The White House wouldn’t give any details on Cheney’s trip except to say that he was there in an effort to build political unity in the country. Does anyone else find it ironic that an administration which has thrived on political division and secrecy, now finds itself in the position of having to unify Iraq? Cheney is expected to make stops throughout Iraq. He will meet with Prime Minister al-Maliki, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and General Petraeus. Crocker and Petraeus will be back in Washington, D.C. next month to deliver another status report on the war to Congress.

I question the intelligence of focusing the American public’s attention back on the Iraq war as it is about to enter its sixth year, and we are fast approaching the 4,000th American causality. Of course, Cheney is there to try to paint the troop surge as a rousing success. Expect him to talk about the decline in violence all through his visit. Yes, violence is down, and that is a very good thing, but the people who are fighting against the American troops aren’t idiots. They knew the surge was not going to be permanent, so all they had to do was lay low until the U.S. reduced their troops. We have already seen an uptick in violence as the troops are starting to come home.

Only the Iraqis can solve this conflict. No amount of military power can win this war. I really do wonder if the Republican Party isn’t trying to lose this election. First, they nominate the most pro-war candidate in the field, then on an anniversary which will serve as a grim reminder to most Americans that Iraq hasn’t turned out like we were told it would, the administration sends the least popular politician in the country to make the case for improvement in Iraq.

Cheney has zero credibility. Remember, this is the man who said that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators, and also stuck to the Saddam/al-Qaeda connection long after others in the administration admitted that there was none.  Cheney’s visit to Iraq serves as a grim reminder that we are bogged down in a conflict that seems to have no end in sight, and that this is a war of choice that has brought only heartbreak and suffering to thousands of people in the United States, and millions more in Iraq.

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