The other day on Fox, Newt Gingrich was discussing the war in Iraq and Bush's latest plan to temporarily increase troops in Baghdad. He also noticed the lack of applause from the Dems when Bush mentioned pushing for victory in Iraq, but that's beside the point.
He, like all Americans, are frustrated with the war. Personally, I'm extremely disappointed in the failure and unwillingness of the Iraqi people to fight for their independence. The Pentagon obviously dropped the ball when it came to having a reconstruction strategy in place for when Hussein's gov't fell. And, no one seemed to expect the insurgents would be so effective at dividing the country along religious lines and thrusting it into a near-civil war. Not only that, but "victory" has not been clearly defined. What constitutes victory? At what point can we declare the war won? The definition of victory has changed with time, and yes it is frustrating.
But, Gingrich brought a good point. He said that while he may not be able to define victory, he can at least define defeat. That is when we leave prematurely, allowing the entire nation to crumble into a Cambodian-like chaos, with genocide and random acts of violence running rampant. Al Qaeda sets up a safe haven in Anbar, allowing them to operate without interference, but this time with the help of Iraqi money and Syrian cover. Iran moves into southern Iraq, controlling the key pipelines. The entire area becomes the center for an all-out war that could engulf the entire region, Israel included. THAT is defeat, and that's what happens if we don't succed in stabilizing that area. In short, that's what happens when we leave.
He then went on to say that those who are calling for our withdrawal, those defeatists on the Left (and to some extent the Right as well), have an obligation to describe how they would deal with the consequences of the defeat. How would the Left handle all the scenarios above? the scenarios of Iraq without US stabilization? It is a VERY fair question that no one seems to have an answer for. And I think he's right, those who want us to cut and run DO have an obligation to explain their plan for dealing with the defeat.
Newt has some good points here, and I felt the need to share them.