While some critics of the Iraq War are urging what is essentially withdrawl and surrender, one critic thinks the US is making a mistake by withdrawing into a small number of "superfortresses," and that, if the jihadists are to be defeated, we must go back to deployment all over the country, rather than holing up in rear base areas.
I have to disagree. The US military has secure the rear areas in order to train the friendly Iraqis to fight for themselves. And the friendly Iraqis have to fight for themselves, don't they? Does the phrase “not doing for Asian boys what they should do for themselves” ring a bell?
I think the most important objection to the war is that it's had the opposite effect of what was intended. And I don't mean the stupid Leftist nonsense that it's stirred up jihadists and "created more terrorists." Of course you're going to provoke more of a response when you go to war against global jihadism than when you sit back and just keep on taking it. By the math of the Dhimmicratic talking points, we should never have invaded Afghanistan, either -- because that has "created more Pakistani terrorists" than we had before 2001. (And it has; that’s absolutely true!)
But then again, the Dhimmicrat Party line is that invading Iraq took away from Afghanistan. They never quite explain how on earth terrorists are "created" by invading the supposedly secular, Muslim-apostate regime of Iraq, entirely pulling out of sacred Saudi soil in the process, and yet weren't created by invading the Unholy Capital of bin Ladinism, Afghanistan.
Now is there a serious problem in Iraq? Yes, but NOT the one that the Left claims. The main problem is that America is not yet achieving what was intended. What was intended was that:
(1) Iraq would serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of the Islamic world -- Iran first and foremost -- a demonstration of American might, military skill, and determination.
(2) By creating a decent Middle Eastern state, it would show other Muslims a third way forward besides senseless, murderous jihad. Better to show Arab Muslims (and Muslims in general) a Third Way, other than Tweedle-secular tyrant and Tweedle-mullah. Better to reform Muslims now rather than be forced to annilhate them later. Given their preference for 72 virgins in the next world rather than this one, annilhating them later might have to mean nuclear weapons along with ground troops, with many thousands of casualties for us and many millions of casualties for them.
(3) Reverse Domino Theory: A decent Iraq would inspire restive populations in Iran, Syria and elsewhere to demand real reforms and changes in their own oppressed countries.
The war has, as of yet, done the opposite -- Iran feels less threatened now than it would otherwise be, as our military is tied down with Iraq and could not possibly go to showdown with Iran within even 3 or so years. (North Korea could also be mentioned here, but that’s also a false canard. North Korea is a Red China client state and if we are to get anywhere there, it will be by hard bargaining, such as trade sanctions, with the Rulers of Red China, not with Krazy Kim).
And so far we have failed to create an Iraqi democracy capable of functioning without our help, and we have encouraged the savages because they are thinking they can win. In fairness, Iraq’s government is more stable than the Republic of (South) Vietnam ever was, and more stable than the Afghan government is now. There hasn’t been any heavy handed US intervention in internal affairs, no Diem coup. Even political gadflies like Moqta al-Sadr are tolerated more or less. But Iraq is still shaky.
Nevertheless, American determination is showing itself to be precisely what we'd hoped to prove otherwise -- a shaky thing, with America ready to abandon a war at the first sign of difficulty. Especially given that only about 2,700 American lives have been lost, and others badly wounded. Of course any trooper lost is a family and national tragedy, but does anyone remember that this many years and months into Vietnam, America had already lost FIFTEEN times as many casualties? In one since the Vietnam analogy DOES work: Osama Bin Laden, like Ho Chi Minh, is betting that the US Government shall be a “Paper Tiger” again. And most of the media is spinning this the wrong way, just like they did with the Tet Offensive.
But all of that is due to the jihadists' determination to win Iraq, because they know the stakes involved. Iran is funding the insurgency precisely because it knows that, absent an insurgency in Iraq, “reverse domino theory” will happen. A stable and consensual government, and the resulting increasing peace and prosperity for the Iraqi Shi’ite population, will destabilize Iran, rather than the other way around. Jihadists are determined to prevent a more or less federated democracy in Iraq (and given divisions between Shi’ite, Sunni and Kurd, it will have to be federated) because they know it will destroy their power. And they're determined to break the American will because they know that, without an America willing to fight them, they have a free hand in the next thirty years to kill as they please and turn Iraq into a base of operations (and a source of oil revenue) for them again.
Rather than cede their power country by country, they've decided to put almost everything they have into Iraq. So America isn’t just fighting the War in Iraq; it’s actually fighting several of the wars America had hoped to avoid by fighting in Iraq as well! But even though America hoped to avoid them, America has to fight them, if the enemy is determined to fight them.
Contrary to the bogus, “Iraq takes away from Afghanistan” claim, the fact is that had America not invaded Iraq, Iranian funding and jihadis from around the world would have poured into Afghanistan instead, probably with Saddam’s tacit encouragement and oil money as well. America could not have avoided this fight by simply not going to war in Iraq -- it just would have had a different battlefield. A more difficult and costly one at that. Iraq at least has oil revenue and a much more educated population to rebuild with.
Yes, to some extent it IS about the oil---look here, Mr./Ms. Liberal Dupe, would you prefer that oil revenue going to Saddam, who would continue to give aid and safe harbor to Al-Quaeda and other terrorist goons?
Whether the war is "a mistake" depends on its outcome. A US victory will be a greivous blow for global bin Ladinism; a defeat their greatest triumph so far. The enemy has doubled-down in Iraq precisely because they know how important it is to their twisted cause.
If the bin Ladenists believe Iraq is vital to keep in reliably terrorist-friendly hands, it seems to me a pretty good indication that it's a war worth fighting. Even given what we know now.
The frustrating and ironic thing is that the very ones who want it over "right now" are the ones who are prolonging it with their deranged, relentless attacks on the mission. If the jihadists saw a more unified front here at home, without all the "Made for Al-Jazeera" quotes from Murtha, Kennedy, et al, they'd be far less comfortable continuing to fight it out, and the friendly Iraqis would be less fearful about America’s commitment to see it through and would be more likely to join the American forces.
Moreover, win or lose, the Iraq invasion has had some VERY positive side effects. Moe Gaddafi saw the writing on the wall, stopped working on his own nukes, and cut an oil deal with the West. The Syrian military moved out of Lebanon. Iran continues to be hemmed in as we have forces on either side of them. They also have not forgotten that it took the US military only 3 weeks to take Baghdad, and taking Teheran could be even quicker; this time fed up Iranian youth might actually shower American troops with flowers and kisses. An insurgency is something that happens AFTER the fact. That is not a comfort to the mullahs.
So in conclusion, Iraq was NOT a mistake no matter how you look at it. Even if the WMD threat wasn’t as far along as we thought it was (and every other foreign power thought it was, for that matter), Iraq will NEVER be a WMD threat now. We no longer have no fly zones, Saddam’s sanctions corruption, Saddam’s cooperation with Al-Qaeda, or Saddam's threats to Israel and other middle eastern allies. The longer America would have waited the more difficult it would have been to do it in the future and make no mistake, it would have been necessary.
The way I see it, the USA has three ways this conflict with Islam (okay, radical Islam, if you insist) can go. First, the USA can give up and we accept dhimmitude. No way. Second, the USA can try to change them in a relatively bloodless and nice way, which is what is happening now. Third, the USA can change them in a bloody and ruthless way, which is what I think will be necessary if America gives up on the nice way and US forces pull out.
If US forces pull out, not only will there be a terrible loss along the lines of South Vietnam in 1975; the savages will follow the troops home and terrorize us like 9/11 again. For starters, withdraw from Iraq would mean garrisoning Saudi Arabia again, which is ostensibly got Osama Bin Laden and some other Muslim fanatics agitated in the first place. Moreover, those who wish to do the USA harm simply find it a lot easier to travel to Iraq and join / start a guerrilla group than to travel to America and form a terrorist cell.
And if another 09/11 happens, at that point, the American people will say “F**k ‘em. We tried to do good and got called "Fascists" for our troubles. So let's just use “nyu-ku-lar” weapons, take the oil and get something out of this.”
Oh wait, Mr./ Ms. Liberal Reader. You now want to call me "fascist" or "warmonger" or "all about the oil"? Too late, you already called me that when I supported trying for a better government in Iraq, and now (meaning in the future after American pullout) I don't care about a better Iraq. You claim they don't want it. And you "Liberals" don't want it. So why the f**k should I?
Sarcasm at stupid leftists aside, the USA shouldn’t resort to the final option, an all out war against Islam, which would be utterly awful, without being able to say, "Well, at least we tried to be nice." And it isn't unreasonable to think there's still hope for the nice way.
Stay the course.