If you follow the news, especially the New York Times or CNN, then you certainly have seen John McCain's comment about America's future in Iraq. It happened at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire in January. A voter said to McCain that Pres. Bush has talked about staying in Iraq for 50 years. McCain's response was: "make it a hundred". This is what all the media outlets have pounced upon, and what Obama (who claims to practice a "new" kind of politics) has adopted as a quasi-campaing slogan. Of course, there is little mention of what McCain said immediately afterward: "We've been in Japan for 60 years. We've been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed."
McCain is right. There is nothing about his statement that is inappropriate or inaccurate. America helps protect its allies with a military presence. We're also based in the UK, Germany, Turkey, Guam, and many former Soviet republics. It's a fact and there is no reason to assume that we wouldn't have a permanent military presence in Iraq once the fledgling democracy is on its feet, especially given Iraq's strategic importance. The MSM has misrepresented McCain's comment, as has Obama (who claims to practice a "new" kind of politics), as some kind of endorsement of 100 years of war in Iraq without end. This is dishonest to say the least, and Obama should know better since he has been the victim of similar misrepresentations, ie the "typical white person" comment. The non-partisan watchdog group factcheck.org has said that "Obama's claim that McCain wants 100 years in Iraq is a serious distortion to the point of rank falsehood". Obama is getting muddy and it's not becoming of him, especially since he claims to practice a "new" kind of politics.
McCain isn't backing down and he has challenged Obama on the deliberate misrepresentation. Obama's response was that we have no business in a country that has nothing to do with the war on terror. This caught my attention, and warrants a response from WEP.
It's true that I've grown tired of trying to explain to liberals why war in Iraq was necessary...tragic but necessary. Either you get it or you don't, the debate is basically fruitless. They always come back with this ridiculous assertion that Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror, and they think that our presence there detracts from the "actual" war on terror and ties up badly needed resources. I wonder who they think we're fighting in Iraq? I always thought we were fighting Islamic terrorists.
If you ask a typical liberal about the war on terror (or the "so called war on terror" as they like to say) you will discover that this war begins and ends with Osama Bin Laden. Apparently, once we capture him it is all over. All we need to do is withdraw from Iraq, focus all our efforts on Bin Laden and we can end this so called war on terror and get back to our ipods and Sex in the City reruns. Simple enough, right?
Well, I'm sorry, but fighting a complex war like this is not the same as playing a game of Stratego, which is basically what Obama's military strategy would be. Bin Laden is one of many Islamic terrorists who want all of us to worship their god or die. Yes, he is high profile but capturing or killing him would hardly end the war. Victory only comes with a change in mindset, governance, and perception in a culture that knows much of violence and little of tolerance. Bin Laden's capture wouldn't do much in that regard. If anything, it would inspire more fight in our enemies since they so admire the whole martyrdom thing.
So while Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11, saying it has nothing to do with the war on terror reflects a jaw-droppingly vast and dangerous lack of understanding of this conflict. Our troops are actively engaged with the enemy and they are winning. We have established a front line of battle in the war on terror and it is very far from main street America where the terrorists would prefer to fight. Where once they were hiding in the shadows, our conflict in Iraq has drawn them into a fight with our military, where they are greatly overmatched, as opposed to killing unarmed and untrained civilians as they would prefer. The enemy's focus is on driving our troops out of Iraq, more so than attacking our families here at home, and they are fighting this battle at great cost. Disengaging in Iraq would mean losing that front line and our enemies would creep back into the shadows looking for their next target, likely somewhere on main street America.
I think someone should sit down with Obama and explain this to him because he has no business being our next Commander in Chief if he doesn't understand such a fundamental military concept. Against a guerrilla enemy, it is much better to establish a line and provide them motivation to attack you and thus draw them into you strength rather than seek them amongst the shadows in their line of strength. The enemy's strength is their anonymity and invisibility which is lost when they are attacking our line of strength. Basically, our troops are fighting over there so we won't have to over here. It's simple, and believe me no one understands this more than the troops who are doing the fighting.
Obama clearly doesn't get it and neither do most libs who say Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror.
We have paid a dear price in this fight. We've lost many brave soldiers and spent large amounts of treasure. But what is the alternative? Are we to simply give up and stop fighting altogether? Yes, we could disengage in Iraq and focus our efforts on seek-and-destroy missions, kill a terrorist here, capture another there. But we wouldn't come close to inflicting the kind of damage on these networks that we are currently inflicting in Iraq, not to mention the most damaging of all...establishing a democratic Islamic state in the heart of the middle east. When we began this fight in September 2001, President Bush said it was going to be long, costly and difficult. Were we not listening? Did we not believe him?
We've lost over 3,000 Americans in Iraq in 5 years of fighting. We lost more than that in one day on 9-11. We have options but to me the alternative to what we are currently doing seems much worse. It's the lesser of two evils once again. In 1945, Truman faced something similar and he chose to inflict misery on the enemy rather than allow the enemy to inflict misery on us. What are we to do today? Obama? McCain? This is the most important question of this year's election.