Friday, August 24, 2007

The Irresponsible Defeatists

Liberals, Democrats, and the Main Stream Media are all upset that President Bush would have the audacity to compare Iraq to Vietnam. The left is appalled that after years of denying America was engaged in a quagmire the president would have the audacity to compare the killing fields of the Vietnam era with what would happen to Iraq if the US was to withdraw our military precipitously. Senator John Kerry even had the nerve to say that internment in retraining camps in Vietnam was not that bad. The revisionist historians and liberals would have the American people believing that the mass executions that happened in South East Asia after the US left an enormous power vacuum in Vietnam really did not happen or are greatly exaggerated.

The real issue is that Iraq is a losing issue for the liberal left and the Democrats. The Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. The only way they look good on this issue is for the US to be defeated and be forced into a withdrawal plan. Anything short of a humiliating defeat and the left loses. The reason they dislike the comparisons the president made to the killing fields is because that is even a losing issue. The liberal left claims to be the voice for the little people. The left supposedly speaks for the humanitarians, the environmentalists, the poor, and the downtrodden. Unfortunately, the parallels with Vietnam are present and this would be a humanitarian crisis for the ages.

The US created a power vacuum in the Middle East when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Saddam Hussein posed a threat to his neighbors. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990 and Saddam Hussein utilized chemical weapons (WMD) on his own people. However, the brutal Baathist regime was also held at bay by the US and the regional Arab states. Even though Iraq was one of the most powerful of Arab States, Iraq could not have ruled the entire Middle East. Let there be no doubt that Iraq posed a threat and Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator. Saddam was a powerful leader and the Iraqi military had the capability to create unease and tensions in the area. Toppling the brutal regime created a power vacuum. There are many factions in Iraq that are currently vying for power. The Kurds in the north, the Sunnis in the West, and the Shiites in the South control vast expanses and have no desire to share power with each other. All of these factions have an interest in gaining the upper hand in the power struggle. When the US invaded Iraq the government, industry, and infrastructure were destroyed. Iraq is unable to defend itself and is not a major player in the Arab world at this point. Iraq is vulnerable to civil war, invasion, and corruption. The Middle East has been totally destabilized. The US is the only reason pure anarchy and civil war has not taken a strong foothold in Iraq.

A precipitous withdrawal would change everything. The Iranians would seek to install a brutal Iran style Sharia law government. The Turkish army may invade the north to stop the formation of a Kurdish state. Al Qaeda would want to unite the Sunnis and create a terrorist State. In all likelihood mass killings would occur. The civil war may become the greatest catastrophe of the 21st century. Millions of deaths of innocent people would in all likelihood happen in the blink of an eye. All of this is the likely result of a precipitous withdrawal. The threat of the mass murders and executions should shame all of the defeatists in the US to take another look.

America has a responsibility to prevent such a massacre. Over 70% of the American people supported the president in the war plans. The US Congress overwhelmingly approved a resolution allowing the President to send in the US military. This is an American war and not a Republican or Bush war. The war was supported by the public and now there is a responsibility. We can not turn our back on innocent civilians just because the war is no longer popular. We can not allow an impending massacre to occur just because we have a short attention span. We can not allow a wider regional conflict occur just because the liberal left and democrats have staked their future on defeat. The defeatists in this country would have Americans believe that the killing fields did not really exist or that they are exaggerated. How dare the President compare Iraq to the killing fields.

War is unpopular. There has not been any war the US has been involved in that was popular throughout. American society was deeply split during the revolutionary war, the US was deeply split during the civil war, and America was deeply divided over World War I. America was united immediately after Pearl Harbor but by 1944 the public had turned decidedly against World War II. In each of these drawn out wars America stood its ground and saw an end that ultimately benefited American society. Unfortunately, the finality of the last war left America divided for a decade. The wounds and scars of the last war are still not fully healed. Is America going to again repeat the failures of the last war? Or is America going to see this through to the point of a stable Iraq. Will America finally allow itself to again be united and finish a war? Or will America skip out on its responsibilities and create another killing field?

President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld prosecuted this war poorly from the start. Both should have realized that the Iraqis were not going to welcome America as liberators. Both should have planned for the eventuality of a long drawn out insurgency. America should not have allowed the Baathists and Saddam loyalists to melt back into the Iraqi cities in order to fight another day. The problem is this is Monday morning quarterbacking. The problem with history is that we can not change it. What is needed now is for America to take responsibility for its actions. We need open debate that addresses a responsible plan for stabilizing Iraq. We need leadership; not political rhetoric and political pandering. America is a great Nation with many resources. We need to start using the resources and quit running away from our problems. A stabilized Iraq will equate to a united America.

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