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Once again Mr. Babbin has given an insightful analysis of the current condition of the State of Iraq. A military confrontation with Iran and her satellite, Syria, will take place soon enough. And we are going to need forces in Iraq to combat them. This is for the future, though, not the present.
To take the argument concerning Iran and Syria off the table, let me merely point out that the current administration of our great nation has made it clear that they are unwilling to do this. Though, due to the direct participation of the governments of both nations in attacks upon government forces of Iraq and the U.S., direct action against them, by U.S. forces, is defensible. Simply put, for a variety of reasons, the Bush administration will not directly engage either nation.
Back to Iraq. The current situation in Iraq is simple to explain in hindsight. There has been no consistent rudder employed by the administration to direct U.S. actions in-country. Contrary to some claims that the administration is “staying the course” in Iraq, this course has most resembled the path of a drunken blind man crossing a football field. The purpose of invading Iraq was not to establish a bastion of democracy in the Middle East. It was to eliminate a potential threat to this country (there were WMD’s and the programs to create more were poised to re-start quickly) and to dissuade others from continuing upon courses of action that threatened the security of the U.S. A democracy in Iraq, while a desirable side benefit, was not a high priority option. The security of Iraq was.
In order for all other positive results to occur, Iraq had to be secured. This did not happen. For whatever reason, the United States blinked. The real war for Iraq began several weeks after U.S. troops rolled into Baghdad. And we did not rise to the challenge. The administration forgot an important lesson of military history, an occupying force is the government of a subjugated country. Any attack against said occupying force is to be considered an attack against the duly established government of the occupied state and handled accordingly. This did not happen. Case in point being Moqtada al’Sadr. After he led his “resistance” against the “foreign invaders” he should have been capture and executed immediately and his troops destroyed. The same should have happened to several other insurgent leaders. It did not.
The country was never secured and the administration made it clear that the U.S. would never make a concerted effort to secure it. This includes direct action against the border areas of Iran and Syria to hinder incursions of men and materiel from those countries. Now, a legitimate government has been installed in Iraq and the U.S. will have to live with it. By agreement with that government, we are duty bound to operate with its consent. The reason for this appears to be the fact that the administration caved to domestic pressures to become kinder and gentler.
Where do we go from here? That is a very good question. The answers are not readily discernible, due to the muddled mess that Iraq has become. If we stay, we face years of violence in-country with no clear victory in sight. If we leave, we will be back within five years and this time we will face a regional conflict without a force-in-place. Neither are desirable choices. But if we choose to leave Iraq at this point, we might as well leave en masse. A phased withdrawal will only embolden the enemy nation states in the region and their irregular allies in Iraq. Violence will rise to exceptional levels as they seek to damage U.S. military assets as much as possible before they leave the country. The following sectarian violence, as various parties seek to establish their dominance in areas of the country, will also spike.p>The Baker/Hamilton study will not answer any real questions. Iran, Syria and North Korea will be “confronted” in the near future, whether we wish it or not. Iraq will still be Iraq. And the threats to this country’s future will be augmented by internal fractures. The only real question is whether we have the fortitude to hang tough, play rough and wipe the blood off of our nose and continue. Time will tell. br> — Michael Tobias br> Ft. Lauderdale, Florida /p>
Jed Babbin, as usual, has nailed the crux of the problem with both the Dem thinking and the Bush thinking regarding the so called War on Terror. I tried to compose a letter to both praise Jed’s article and to express my thoughts on this current conflict. Unfortunately, it was rapidly getting to doctoral dissertation length, and I was getting more frustrated as I went on.
George Bush had some good and worthy notions and instincts immediately upon experiencing the events of 9/11. As he stood atop a pile of rubble in New York, with his arm around a fireman and spoke by bull horn, he expressed the feelings and inclinations of most Americans. Unfortunately he went down hill rapidly from there. How far he had fallen from these good instincts was revealed in his ill fated “Mission Accomplished” speech on the aircraft carrier just barely over the horizon from San Diego. Since that day, he has been part of the problem, not part of the solution, and now we are to have a James Baker III solution imposed on us, it seems. This is what happens when you insist on playing a prevent defense, you often lose the game.
El Presidente failed utterly to bring the public along with him at each step as was necessary. Because of this failure, he now experiences an increasing hostile electorate, and almost the whole thing is of his own making. His ineptitude and missteps would seem to be about to give the Dems renewed life and influence over government policies. I am not at all sure that Bush is the person that can right the ship now. I am very afraid that all we can do is muddle along for 2 + years until we get a new Commander-in-Chief. I sincerely hope that our American electorate will see the error in their ways in the intervening years and reject the hard core Socialism that is the only solution that the Dems have any interest in promoting.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?