Saturday, October 27, 2007

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.

7 comments:

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

John,

You have summarized the Iraq problem beautifully. Thank you!

The nay-sayers will keep coming at
you. Most are determined partisans.
Unfolding Reality in the region will prove
their shallow motivations in due course.

If the Persians are allowed to achieve nuclear capability, then the nit-pickers will only have additional shallow "talking points". The "blame-game" spurs them on, to what end? reb
________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

Doctor,

What you perceive as cynicism and pessimism, I perceive as realism.
Remember that it did not take merely ten years for our Constituition to get up and running. Yur comment about the many years for it took for our democracy to take root was much more accurate. First, a 150 year hx of representative government b/f the Declaration of Independence; then the mulligan of the Articles of Confederation; then 72 years after the Constitution, a civil over the issue of whether one human should own another; evn after the conclusion of the civil war it was another 100 years b/f people of color in this country were legally guaranteed basic rights.

I do not criticize our nation for its history. I am mindful of that history.

We, as a nation, had at least three advantages, in addition to our history of representative government that Iraq does not. As you point out, whereas Iraq is situate next to a theocracy, the U.S. had only two neighbors, both of whom were relatively benign. We had a war w/ British Canada in 1812 and a war w/ Mexico in 1846(?) but neither country ever sought to assert poltical power over ours.

Secondly, our constitution was predicated on the separation of church and state so religion has had relatively little political influence in our country on major policy issues. Iraq on the other hand is the cradle of the schism in Islam.

Thirdly, and in my mind, most importantly, Iraq has the distinct disadvantage of being a tribal society.

Democracy works when people's loyalties are to their institutions of government, rather than to their family; tribe; or sect.

Whereas I have never doubted our country's ability to achieve a military victory in Iraq a political victory in Iraq must be an organic Iraqi product.

I will leave the history of that culture to reb, but is it anything but realistic to think that democarcy in Iraq faces challenges that are insurmountable in consideration of the history and culture of that country?

It is frequently, if not always, a mistake to believe that people from cultures very different from our have the ability to achieve what we have acieved. This is not a racial comment, but a comment on culture.

Regards.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Well, Thank You Loop Garoo. We have a fair grip on our own history, and the enemy's culture and behavior.

This leaves us with two options:

a) We Stay In Iraq because we must,
To Confront Iran, Because We Must.
We Remove the Head of the Snake, in the fond desire for a Regime Change, delivered by an educated, youthful majority, plus a pragmatic military command that Understands Over-Whelming Power.

b) Or, We Surrender to the Insane
Persian Mullahs Culture, accept the Chains of Obedience to Sharia
Law, and admit the folly of our
Fundamental Freedoms.

c) Or, Does LGK offer some other bold alternative? We are attentive listeners.

Realism has many facets. reb
_________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

Obviously the answer is a), however, the devil is in the details. Have you heard any plan for post surge strategy?

As for Iran, unless there is a way to deal w/ the Revolutionary Guard which to my way of thinking is the head of the snake, the status quo will be maintained. The Guard is starting to resemble the PLA.

Regards.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Here is where we disagree.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard & Qud are military entities. They Do Not Set National Policy.

Grand Ayatollahs Interpret Allah's
Wishes (He remains mute).

Destroy The Weapons, And The Leaders Are Castrated. Eunuchs Do Not Threaten Their Neighbors. reb
_________________________________
www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com

The Loop Garoo Kid said...

reb,

Here is what is occurring in Iran and why I draw the parallel w/ the PLA in China.

Both the RG and the PLA began strictly as military entities. But like the PLA, the RG is starting to control industries, and as you may well conclude, in Iran that means oil projects. In Iran, whose GDPO is only the size of Finland's, oil is money.

I recall one recent article I read about a European company that was unwilling to enter into an Iranian joint venture b/c its partner in the oil project would have been the RG.

Remember, it is the RG that is the major sponsor of state terrorism w/in and ouside Iraq.

Recall the basis of power of every Chinese leader commencing w/ Mao. It was and remains the PLA.

The following comment is largely theory--I cannot at this point cite specific evidence--which is premised on historical parallels.

Certainly the theocrats, headed by the mullahs, are the source of oppression in Iran and the theocrats set domestic and foreign policy. The enforcement of those policies is left to the RG. Like any organization in a non democratic country, especially a developing one, the consolidation of power and wealth becomes not only an end to promote policy, but an end in itself. The mullahs and the RG are now walking in lockstep. If their interests diverge at any point, don't bet on the mullahs. It is easy to change ayatollahs after all. All you need is one bullet.

Supposing we, or one of our proxies like Israel, were to obtain sufficient intelligence to locate Iran's nascent WMD program and destroy it through a preemptive strike. What would be the effect? I do not speak of the obvious beenficial effects to us and the region, I speak of internal effects in Iran.

You and I hope that such a strike would trigger a revolution in which the theocrats would be deposed by the secularists, but is that realistic?

Such a surgical strike would have no effect on the RG's domestic oppressive capabilities, to wit, its ability to quash all dissent through conventional force of arms.

As I have stated b/f, a preemptive strike may also have the unintended and undesired consequence of engendering patriotism among the current dissenters. Think of how 9/11 united this country which unision has only become fragmented by the invasion of Iraq.

I suppose that my conclusion is that although the a strike against Iran's nuclear program would have external benefits, it is unlikely to change the internal status quo. Remember the evil that the Iran regime is fostering w/o nuclear weapons.

Regards.

SNAKE HUNTERS said...

Loop Garoo,

Please re-read your last sentence.
>>
Now, Imagine The Evil w/ Nuclear!
reb
_____________________________ www.lazyonebenn.blogspot.com