You’ll notice I’ve made some additions to the sidebar. I’ve added two links to the Victory Caucus petition to support the military mission in Iraq; One near the top of the sidebar, and one at the bottom. They both take you to the same place, so there’s no need to click on both. I only added the one at the bottom for convenience, in case readers missed the top one.
I agree with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker that the achievements we are hoping to accomplish in Iraq are by no means certain, but they are obtainable if we press on. If we choose to disengage in Iraq, the consequences are dire for the entire Middle East. Civil war, chaos, and genocide will rule the region as all the different ethnic groups and neighboring nations rush to take advantage of the power vacuum that is sure to follow. If we abandon Iraq, we must abandon all our interests in the Middle East, including our allies, even Israel. Iran is sure to become more powerful and influential, but nations like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Egypt are not likely to stand idly by and let that happen uncontested. If Iran gains control of Iraq’s oil fields, the price of oil will skyrocket, affecting global economies, including our own. We have so much of our own national interests tied to Iraq and the entire region that abandoning them is idiotic and insane. Those who claim nothing bad will happen if we get out are shortsighted, shallow, craven and immoral. Yes, immoral. To abandon the millions of Iraqis to civil war and ethnic cleansing is akin to firefighters letting a house burn down with women and children still trapped inside. It’s unthinkable.
So, please, click on the link and sign the petition. Add the link to your own blog if you like. Instructions are here. It's amazingly easy. I did it, for crying out loud. Or send emails to your contacts.
Democrats have often pointed to our failure in Vietnam as justification for pulling out of Iraq. They don’t see the irony in the fact that Osama Bin Laden used our Vietnam retreat as part of his rationale for declaring war on the U.S. and attacking our interests wherever he could.. He assured his followers that we were cowardly and weak, and we proved him right, for a long time. All the attacks of terrorism were ignored and went unanswered until Sept. 11, 2001. When the Twin Towers fell, Bin Laden got our attention, because we realized that we could no longer ignore him.
And now, six years on, we are at the crossroads, trying to decide if it’s worth it to press on, or should we turn back and retire from the field. If we turn back, we prove Bin Laden right, we are cowardly and weak, and lack the resolve necessary to remain a great nation. If we abandon the Iraqis in their struggle to establish a stable country in which they can live in peace and safety, we will deserve whatever evil comes of it.
But what about the Iraqis? Will they be deserving of the chaotic hell that is sure to descend upon their heads? I think not. They were powerless to prevent Saddam Hussein from rising to power. They were impotent to depose him once he gained power. He reigned in terror for decades. They were powerless to stop the U.S. led invasion in 2003. Once elections were held and a constitution ratified and representatives selected to the Iraqi Parliament and government, the ball was in their court. For the first time in history, the fate of the Iraqi people was in their own hands, if they would take the opportunity and not waste it while America and others in the coalition spent blood and treasure on their behalf. True, they haven’t made as much progress as we would like, and there’s too much bickering and infighting, as well as violence, assassinations, suicide bombs, and attacks against innocent and unarmed civilians, including women and children. But for us to throw our hands up and walk away in despair would be reprehensibly cowardly, weak, and cravenly immoral.
Democrats are claiming that this is "Bush’s War" or perhaps "the Republicans’ War", but its an American army and Marine Corps that’s fighting in Iraq, for vital American interests. If we choose to quit the fight, we lose so much more than just a war. The Democrats don’t see that, and are eager for our defeat, because they see it as a political victory for them. They believe it will lead them to the White House in ‘08. What they apparently don’t see is that if we are successful in Iraq, they won’t share in that victory because they’ve worked so hard against it. But if we fail, the American people will lay it at their feet, and the stench of treason will be carried by the Democratic Party just as it was after the Civil War, and it will be a generation or more before they come back into power, if ever. People won’t trust Democrats to look after American interests, and rightly so.
Caroline B. Glick, deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post, wrote this:
Governmental competence is imperative because as Petreaus explained, "the fundamental source of the conflict in Iraq is competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources." Petreaus continued, "The question is whether the competition takes place more — or less — violently."
What is notable about Petreaus's statement is that it can be equally applied to all countries. Politics and warfare are both about the relative distribution of power. What separates democracies from tyrannies and failed states is that democracies determine power's distribution through deliberation and debate while tyrannies and failed states are governed by the rule of the gun and the laws of the jungle.
That the political party now in control over both houses of Congress, and well-positioned to form the next administration seems to have discarded this basic truth is far more dangerous for Iraq, the Middle East and indeed the entire world, than the chronic weakness, incompetence, double dealing and corruption of the Maliki government or any successor government.
The strategy that the US has adopted in Iraq, that has met with such success even in the brief time it has been operative is a long-term strategy. Unless the Democrats regain their senses, it will be difficult for anyone to trust that the US won't simply abandon Iraq and with it, its responsibility as the leader of the Free World in the midst of a global war. (Bold mine).