A False Dichotomy

First, thanks for all the visits. One of the reasons I started this blog up (again!) was to give all of you a look at part of the ground truth in Iraq–something that can get lost in all of the histrionics and official pronunciamientos. Hopefully, I’m succeeding.

Some of you have mentioned to me that it seems I don’t think Iraq’s better off for our having been there. Nothing could be further from the truth. I think that our presence there has improved the life of Iraq, if only because we removed a monstrous tyrant from power. It’s impossible not to look into some of those mass graves, or look at some of the taped footage of Saddam’s mass executions, and not feel utterly disgusted; not just with him, but with us for allowing such evil to run unchecked.

So, it’s a good thing that Saddam was removed from power.

But it’s only a good thing if we canprevent another autocracy, whether it’s religious or not, from taking power in Iraq. If we don’t, then, frankly, what was our sacrifice for?

I don’t see any indication that this White House is prepared to do anything it takes in order to insure a free future in Iraq. We’re handing over power to the Iraqis on July 1st and we’re gradually withdrawing to a few fortified compounds. The end result is to withdraw from daily contact with Iraqis, and, it seems, to wash our hands off it all.

I happen to believe that’s the wrong approach to take. I think that we’d be better off engaging the Iraqis, and helping them rebuild their country, and helping to prevent further chaos and dissolution from taking place. But that’s not a decision I make–that’s a decision the President makes.

I think it’s the wrong one. And if it is, then someone, sooner rather than later, will begin asking the same question a young 27-year-old officer asked of his leadership over three decades ago:

“How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

C’est plus ça change, c’est plus la même chose.

It’s not enough to remove a tyrant from power; we must also keep them from gaining power. And we can’t do that by slinking away.

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2 responses to “A False Dichotomy

  1. Whats Ironic is that the same people who supposedly look out for Iraq are the same people that are going to be responsible for its failure. Its not Bush. Its Chirac, the UN, and the Democrats. Chirac didn’t want to cancel Iraq’s debts (France sold a lot more weapons to Saddam than the US did), the UN is supposed to help Iraq. But when they get hit by terrorists they decide to cut and run. What is the point of the UN exactly? Are they going to help only when the country is peaceful? If its already peaceful, you wouldn’t need the UN! And look at the democrats. John Kerry said he supported Iraq, but then he decided not to vote for the president’s reconstruction proposal. Disingeneously saying “why are we rebuilding Iraq when America’s economy is decreasing” Then he blames Bush for doing a poor job rebuilding Iraq! If any one is the hypocrite its Kerry.

  2. I believe it would be a mistake to cede authority to any governing body that may or may not exist. Information from Iraq is sketchy. Here, stateside, we hear of a soldier/day being killed, if statistics were ever a rationale for success, I’m not sure I like it. I also don’t like the fact that Bush wants to cut and run. We made this mess, it’s up to us to finish it out, and make it right.
    The only problem I see is that Democracy has to be wanted, not by one, but by all. If a third of the population wants theocracy, another third wants secession, and another third wants to reclaim totalitarinism…well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that democracy is unachievable in Iraq. Personally, once we leave it will probaby crumble no matter what we construct there. I’ve always felt Iraq created Saddam. Maybe we should abandon Iraq to it’s own machinations. Rather odd for me to contradict the beginning of my post at the end of the same post.

    Iraq is such a mess for us, now. Bush, you idiot.