Friday, August 12, 2005

Cutting our Losses; Not Cutting and Running

I looked and commented on posts at both TPMCafe and ChargingRINO before coming across a heavyweight voice on my side of the get-out-of Iraq-now argument.

I took offense at Gee Dubya's remark yesterday that we can't leave because it would signal the bad guys "all we've got to do is intimidate and they'll leave."

First, if all they were doing was intimidating I would not have a huge issue. They are killing. To me, that's at least one giant step beyond intimidation.

Second, I think it is just as likely that the insurgent-terrorists are thinking "all we've got to do is keep killing a few Americans a week, and they'll keep sending more for us to kill - indefinitely." I think it's more than plausible because it seems a whole generation of jihadists, minted just for the purpose, are making their bones at our expense.

I think it is time to start a staged withdrawal based on the political timetable already in place. Once and for all, we'll know what the Iraqi people really want their country to be. I don't think cutting our losses is the same thing as cutting and running at this point.

But all that's just me. Read what Ronald Reagan's head of the National Security Agency, William E. Odom, has to say about it, here.


At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The usual Demo-gogue suspects—Kennedy, Kerry and company—are increasing the tenor of their demands that the Bush administration commit to a timetable for withdrawing American troops from Iraq. A few misguided Republicans have even signed on to this legislative folly. Insisting that we cap our military support for the new Iraqi government is a dangerous political ploy intended to help Demos rally their peacenik constituency in the run-up to next year's midterm elections. Dangerous, because challenging the administration to agree to a timetable only emboldens Jihadis, who would very much like to move the frontlines of the Long War from their turf to ours.
The Demos know President George Bush will not agree to such a timetable. As the president has said repeatedly, "Our exit strategy is to exit when our mission is complete." Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld protests that any such deadline for withdrawal would "throw a lifeline to terrorists." Indeed, but it is always easier to sell anti-war rhetoric like "give peace a chance" than it is to advocate peace through superior firepower, and to use force in defense of critical U.S. national interests.
For eight long years, the Clinton administration pursued a policy of appeasement, particularly in regard to Middle Eastern policy and pursuit of Islamic terrorists. Terrorists were classified as mere "criminals" then, including those Jihadi fanatics who first bombed the WTC's north tower in 1993, who bombed the Khobar Towers in 1996, who bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and who bombed the USS Cole in 2000. Consequently, Clinton's negligent inaction emboldened this enemy, and the result was a devastating attack on our homeland just months after the Bush administration took office in 2001.
"Peace" had its chance under Clinton, but President Bush made the difficult decision to give war a chance. Remarkably, the outcome has, to date, pre-empted any further attacks on U.S. soil—which was, after all, its primary objective. The transition from an ineffectual policy of containment to one of pre-emption was the most significant strategic military shift since WWII. To be sure, there have been setbacks, and President Bush bears a heavy and heartfelt burden for those uniformed Patriots who have given their lives to protect ours.
If we did check out of Iraq, as suggested by a growing chorus on the Left, al-Qa'ida and other Islamists will not only rule that nation—they will eventually control the entire region, with the possible exception of Israel. The "exit timetable" crowd knows this, but that hasn't prevented them from using this issue as political fodder—and from using it to undermine support for our military personnel and our operations in the Middle East. Of course, this places both those personnel and our national security in peril.
One need only ask the exit advocates, "Exit where, and for how long?" Because we didn't finish the job in Operation Desert Storm, we had to return with Operation Iraqi Freedom. Reality dictates that if we don't finish the job now, we'll have to return again, and likely at a far greater cost in terms of American lives.
Not only should we not set a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, but we should seek to establish an alliance with the Iraqi government in order to maintain a strong military presence in the region. How long? As long as there are Islamofascists bent on detonating a nuclear device in some U.S. urban center and sending our nation into economic ruin.


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