Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says the belief that American troops would be welcomed as a liberating force in Iraq was a bigger mistake by policymakers than the overestimation on weapons of mass destruction. Leach, a republican, gave the inaugural address today at the opening of the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for International Peace and Security Studies. He says given the anarchy that’s been loosed in the country, Washington is swept with occupation analogies to World War Two. He says many are pointing out that Japan and Germany were occupied for more than five years after hostilities ceased, leading many to say that we must be prepared to stay at least that long in Iraq. He says he’s seldom been more apprehensive to historical analogies than this particular argumentation. Leach says Japan and Germany were instigators of war and their citizens understood that. He says Iraqi’s view the U.S. as the aggressors. He says if the W-M-D rationale can’t be established, we can’t allow the democracy rationale to founder. He says to authorize spending another 80 Billion dollars in Iraq and not be able to find the time for elections “is preposterous.” Leach says the violence in Iraq could escalate if government reform doesn’t come soon to Iraq. Leach says the U.S. should quickly hold elections and use the transition as the rationalization for significant troop reduction.
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