Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Don't be Stupid

Michigan's Carl Levin, soon to be head of the Armed Services Committe, has been the leading voice among Democrats for setting a timetable to
withdraw from Iraq.

He needs to chill out.

Talk about a "phased withdrawal" just days after the election is tantamount to surrender, and will embolden terrorists for future, more lethal attacks.

The Democrats need to realize that they don't need to pull out of Iraq to prove the U.S. never should have entered into the conflict in the first place.

Rather, the new Democratic leadership would do well to focus on a clear, concise strategy to win in Iraq, not a hollow retreat victory. If they act too foolishly and quickly, history will not judge them kindly. But if they pull off a sound strategy for victory and stability, they will be rewarded in 2008.

Americans voted the Democrats in for a number of reasons, but primarily for a change in course, a fresh perspective, and new ideas to help the troops and the Iraqis figure out a way to win, entrenched inside a hot bed of sectarian strife.

Democrats should act prudently, and have a little hope. A pragmatic attitude would do go along way in today's atmosphere.

As hollow as a sports related analogy may be, we may be able to learn from a recent development in college football.

Rutgers Universtiy has been known as a hopeless cause within the ranks of College Football's greatest teams; Michigan, USC, Texas, etc. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights have gone decades without being ranked in the Top 25, and until last year, hadn't had a winning season since the 1990's.

This all changed last Thursday night as Rutgers (Ranked 13th) defeated Louisville (3rd) to remain undefeated at 9-0. This was so far Rutgers' best start in over 30 years.

What I took away the most from Rutgers season, and from last week's game in particular is this: Never give up.

By half time, Rutgers was down 25-7. The outcome of the game was thought to be a foregone conclusion. Everyone watching, myself included, had completely given up hope that victory was possible.

And then came the second half. Rutgers held Louisville to zero points. The game culminated with a field goal kick to seal the underdog victory.

I watched Rutgers' win Thursday night in New Brunswick, as fans erupted into the streets in disbelief. They waited, they were loyal, they hoped and stuck by their team for years. And Rutgers came through, defeating a 3rd ranked team in spectacular fashion.

What does this have to do with the situation in Iraq? Maybe nothing.

But to any Rutgers fan, or even to someone vaguely knowledgeable about College Football, Rutgers' win represented the impossible; a defiance of the odds... a comeback after things looked so bleak.

And that is the situation we are faced with in Iraq. The American public - Democrats and Republicans alike - need some faith in their troops. They need to find the will to win.

Pulling out of Iraq now may not cost us any more money, but it will not make the Middle East a better place. And I can guarantee that it will not produce victory in any shape or form. The U.S. needs to hit back with the will to win.

Take a lesson from a formerly scrubby Big East Team with little hope for greatness.

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