Monday, October 20, 2003

Why We're There

I'm no political or military expert. I don't even play one on TV. But here's my two cents worth on why we are, and should remain, in Iraq.

Bill Hobbs says:

"The flypaper is attracting the flies.

A taped message purporting to be from the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden declares for the first time that Iraq is the new battlefront in the jihad against the US.
Beats having them bringing the jihad to our shores. Much better for the jihadis to come to Iraq to be killed by the American military than to fly planes into buildings in New York.
Isn't that the bottom line of the "we're losing 2 soldiers a day over there since the war's over - we have to get them out of there!!" debate?

We're fighting a war against an army of militant fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, which number in the who-knows-how-many thousands. They've proven they can and will attack America on our own soil. If our armed forces have a chance to combat them away from American soil, and reduce their ranks on a daily basis so that the chances of other terror strikes against the US is diminished, how is this different from any other armed conflict we've engaged in in the past?

The liberation of Iraq - lack of real resistance notwithstanding - was much more like the traditional war. An invasion, territories attacked and held, people freed, battle lines drawn and re-drawn, inexorable push toward a geographic destination and achievement of a goal - the ouster of the Saddam regime. This task was finished in a couple of months. Now Iraq has become a new battleground where American troops fight those who've been co-opted into the fight by their ideoligical leaders, and are keeping them from traveling to American shores. This is an unfamiliar battleground - on the surface it doesn't make sense to see servicement falling for what seems to be no reason. But soldiers die in battle, just as surely as if it were a push up the beaches of Normandy, across Guadalcanal, or guarding the progress of freedom in Iraq - only the tactics of the enemy is different. We've had to take the attack to them, on their soil, on their terms.

That said, we must be able to see progress...

South Knox Bubba sez:

"What I want to hear is that either the situation is secured or our troops are coming home."


Otherwise, save all your "things are going great in Iraq" bullshit, or better yet tell it to the families of these people, especially the ones who died after George AWOL Aviator Bush declared victory on May 1st.
I don't believe the job could possibly be over now, even if we wanted it to be. There's no way the situation could possibly be secured, nor could or troops come home. The area is still too unstable, and the potential risk is too great to leave now.

Every day that there is not another terrorist attack on American interests is another day of victory, but it can only be a partial victory if every day does not also see hope and building for the future in Iraq. Setting up a free, noncorrupt and stable government in Iraq will be extremely difficult and tedious, but it will be a very important step toward lessening the tension. Again, it has to be above-board and honest - something people are looking for, and that the US boasts of in its "charter" but has been seen in short supply in practice. We must be true to ourselves, and to what the US is really all about.

And then, nothing succeeds like success - if the future terrorists in the Middle East see how the people of Iraq can improve their lives by viewing it first hand, maybe that will give them less reason to believe in and join the jihad. And that will indeed be a victory.

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