Here is a recent statement that I saw in the comment line. Sometimes I'll feel the need to respond to comments in a separate post in order to keep my response from getting buried in the comment line and insuring more people see it.
"...have you considered for a moment that perhaps "victory" in Iraq is unattainable? I think that military conquest of AQM is attainable but if you are talking about "victory" in the sense of transforming a former dictatorship w/ no history of representative government into a functioning democracy, I'll take the under, thanks. More sick irony the invasion of Iraq has caused more jihadism than it cured. Withdrawal is not a consideration, but neither is relying on the Malaki government to acccomplish national reconciliation or to provide internal and external security. So what is the solution?"
Actually, this is a good point. And, yes, I have wondered whether victory in Iraq is attainable. I think doubt occurs during the course of any war. When we first stepped foot in North Africa in 1942, things weren't looking too good either. But in Iraq, the stakes are too high for us to give in to doubt. No, victory is not assured, but that's no reason for us to quit. It wouldn't be the first time a dictatorship transitioned to a functioning democracy.
And as far as the Malaki gov't being unable to achieve national reconciliation? I see this as the latest in a long line of criticisms and pessimistic snipes. This argument appears to be the snipe du jour. It seems to me the Left is always coming up with reasons why we will not achieve victory, with a new reason needed each time the previous reason is disproven. Let's recap some of the arguments that I've heard. "Victory in Iraq is unobtainable because....
...We will never find Saddam or his sons, and the Iraqis won't move on until we do
...We will never capture or kill al-Zarqawi
...The Iraqis will never embrace democracy
...The Iraqis will view us as occupiers rather than liberators
...We will never be able to secure Baghdad
...The Iraqis will never be able to establish a functioning government with such deep divisions
...The Iraqis will never turn against Sadr
...Sadr's militia is too well-armed, he will never conform to the new government
...The Iraqis will never turn against Al Qaeda
...The Iraqi military is inept
And now, they're saying Malaki will never be able to achieve national reconciliation. Now, I've been critical of the Iraqis and what I've perceived as their unwillingness to fight for their own freedom, but perhaps I was being a bit too impatient. Perhaps they simply needed more time, because it seems as though a new attitude is starting to form over there. It seems, with each passing day, that the Iraqi people just may pull this off. I've had to remind myself that our own democracy took many years to take root. It took us over a decade to get our Constitution up and running. And we weren't sandwiched between two theocratic terrorist nations who were taking strong actions to undermine our efforts. Perhaps we should cut the Iraqi people some slack. They've overcome adversity, and so far they've proven the doubters wrong. It's a testament to their strength and to the power of liberty. My question is: At what point do the defeatists stop saying victory is unattainable, and start saying 'maybe there is a chance'? Imagine the impact on enemy morale a truly united America would have.
I don't know if victory will happen. But I do know that America has always stood for liberty and has always been there to lead others to freedom. How different would this world be today if America allowed itself to take the attitude of pessimism and cynicism seen above? We like the underdog for a reason. Right now, millions of Iraqis are in a fight for their lives, their country, their fledgling democracy. They have a lot of hard work ahead, but they've overcome hard work to reach this point. Islamofascism won't be defeated on the battlefield, it will be defeated in the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide. But that can't happen without liberty, without a Muslim democracy to lead the way. A line of dominos requires that first little tilt to do their magic. We saw it in Eastern Europe and the Soviet states. Perhaps Iraq can be that tilt in the Middle East.
We've paid dearly for them, and they've paid dearly for their freedom. The easy thing would be to pack up and leave, say it's not worth it, it's too costly, but since when does man's last great hope take the easy way out? The right thing is to stay and see these people through their fight. They haven't given up yet, and by God neither should we.