Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I Rant on Iraq

I recently had a small debate over the conflict in Iraq. I proposed that it is time to bring U.S. forces home. For the record, I think that U.S. forces posted around the globe (in countries as threatening as Germany) should also be brought home. The latter kind of soldiers should be brought home because what their presence accomplishes does not outweigh their cost. The former should be brought home because it is the right thing to do.

My opponent, however, suggested that withdrawing from Iraq may not be the most prudent thing. There are many problems in Iraq, he pointed out, that still need fixing.

I replied that the main problem in Iraq is that we have forces in Iraq.

But if we leave, then Iraq will fall into the hands of our enemies, he countered.

Yet, I pointed out, Iraq wasn't exactly our friend before the war, and we were quite able then to be unfriendly with Iraq at a fraction of the cost in dollars and blood. Besides, the lessons of history side with the enemy. When Saddam said that Iraq would be another Vietnam, he was apparently right.

But he insisted that we should still try to do something.

However, I countered, we've been doing many things for many years now, but to no real avail. Besides, it stands to logic that since we had no business invading Iraq in the first place, we sure as hell have no business staying there. According to the United States Constitution (an archaic document to most politicians--except for Ron Paul), Congress must declare war before the executive branch can wage it. Oops, I guess we overlooked that one (it's like executing a suspected murderer before he's given a trial).

In the end, I think that what he couldn't accept--what too many Americans can't accept--is the real bottom line: we've lost. How does the mighty United States lose to a rag-tag bunch of bandits? Ask the Romans in 9 AD. Ask the British circa 1783. Ask the French circa 1954. Ask the United States circa 1975. Ask the Russians circa 1989. You can ask many others, including the Brits of the late 1940's who lost India and Pakistan even though there was not a massive, violent revolt against their occupation.

The best thing we can do is leave. Let the Iraqis sort out for themselves the kind of government they wish. We took care of Saddam. If a better Iraq is worth fighting for, then the Iraqi citizen will fight for it. If he or she prefers Islamist tyranny, then there's not much (if anything) that we can do about it.

Leaving is the first step to peace. We can be friendly with countries that do not share our particular values (e.g. China).We buddy up to the Chinese government because they have things that we want, and we have things that they want. It's called trade.

Iraq had oil. We want oil. There is a trade relationship in the making, if only we back off and let it happen. The longer we stay, the farther away that peace will be. The longer we stay, the poorer they will be and the poorer we will be. The longer we stay, the more dead Iraqis there will be and the more dead Americans there will be. The longer we stay, everything gets worse.

So please give me a reason why we should stay in Iraq, and please make it a reason that doesn't involve an argument amounting simply to "sticking with it"--because if we continue to "stick with" what we've got, we're in for a world of hurt.

FYI: Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who voted against the Iraq war from the beginning. Hell, even Hillary "die furer" Clinton voted for the invasion of Iraq.

Psst, Golf Guy. This is a well planned lure to start a debate with you.


  1. Golf Guy7:30 PM

    Well, even though you have thrown down the gauntlet, I cannot pick it up. But I can kick it around a bit.

    I agree with you about bringing the troops home and like you I mean all the troops. Not only those in friendly countries but hostile ones as well should be stateside as soon as possible. That might be small minded or naïve but I believe the only troops that need to be deployed are those of the Navy. I am sure that if a crisis occurred somewhere in the world we could get there and do what was needed to be done much like we did in the World Wars or in Desert Storm when we rescued Kuwait.

    Having suffered the embarrassment of Vietnam, I can understand the sentiment about another loss in Iraq. I also know why we loss in Vietnam. We let the politicians run the war and not the soldiers. The politicians tied the hands of our military machine in Vietnam and they are doing it again in Iraq or at least that is what I am being told from returning vets. That however might just be convenient bravado for those troops that are returning knowing that the “war” is not going well.

    Now for why we are really in the Middle East and I am surprised you have not come to this conclusion, and it is not oil. It’s Israel. Left to their own measures, countries like Iran and Iraq, among others, will, until they are wiped from the face of the Earth, do whatever they can to destroy the nation of Israel. The United States will never let that happen. We would rather suffer the embarrassment of losses in Iraq than let mass destruction take place upon Israel. That fact is more true and will be preserved to a greater extent than some facets of our constitution.

    Is that a reason to stay in the Middle East or Afghanistan? You and I might not think so. We might think that Israel can take care of herself, which I believe she can, but the money says otherwise. We will always defend Israel even if it means preemptive strikes upon countries like Iraq. Iran might well be next. Remove Israel from the equation and we would not be in Iraq. In fact, much, if not all, of the terrorism we see today might not be taking place. Didn’t terrorism, as we know it, begin with acts against Israel? Didn’t the fundamental Islamic terrorists target us initially due to our support of Israel?

    I’m afraid we could bring all of troops home and we would still be a target of terrorism. We will not win that “war” over there fighting a conventional war. We are just marking time. Someday, we will fight that war. We will fight it on a global nuclear scale and my guess is that Israel will fire the fist shot.

  2. You're right about our alliance with Israel. When, in his farewell address, George Washington warned against the United States getting into foreign entanglements, he wasn't just trying to preserve his own policy of neutrality in the war between Britain and France. Making alliances is not just about making friends, it's also about acquiring enemies.

    And as long as we support Israel, we must assume Israel's many enemies.

    We gain nothing tangibly (perhaps even intangibly) by aiding Israel. However, we suffer great pain and expense due to it.

    It doesn't get talked of much in political circles because such observations bring upon the observer the label of anti-Semite. As if the only reason to oppose aid to Israel is anti-Semitism. If I were to oppose aid to Russia, would I be anti-Slavic?


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