Sunday, July 08, 2007

Why we should stay in Iraq

For the past few weeks, the news from Iraq has taken a back seat. The papers have been taken with covering Paris Hilton, Scooter Libby, and the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. Now that those stories seem to have played out, the press and many politicians are back on the attack with Iraq. Unfortunately, they are on the wrong side.

The United States is actively involved in a war that should be easy to support. We have liberated a country from an evil tyrant. We are fighting terrorist who would like any opportunity to kill us. We are fighting a proxy war against Iran. In case you have spent too much time following Paris Hilton, Iran is the country doing everything in it’s power to get a nuclear weapon to use against either a) Israel, b) Europe, c) the United States, or d) any and all of the above.

When boiled down to its basics, there really should be very little reason to oppose the war in Iraq. However, some have lost focus on why we are there, while others believe we have no right to be there. This second group doesn’t care what happens in Iraq. They want us out and they want us out now. For more information on this group, do a Google search for “Sheehan threatens Pelosi”.

The real dirty secret is that the plan we are executing in Iraq is starting to work. We still have a long way to go. In the words of David Kilcullen, “…this is the end of the beginning: we are now starting to put things onto a viable long-term footing.” Mr. Kilcullen would know. According to The Weekly Standard, he is a former Australian officer and an expert on counterinsurgency warfare. He is also finishing a tour of duty in Iraq. All of this puts him in a much better position to characterize what is happening in Iraq than many on the hill. Kilcullen also points out that we are now trying to clear “human terrain” and not physical terrain. The effort is now focused on marginalizing Al-Queda and extremist militias.

Natan Sharansky writes today, “People of goodwill can certainly disagree over how to handle Iraq, but human rights should be a part of any responsible calculus.” We have promised our help to an ally in Iraq. To withdraw now after relatively minor losses would be a terrible thing to do. Mr. Sharansky argues that if we leave now, we should be prepared for a much larger blood bath in both Iraq and the surrounding area. If we leave now, we should expect Iran to become the dominant force in the Middle East. Staying in Iraq, even for a long time, is in our best national interests and is the right thing to do.


familyman said...
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Andy D said...

A quick point of clarification, Sharansky didn’t talk about the number of losses in his article. The “relatively minor losses” is a comment that is mine and mine alone. I am sorry for any misunderstanding.

I was speaking of the number of deaths since we entered Iraq. The number of fatalities in Operation Iraqi Freedom as of July 10th is at 3,609. For a four year time period, that is a really low number. If we use your 3 million served number (which I am having trouble verifying) that is 0.1%. I am having a little more difficulty finding a source for total injured. If we stick with your 30,000 number we are talking about 1% not 10%. A 1 % casualty rate is a relatively minor loss to me.