Dear Mr. President,
I believed there were WMD's because our intelligence, as well as the intelligence of many other developed countries, said there were. (I really just believed because Colin Powell said so.) There were none, but that was ok because I also believed, and still do, that Saddam's refusal to abide by the UN resolutions was justification enough to remove him from office. I guess what I'm telling you is that I supported your decision to go to war. I still do. I believe in all the Churchill--Reagan--Thatcher of good vs. evil, freedom vs. tyranny rhetoric. But we need to have a heart to heart, and this is where it gets difficult.
The 9/11 commission said that the terrorist attacks on America occurred because of a failure of imagination, and I believe our defeat in Iraq occurred for the same reason. There was an extreme lack of foresight when we invaded the country.
But mostly, we lost because we were wrong. I was wrong. My naivete led me to believe that everyone, when given the opportunity to live in freedom, where even the rights of the minority were protected, would see it as a no brainer. But apparently this is not so. I was wrong.
I admire you more than I admire most presidents, because you gambled big. But you gambled big and you lost. It's hard to put too fine of a point on it. You lost. We lost. Lost, lost, lost. It hurts to say words like "wrong," and "lost," but sometimes the best thing to do is to swallow the pill whole and admit failure. Not enough troops and poor strategic planning led to a fiasco of epic proportions.
But all is not lost. Your presidency is not lost. I know you believe that leaving Iraq is not an option, but you should rethink this. You will be known as the first president to wage a losing war. But what about also spending your last two years being known as the president who set us on a course to cure our country of it's addiction to oil. ("Addicted to oil," after all, is straight from your mouth.) In doing this you will make middle east violence irrelevant to our peace and security.
When we leave, Iraq will fall apart more than it already has. But this will happen if we leave or if we stay. The factions in Iraq will war with each other until they are fed up with war. It's madness, but sometimes you have to let people play out their madness until they are sick of it. This is not new, it's as old as time. Let it be a civil war. We had one and came out stronger because of it. But let them have their civil war without us being in the crossfire.
I say this as a supporter, not an adversary. The window of opportunity has closed. We lost. But there are probably worse things than losing. Let's not stick around to see what they are.