Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The War in Iraq -- Political? Should We Go Now?

Ed Abbey, a good man with somewhat differing political outlooks from mine, responded to my last post called “Demoncraps and Republicraps.” He answered one of my questions and replied to one point I made. Ed always comes through with pointed comments – Good stuff. I’m reacting in this post to his responses, but be advised – my next post will be back on Philippines observations and commentary. It’ll be on the Lazik Surgery I had done more than a year ago just down the road in Makati.

PhilippinePhil: "Can you explain how Republicans are politicizing the war?"

Ed: Every time Bush mentions the war in Iraq and terrorism in the same sentence. Afghanistan was the war on terrorists. Iraq was about settling a score with Saddam. None of the 9/11 terrorists came from or had ties with Iraq and yet Bush insults my intelligence every time he pretends that they did even when his own administration has shown that they didn't.

PhilippinePhil: Ed you are against the war in Iraq, and I can respect that. War is terrible. On this one I’ll agree with you that the administration should never have spent so much time pointing to WMDs and terrorists as the primary reason for the invasion. Those of us who were in service running up to the invasion were not surprised at all that we finally finished what we had started in ’91. In my retirement speech delivered almost exactly one-year before the Iraq invasion, I lamented that I would not be in uniform for the long-awaited final push to end Hussein’s reign.

In effect, that war should have been ended more than 10 years before, if not for the pusillanimity of President Bush I and General Powell, it would have. The long overdue Iraq invasion, when it finally came, was not about “settling scores,” it was about finishing off an outlaw regime that had violated every U.N. Resolution that he had agreed to as terms for our ending the first invasion. Please know that Iraq had NEVER stopped shooting at us; and he did so for about a dozen years AFTER his first surrender – by doing so, he brought on his own end. He miscalculated this president’s resolve to do the “right thing,” even in the face of worldwide subterfuge and international collusion with this nasty tyrant. Admittedly, 9/11 brought the final blow on Iraq sooner than it might otherwise have happened. I don’t have a problem with that, especially keeping in mind all of what I already pointed out above.

Was the war political to begin with? No. Is using the terror tie NOW to substantiate staying IN Iraq until the Iraqis can stand against them on their own – is that political? Not only is it not political, it is a completely valid position to take. We already know what can happen to a place that we simply abandon to Islamic radicals – we did that in Afghanistan in the late 70s and this president is smart not to repeat that mistake in Iraq.


PhilippinePhil: "The Islamicists can always find another brainwashed, brain-dead hopeless fool to blow himself up and take a bunch of innocents with him."

Ed: So if they can always find someone, how exactly are we going to win? I think the only way we can win this war is to kill every last one of them and that will only cause more people to convert so even that would cause failure. I think the best we can hope for is that when we do finally withdraw and declare "Mission Accomplished" that we set them back for a few decades so that we have time to recover for the next time.

PhilippinePhil: I ask this question? Have the Israelis WON? Unequivocally the answer is a resounding YES! Is it an ongoing effort? Yep. The Israelis have a vibrant democratic society and a thriving economy, even in the face of all the vicious suicide attacks; that knowledge drives the Islamicists nuts. Should the Israelis quit because Hamas can always find another goober to blow himself up and kill innocents? The answer is obvious. Just as in Iraq, the ONLY way the Israelis lose is to throw their hands up in failure. They do NOT have that option. A smart people won’t even consider it because the option is to give up on our existence.

To say that WE are the ones causing this skewed suicidal behavior is misguided. As proof, the Israelis left Gaza and now the terrorists have filled the void. If Israel were to disappear and if the USA disengaged entirely from ALL countries Islamic, would that end Islamo-fascism? Nope. They are here to stay, but because its hard doesn’t mean we quit.

Our job as keepers of Western Civilization is to keep the pressure on these idiots. We must stay forward, and YES, continue to TRY to kill every one of them who try to kill us. We can’t stand down hoping that we won’t make new converts by doing so – it just doesn’t work that way. These Islamic terrorists are not wired that way. Their conversion will happen no matter what.

This sounds horrible, but as fast as they convert them and they attack us, we have people willing and able to mow them down. Our continued existence depends on these few willing warriors doing exactly that. I’ve had the honor to meet many of these men, and thank goodness we have them.

Finally Ed, you are right that we should withdraw and declare mission accomplished, but only after we have accomplished the mission. The definition of that mission is being able to ensure that a democratic Iraq, friendly to the idea of tolerance to ALL nations regardless of their religious or secular persuasion, will be able to defend itself from the radicals. This is happening. If it weren’t and our military folks in Iraq thought it wasn’t happening, believe me, you’d hear about it. By and large, my brothers and sisters in uniform stationed there, the ones suffering death and wounds, THESE brave people understand the mission and they ARE kicking butt getting it done. The only ones crying defeat are people NOT there. Give these servicemen and women AND the brave contractors in Iraq a chance, have some patience, and we will CONTINUE to win in Iraq, because we ARE winning.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

As always Phil, you come through with another interesting discussion.

On the first part, I guess I don't disagree with anything you said. I would like to add that I was in favor of the first war and was disappointed that we didn't finish the job then. However, knowing what I know now, I don't know if we could have. Sure Saddam was being a pest and violating UN sanctions but when compared to the very serious and very real threats of Iran and North Korea who are violating many of the same sanctions, I think we could have dealt with Saddam differently for the time being.

On the second part, I don't know how good an analogy it is to compare this war with Israel. If we lived right next door to Iraq and they had only to drive through a checkpoint, maybe but in fact, they live half a world away and right now, don't have the resources to do squat to us.

To say that WE are the ones causing this skewed suicidal behavior is misguided.

I hope I didn't suggest that because I certainly don't believe that. Their skewed suicidal behavior is caused by religious differences.

Our job as keepers of Western Civilization is to keep the pressure on these idiots.

When did we ever sign up for that job? I think the reason many countries hate us is because we are the global cops. I'm all for letting countries unravel because they can't help themselves. I would love for the U.S. to become a neutral country.

This sounds horrible, but as fast as they convert them and they attack us, we have people willing and able to mow them down.

Where does it end?

The definition of that mission is being able to ensure that a democratic Iraq, friendly to the idea of tolerance to ALL nations regardless of their religious or secular persuasion, will be able to defend itself from the radicals.

When their religion teaches intolerance, how are we going to accomplish this mission short of converting them to Christianity? We can maybe accomplish the last part and seem to be making progress towards it but I just can't see the first part happening.

Finally, I really would like to have your defined mission accomplished in Iraq. To see democracy bloom in the middle east would be a sight to behold. But the realist in me just doesn't see it happening and the continued events in Iraq haven't shown me that it might happen anytime soon.

P.S. Pary? Must be celebrating U.S. Independence over there. If I'm ever in your neck of the woods for any length of time during my next trip, whenever that is, I certainly hope to stop by for a brief visit.