Dec 09 2007

Converts For Success In Iraq

The Washington Post ran an intriguing article of ‘reconciliation’ between the war doubters and war optimists (myself being in the latter camp of course). Being authored by one member from each camp the article demonstrates the political reconciliation possible in America, now that General Petraeus’ Surge as been able to create stability in much of Iraq and foster a grass roots and reconciliation process there as well:

We are veterans of the Iraq war with vastly different experiences. Both of us commanded troops in Iraq. We, too, held seemingly entrenched, and incompatible, views upon our return. One of us spoke out against mismanagement of the war — failed leadership, lack of strategy and misdirection. The other championed the cause of successfully completing our mission.

It’s time to discuss the way forward rather than prosecute the past. Congress must do the same, for our nation and the troops.

Before we get to the excellent ideas these two fine Americans have put forward I must sadly note reconciliation in America will not include virulent far left who are anti-war or anti-Bush at all costs. I say sadly because these people are a lost cause to history. At every major point in humankind’s history their are those who chose the losing path and went to their graves unable to admit it. Do not confuse my list with any direct comparisons, but the list is meant to illustrate my point.

Benedict Arnold though he was doing what was right when he betrayed this country when it was first being founded. Neville Chamberlain naively thought he was avoiding world wide conflict prior to World War II. So did the isolationists here in the US who would not confront the evil sweeping the globe in the 1930’s and instead waited until the wave had consumed much of the civilized world and we were being attacked as the last barrier to world domination. Finally, the communists and socialist to this day believe their command-central dominance of humanity’s spirit and creativity is the best form of government despite being demonstrated otherwise many, many times over.

People make horrific choices. Sadly few ever admit it to themselves. So when I say reconciliation it will mean a new alliance for success which precludes those on the far left who could never work to possibly make Bush look good or the Iraq war a success. So with that said, what could we work together on, as outlined by these gentlemen:

First, the United States must be successful in the fight against worldwide Islamic extremism. …

Second, whether or not we like it, Iraq is central to that fight. We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there — which has decreased substantially but is still present — to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis.

Third, the counterinsurgency campaign led by Gen. David Petraeus is the correct approach in Iraq. It is showing promise of success and, if continued, will provide the Iraqi government the opportunities it desperately needs to stabilize its country. …

Fourth, our strategy in fighting the Long War must address Iran. Much has been made this week of the intelligence judgments that Iran has stopped its weapons program. No matter what, Iran must not be permitted to become a nuclear power. …

Fifth, our military capabilities need to match our national strategy. Our military is stretched thin and will be hard-pressed to maintain its current cycle of deployments.

If I may be a little more succinct – once in a fight, fight to win. Put sufficient forces in place to do the job and stay the course – no more hand wringing halfway through. Since we are in these wars in many areas, fund the necessary increase in military strength (we are the last super power and need to project forces across the globe). And do not let Iran become such a large threat it will require the sacrifice of thousands of lives to defeat the threat.

These are tough challenges. Defending our country and are allies are tough responsibilities. Maintaining our way of life in the face of Islamo Fascism is a dangerous but necessary endeavor. When threatened we cannot go along with life as normal, obsessing about our personal issues. We need to work constructively together for a larger good. If these two gentlemen can put the past behind them and team up in common cause with America protected and Islamo Fascism on the run and being shunned by the Muslim street we will get through this and be proud of ourselves when we do.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Converts For Success In Iraq”

  1. crosspatch says:

    There is still a lot of propaganda being generated from the AP. Take this for example:

    WASHINGTON — As security improves in Iraq, pressure is building to reverse one of the most onerous decisions Defense Secretary Robert Gates made to enable President Bush’s troop buildup to go forward this year: extending the tours of active-duty soldiers from 12 months to 15 months.

    The extra three months is a weighty burden, both physically and psychologically, for soldiers already stressed by multiple tours, and on families coping with strains that have mounted since the war began in 2003.

    When I was stationed in Germany in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s a tour by a single soldier was 3 years … 36 months. A tour of a married soldier without his family joining him was 2 years, 24 months.

    AP would lead you to believe that a 15 month tour is a hardship, especially now that things are getting quieter (?!?!?!). I would say it is just the opposite. As things quiet down and things ease up, it is easier to serve there LONGER. If things get quieter still, it might be possible to go to from a 15-month to an 18-month or 24-month tour.

  2. kathie says:

    Am I smiling? Yes I am!