.S. soldier slain.

At least 649 U.S. soldiers have died in Iraq since the war began in March 2003. The president has said major combat is over in Iraq, but the war continues. Sadly, more brave young American men and women will die there. All President Bush can say while justifying the mission is the country should brace itself for the possibility of more American casualties in Iraq. “Obviously every day I pray there is less casualty, but I know what we are doing in Iraq is right.”

American soldiers in Iraq are there as volunteers, who are offering their lives so that others might live. That is what makes each of their deaths so uniquely painful to their fellow citizens.

If the president himself isn’t willing to die for this country – as detailed in his military record – than why is he forcing the troops to remain to be slaughtered?

Neither the president nor anyone else in the administration has ever said that America’s involvement in Iraq would be quick and painless, but stating that remaining in Iraq is the right thing to do is nothing but foolishness.

Bush said it was “hard to tell” whether Americans should expect to see more of the kind of deadly weeks that the military just sustained.

This more than likely means that the June 30 deadline for turning over sovereignty to the Iraqis will be extended.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the administration needs to reconsider the June 30 date.

“I don’t see how you can possibly transfer power in fewer than 90 days when we have such an unstable security situation,” Collins said on ABC’s political TV magazine show “This Week.”

Bush blamed the increased violence on “people trying to stop progress toward democracy.”

And all this death is being softened in the political snowstorm approaching in this election year.

“I value my time with family members of those who have sacrificed on behalf of the country and … ask for God’s blessing for troops overseas,” Bush said.

But Iraq remains very much wild and untamed. While keeping the fragile peace, our military commanders must do everything possible to keep our troops alive.

The administration would be better served to suit up and enlist their time in Iraq, instead of discounting the lives of America’s youth.