Why Iraq Is So Important
It no longer matters why we got into Iraq in the first place although I believe most of us believe we were completely justified in removing Saddam Hussein from power. The fact of the matter is, if we withdraw from Iraq before Iraq is ready and able to defend itself from both foreign and domestic enemies then we invite serious trouble for all of us in the future, including Israel.
In 1945, the Japanese Emperor went on the radio -- the first time most Japanese citizens had even heard the voice of their Emperor -- and told his people that Japan must surrender and he implored his subjects to bear the unbearable. Some have criticized US policy that allowed the Emperor to escape war crimes justice but I am not one of those.
If the Emperor had not done what he did, it is quite likely we would've had a much more difficult time occupying Japan than we actually did. Rather than having a strong ally in Asia, we could now be facing a powerful enemy. It may have been a shot in the dark by someone in the Truman administration but preserving the Emperor was a wise move. As it turned out, we had far more trouble in postwar Germany than we did in Japan.
Likewise, it is clear the Iraqis -- the majority of them -- are afraid we are going to abandon them to Iran, Syria and the insurgents. If we do, they will have no choice but to reach an accomodation with those parties attempting to wrest control of Iraq. What is happening now in Iraq is something we should've been doing shortly after we occupied Baghdad -- Petraeus is slowly but surely bringing the various tribes to our side. His efforts are being helped by the excesses of Al Qaeda and the insurgents. Even though violence continues in Iraq -- it is very difficult to stop all suicide attacks by a determined foe -- we are now winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis.
In just about every milblog post I read, including those from Michael Yon, the news just gets better and better. The Iraqis are throwing in with the Americans! Unfortunately, Patraeus' strategy has not had time to reach all parts of Iraq, only what were once the worst areas of Iraq, but given time he will eventually pull in all of Iraq.
Will this stop the violence? [It will stop] most of it, but not all of it, because it is far too easy for a zealot to load up a car with improvised explosives and ram an outdoor market. But as the Iraqis turn against these murderers in their midst, the US and Iraqi authorities will gain valuable intelligence as to who, what and where. That leads directly to Iraq gaining control of its own domestic security and that is our ultimate goal.
We are not going to read about the successes in the news media and we know why. The news media's meme is the same as the Democrats in Congress -- 'the war was illegal to begin with and we've lost it anyway'. Such backstabbing can only embolden Al Qaeda at a time when our troops are winning the hearts and minds -- and represents, to me, the worst form of villainous treason by people who claim to be Americans.
If we leave too soon, then we're going to embolden Iran, Syria and the insurgents even more. They will consider our retreat to be a victory and it will become a recruitment aid. The money and manpower they were funneling into Iraq will become available for them to use elsewhere. They will use that available military capability against Israel, against Europe, and against the United States and Canada or against our interests.
This is why the Democrats' strategy of cut-and-run is so dangerous at this crucial time -- you don't leave a war by simply running away. The war will follow you home--And that is exactly what will happen in this case.
We are headed for some ultimate showdown with Islamist militants sooner or later, whether we like it or not. Burying our head in the sand is not a strategy but cowardice mixed with stupidity. We are winning in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though both are still taking a toll on our young soldiers, but we now have no choice: we fight there or we will surely fight them in our own towns. And if that time comes, there won't be anywhere left for the Democrats to flee.