Published: Wednesday, 05 November 2003 19:38
Just to show that I don’t read just what agrees with me, I found this: Cut Losses: Leave Iraq
I can see how this makes perfect sense to the author, but he’s 100% wrong on this.
Back in the days of the crusades, Christians would torture Jews and Muslims until they accepted Christ. There was no “religious tolerance.” It took the Reformation and people like Martin Luther to change Christianity into what we recognize today.
Today, it is the Muslim faith that has no religious tolerance. To them, any infidel (non-Muslim) is worth less than the dirt under the Muslim shoes. Of course, the vast majority do not heavily invest into this view, but there are enough that do.
Now is the time for this to change. Either this change must come about internally or externally. Since there is no equivalent Muslim Martin Luther to preach moderation and acceptance, we must bring change about externally. If we do not force change, there are but three alternatives:
- Everybody convert to Islam
- Christians accept the constant terroristic attacks
- All out war. Christianity wipes out every last Muslim.
I do not find any of these alternatives attractive. Bringing about a Islamic Reformation is the only reasonable choice if the Christianity and Islamic religions are ever going to exist together.
To do that, we must win in Iraq. We must show Muslims across the world that freedom and religious tolerance works. The only way to win this battle is to win in Iraq. There is no other choice. There is no exit strategy because there can be no exit strategy. Just like we spent 50+ years in post WWII Germany and Japan, so must we spend 50+ years in Iraq.
If we pull out at all, Saddam Hussein will be back in power before the last American soldier leaves. It doesn’t matter if we set up a democracy or not. It cannot survive on its own for years yet. The butchery that Hussein would inflict on the people of Iraq in response to the invasion will make the Holocaust look like a garden party. We would lose so much prestige across the world it isn’t funny. If you thought 9/11 was horrible, don’t worry, you’ll get used to having something like that every month or so, because every terrorist group will be so emboldened by our cowardice that they will make the West Bank look like a day at the beach.
Now that I’ve explained all of this, let me Fisk a bit of this article.
Even if such a plan did not work, stability in Iraq never has been vital to U.S. security interests. The threat from Saddam Hussein’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction was overstated. And economists from across the political spectrum always have been skeptical that Persian Gulf oil needs to be secured militarily. Yet their views have been ignored by vested interests in U.S. national security bureaucracies.
Stability in Iraq is essential to not only the US, but to the rest of the non-Muslim world as well. We must stabilize Iraq to produce instability in the rest of the Muslim world. We must show the Muslim world that this can work. Once that is proven, change will come to the rest of the Islamic world. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. And the more change is accomplished, the faster the rate of change will be.
Saddam’s WMD program was only one of several reasons President Bush stated. What stockpiles he had may have been destroyed by others in his regime, but he still believed he had them, and he has used them before. While details about exact things may have been very sketchy, there were three undeniable facts:
- 1. He had had chemical weapons at one time.
- 2. He has used them before.
- 3. He was trying to develop more WMD.
Now I must Fisk a bit of this article.
To preserve U.S. “credibility” nearly 40 years ago, American policymakers pursued an escalated war in Vietnam — when cutting their losses and getting out sooner would have ultimately salvaged more world esteem. The same is likely to be true in Iraq.
There was no way to “win” the war in Vietnam. The best that could have been hoped for was a Korea-like stalemate. Political control over targets and strategies produced the catastrophe that we all remember.
But we must win in Iraq. This foe will not stop at Iraq’s borders if we pull out. These people we fight will fight us wherever we are, be it in Baghdad or Boston. We are in a fight to the death with radical, fundamentalist Islam and the course of that war will be decided in Iraq. If we cannot win there, beat them on their home ground, then the next battle will be here in America. And that will likely involve a mushroom cloud.
Are you still in favor of withdrawing?