"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

OpinionJournal - The consequences of U.S. defeat in Iraq

OpinionJournal - Featured Article

"The third anniversary of U.S. military action to liberate Iraq has brought with it a relentless stream of media and political pessimism that is unwarranted by the facts and threatens to become a self-fulfilling prophesy if it goes unchallenged."

Rather than actually face the reality of Iraq and the greater middle east, politicians, primarily on the Left have viewed and made the question(s) on Iraq; not a question of national security, but opposition to the president. This is something that has astonished me since the very beginning, prior to our stepping on Iraqi territory.

One of the lines regarding Iraq that has annoyed me, even though I have supported it even prior to 9/11 is the, "we are there now, so regardless of whether we should have gone or not is moot...". This is very little solace to those opposed to the venture no matter how true it is; that said, it isn't a question of turning the clock back as that is not possible.

Some points, without going into too much detail to counter the "self-fulfilling prophesy" are:

"The U.S. would lose all credibility on weapons proliferation."
"Broader Mideast instability."
"We would lose all credibility with Muslim reformers."
"We would invite more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil."

I can't imagine that anyone would really argue with those points, at least to the point of saying, "tough" or "we deserve it." Either of which describes a loathing of our country or Bush so intense that psychological counseling of some type would be necessary. I don't think any of us could imagine what our world would look like or what options we would have in the future to shape the world into a more secure existence were we to give up in Iraq now or too soon.

"We still believe victory in Iraq is possible, indeed likely, notwithstanding its costs and difficulties. But the desire among so many of our political elites to repudiate Mr. Bush and his foreign policy is creating a dangerous public pessimism that could yet lead to defeat--a defeat whose price would be paid by all Americans, and for years to come."

To the above I would add that the Cold War did not end overnight, it was a game of brinksmanship requiring adjustment throughout. Today the threat we face is more dire in that those that would do us harm do not hesitate to do harm to anyone, including themselves. Were we not in Iraq right now, the questions would still remain, the challenge would still remain as to what we should do. We would still argue, but I think we would be expending too much energy on inaction as the problem persisted and became worse.

As the president said the other day, it will be up to future presidents, future leaders in Iraq as to when the U.S. part is done. There is no denying that. Anyone that expected anything less then that doesn't want to admit the truth. We might have thought at one time that it was going to be quicker and or easier; but the president did say in the past that the war on terror would be a long slow haul and Iraq is just a piece (I know, another arguing point).

The "status quo" is how we used to deal with many issues and that I believe has gotten us where we are today. I believe we need to give this new policy time, to do anything less would result in many things we can imagine and those that we cannot.

Other posts of interest? here, here, and here.


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