It is time for a pull-out timetable for this war

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 15, 2007

The sad reality is we are in a no-win situation in Iraq. Whenever we leave, we will turn that area over to multiple factions who for centuries have fought &8212; and who, for centuries more, will continue to fight.

We are glad Saddam Hussein is gone, for he was a tyrannical and oppressive leader. At the same time, we pray he never becomes the devil we knew and wish we had back.

For that reason, our national leaders should set about determining a timeline for withdrawal, a timeline that runs parrallel with a plan to determine a better political solution in the region.

The current government is a failure in that it holds neither the respect nor faith of the Iraqi people and the many factions in the area.

For that reason, Iraq continues to become more and more embralled in a civil war. In the middle of that civil war are U.S. soldiers who are valiantly trying to create, further and preserve a better way of life for the Iraqi people.

Their task is not enviable, and it will get no easier if the president continues his course of action.

While he is correct that an immediate pullout would be devastating, we fear it would be no more devastating now than it will be in six months, nine months or a year &8212; unless something changes.

It is time the president stood up and admitted we have passed a crossroads in this war, that it has devolved into an area we did not foresee. It is time he started outlining a fresh course of action that would provide for better political leadership in Iraq, more safety for all who are there and the safe return of our troops.