Over just the past 12 days, more than 500 Iraqis have been tragically killed in Shia/Sunni violence in Iraq -- in the wake of the February 22nd bombing of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, a holy place for Shia Muslims.
Our brave men and women in uniform remain in harm's way, caught in the middle of an increasingly violent religious conflict -- and the situation is in real danger of spiraling into a full-scale civil war.
This is progress? More on the flip.
You and I and millions of Americans have demanded an exit strategy, which the Bush Administration has still refused to produce. At a minimum, we've demanded a real timetable with concrete, measurable milestones so we can measure our progress towards withdrawing American troops.
Now, with full-scale civil war a real possibility, the Bush Administration must do more -- and quickly. President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld can't continue to bury their heads in the sand about the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Iraq. It's time for them to wake up to the facts and plan for the worst: how to get our troops out from the middle of a potential civil war.
That's why I recently wrote to Secretary Rumsfeld, urging him to produce a plan for the worst-case scenario of full-scale civil war in Iraq -- and to share that plan with Congress. And I've begun circulating an online petition, which I'll personally be delivering across the Potomac River to the Pentagon this week.
More than 31,000 Americans have already signed my petition, and I want your name on it as well before I take it to the Pentagon.
Please sign my petition to Secretary Rumsfeld now!
Given this Administration's past failure to plan for the Iraqi insurgency after the American invasion, we can't take anything for granted. It seems that the Bush Administration can only see things through rose-colored glasses. And that's clearly not acceptable with American lives on the line.
The only way we'll know that they're prepared is if they develop a plan for dealing with an Iraqi civil war -- and share that plan with the relevant committees in Congress, so the American people can be reassured that the Bush Administration is ahead of the curve, for a change.
Our brave servicemen and women deserve no less than the very best from their civilian leaders. With your help and vigilance, we'll make sure that's what they get.
Please sign my petition to Secretary Rumsfeld now -- before I deliver it to the Pentagon this week!
I'm just wrapping up some votes in the Senate, but I'll be back shortly to read through and respond to some of your comments. Thanks so much for your continued friendship and support.
UPDATE: Thanks so much for all of your feedback and support. I hope I've addressed many of your questions in the comments below. In any event, I hope to see many of you in Las Vegas at the YearlyKos convention in June.