"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

Friday, July 20, 2007

"We're Not Staying; You Don't Have Much Time!"

One of the of-size issues of “discussion” these days is what a “redeploy” order would be like for the U.S. and Iraq. The two “schools” of thought are, in a nutshell; one would free us up to fight the real enemy, with a sprinkling of disdain for the plight of the Iraqis once we leave as it’s their country. The second sees Iraq as a new haven or sanctuary for al Qaeda and other nasties, as well as a rippling effect upon the region deleterious, although pretty obvious in many others to our efforts in the greater war on terror.

Is it just a bunch of “fear mongering” to suggest mayhem and unimagined violent ramifications to a U.S. “redeployment?” If so, how would one describe the other side of the argument, “peace mongering?” Certainly not, as there would be no “peace” for miles and miles; just because the U.S. had left; just a certain “peace” of mind for some because it isn’t our problem.

Yesterday, top military and Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker met via video hook-up with “lawmakers” at the Pentagon and Capitol Hill; which according to The NY Times met with “stern rebukes from lawmakers of both parties.

Crocker told lawmakers “that it was increasingly likely that Iraq’s government would not achieve all of the political benchmarks by September. A very telling remark from Crocker would be, “the longer I am here, the more I am persuaded that progress in Iraq cannot be analyzed solely in terms of these discrete, precisely defined benchmarks because, in many cases, these benchmarks do not serve as reliable measures of everything that is important — Iraqi attitudes toward each other and their willingness to work toward political reconciliation.”

If we have invested as much as we have in Iraq is it really wise to say ‘let’s pack up,’ now when, regardless of precision benchmark goals are not quite met according to a spreadsheet formula?

If Crocker’s previous comment is “telling” so are the “stern rebukes,” from lawmakers.

Senator Voinovich (R-OH) said: “There’s got to be some real evidence that action’s taking place there, and everything you can do to convey to Mr. Maliki and his executive committee, to the other players in the region, that the American people’s patience is running out.”

Senator Biden (D-DE) said: “We’re not staying. You don’t have much time.” (No reporting as to how long he took to spit this out as the good senator does like to drag things out.)

Senator Warner (R-VA) said: “The facts are pretty much in the public domain; our concerns are about their inability to come together and reconcile things.”

If “the facts are pretty much in the public domain,” I do not agree that the concern should be so much the “inability” of them to “come together and reconcile things;” rather it should be up to the Senate and OUR employees (lawmakers) to understand what those public domain facts are coupled with the realities or likelihoods and what those likelihoods mean to this country and the Middle East region.

Worthy Quotes from Required Reading for the Senate (all from today’s NRO):

For starters, an essay directly appropriate to what was offered at the video-conference yesterday from Charles Krauthammer at NRO regarding an “incapacity” of the Iraqi government to get it together, so to speak:

“The Democrats cite this incapacity as a reason to give up and get out. A tempting thought, but ultimately self-destructive to our interests. Accordingly, Petraeus and Crocker have found a Plan B: pacify the country region by region, principally by getting Sunnis to join the fight against al Qaeda.”

Victor Davis Hanson today at NRO:

“In fact, “redeployment” is a euphemism for flight from the battlefield. And we should no more expect an al Qaeda that won in Iraq to stop from pressing on to Kuwait or Saudi Arabia than we should imagine that a defeated U.S. military could rally and hold the line in the Gulf. Would the IEDs, the suicide bombers, the Internet videos of beheadings, the explosions in schools and mosques cease because they now would have to relocate across the border into Kuwait or Saudi Arabia?”

Mona Charen and the good enough for now terminology, “Democratomyopia:”

“The Democrats have convinced themselves, once again, that the enemy is us — or at least our fault. There was no al Qaeda in Iraq before we invaded the country, they argue. If it exists now, it’s entirely our own doing. It is our presence that causes the violence in Iraq. In fact, our presence in Iraq is the greatest recruiting tool the terrorists have!”

Lastly but not least(ly), is Jonah Golberg’s “Order Is in Order:”

“In Iraq, security isn’t merely the most important thing, it’s the only thing. Without security, nothing else is possible. “The good society is marked by a high degree of order, justice and freedom,” Russell Kirk wrote in The Roots of American Order. “Among these, order has primacy: For justice cannot be enforced until a tolerable civil social order is attained, nor can freedom be anything better than violence until order gives us laws.”’

Regardless of political affiliations and partisan irreverence, the thoughts and writings of these and other commentators deserve serious consideration to those that have made up their minds about what is best in Iraq. As usual, in my case they are “preaching to the choir,” and this “church” for me does not live in the negative, rather it more closely relates to a reality I can appreciate especially when the other does not offer any vision.

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