Gilmore to Dubya

Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore writes an open letter to George W. Bush. It's probably the most reasonable thing I've read about what the US should do.

It is clear from the statements previously made by your administration that there was never any intention to become embroiled in a guerrilla war, urban or otherwise. American power is not advantaged in such a situation. Trying to fight a guerrilla war in the cities and towns of Iraq has opened opportunities for terrorist enemies such as al-Qaeda and fostered an environment for a Shiite-Sunni civil war in which we have no stake. We were led down this path in part by those who said, "If you break it, you own it." This statement asserts a responsibility to contain, control or resolve the centuries-old conflict between competing interests in the Middle East. We did not create these competing interests, and we do not own their conflict. I assert that where and what we fight for must be strictly measured by the interests of the United States.
I urge that we define our goals in terms of America's national interest, and let the people of Iraq take care of their national interests. The United States has a stake in preventing a government from emerging that is expressly hostile to us, such as in a coup inspired by al-Qaeda. The United States has a stake in not permitting the invasion and occupation of Iraq by any of its neighbors. This can be done through a military assistance program and diplomatic initiative. Beyond this, the responsibility for peace and order of the country rests with the Iraqi government, which can make a specific request to the United States for assistance like any other country of the world.

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