Wednesday, June 29, 2005

More of the same...

Well, I listened to the President's speech last night. I don't know why I expected something different – of course, I didn't get it.

One of the most frustrating things about this administration is its persistent pandering to fear: Yes -- there is a terrorist threat. But our action in Iraq had next-to-nothing to do with that original threat. Are there terrorists there now? Of course -- literally by the thousand.

But we have to ask ourselves -- would all these people who are currently attacking Iraqi's and Coalition forces have joined a terrorist association like Al Qaeda and actively helped the terrorists? I think the logical answer is a resounding "no" ... which means we MUST take some responsibility for the problem we've created there.

I contend that the vast majority of those taking arms against us are Sunni’s, foreign fighters and jihadists that, most likely, harbored distrust – and some even hatred for – the United States. But what percentage of those would have actually taken up arms? Even if you believe a large percentage of them would eventually have you are still coming to the conclusion that our middle east policy, or at least our execution of that policy, has cost coalition forces lives.

But, as so many others have said, we are there now. We’ve broken the country and now its our moral obligation to stay and try to give the Iraqi’s a fighting chance at a democratic government. If it can succeed it will be a great achievement for the people of the country. Will it form the seed of democratic movements in the area? I really don’t know. And in many situations (in Saudi Arabia for instance) I simply cannot see a democratic Iraq having much influence on a population that longs for a Wahabbist based society/government. Seems like a large price to pay for a theory (spreading democracy to the wider middle-east).

What’s the solution… well, one part of it may be setting a time-table for us to get out of there. As is often the case, the President’s argument for not setting a time-table doesn’t really analyze the situation or give the insurgents a credit for being even minimally intelligent.

The President insists that we cannot set a time-table for the withdrawal of our forces since it would send the wrong message and give the insurgents a opportunity to just ‘wait us out’. Presumable they (the insurgents) would increase the level of attacks against the fledgling government after we leave.

But why can’t they adopt that strategy now? They know the majority of our forces will leave eventually. But for now, they provide jihadists and others with a great urban combat training ground.

Maybe they already have adopted this strategy… Even if we “fully train” the Iraqi forces to at least suppress and control (to some degree) the current level of insurgency, why wouldn’t the insurgents step up attacks once the bulk of coalition forces leave?

What do you think?


Trav said...

Well, with Sandra Day O'Connor resigning, it's going to make for an interesting summer politically.

By the way, if you want a good blog that daily compiles news articles on the Bush Administration, go to:

It's the Washington Post's "White House Briefing"

Reign of Reason said...

The next few months is going to be very interesting ... to say the least.

If Rehnquist resigned, replacing him with another conservative wouldn't change the balance of power on the court. But with a moderate leaving this upcoming appointment takes on new importance.