Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Argument for The War In Iraq

The debate over whether to stay in Iraq is raging on Capitol Hill. Most Democrats are in favor of either an immediate pullout, a measured pullout, steady de-funding of the war, or total de-funding, depending on which politician you are talking about. Besides, their stance changes every day.

Republicans have fallen from the Hagel "the president can sign a war-funding bill that gives our troops the resources they need and places responsible conditions on that funding that will press the Iraqi government to perform and make the tough choices," to the Mitch McConnell "A war spending bill that includes such a date is no war spending bill at all — it’s a prolonged and costly notice of surrender" variety.

To illustrate the debate, the following is an imaginary conversation between the 'surrender monkeys,' and the 'hawkish (realist) eagles':

Surrender Monkeys: We have to pull out of Iraq now, because we are losing, the surge isn't working! Harry Reid just told us that "The Iraq war... is lost." Not to mention Barack Obama: "I don't think there are any good options left in Iraq. There are bad options and worse options.''

Hawkish Eagles: Actually, Iraqi civilian deaths are down 45% since the surge began, so I'm not sure what you mean by "we are losing." Where are you even getting your facts from?

Surrender Monkeys: Fine, you can have your numbers! But the Iraqi people don't want us there! Why should we help them if they don't want our help?

Hawkish Eagles: You're right, they don't want us there. If by they, you mean the terrorists. Actually, the Iraqi people do want us there. Ask the Kurds. Ask the Sunni's in al-anbar province. Ask the average Iraqi.

Surrender Monkeys: But the Iraqi government is not doing its job! If they're not going to do their job, why should we help them? Maliki is in bed with Sadr, he only cares about his fellow Shi'ites. If he doesn't meet these benchmarks, and he hasn't, then we should pull out.

Hawkish Eagles: Actually, Maliki has taken significant steps to curtail militants. Furthermore, U.S. and Iraqi troops have recently moved into Sadr city in force. Also, if the Iraqis aren't meeting these "benchmarks" you propose, wouldn't that mean they need more help rather than less help? Would that not mean we should logically stick with them until they fix their broken country? In any case, Secretary of Defense Gates has told the Iraqi government that the 'clock is ticking.'

Surrender Monkeys: But Iraq is just a civil war! Why are we involved in another country's civil war? We never should have invaded in the first place. It has nothing to do with the war on terrorism!

Hawkish Eagles: You are confusing the issues. Whether or not we should have invaded is one issue, and for now, we have bigger problems, so let it go. Second, Iraq is not simply a civil war. That description would be to grossly under-estimate what is happening on the ground. In Iraq, you have Sunn's attacking Shi'ites, but you also have Sunni's attacking each other. Al Qaeda is warring with Sunni Shieks, but they are also split amongst themselves. Shi'ite factions are also split, and subject to internal quarrels within their own neighborhoods. Add to that various other foreign fighters, not to mention Iranian meddling, and the picture begins to look much more complicated, does it not? With all these insurgents and terrorists running around in Iraq from all over the region, doesn't that sound like part of the war on terror to you?

Surrender Monkeys: Our presence in Iraq is causing the terrorists to attack us and to foment civil war. If we leave, the violence might well just decrease.

Hawkish Eagles: Might? There is no evidence to support that. In fact, it is almost certain that the violence would intensify, given the fact that American soldiers would not be present to serve as a buffer between not only insurgent factions, but the Iraqi Army and Police, who are often at odds with each other. Besides, how long did we stay in Germany after the Second World War? We're still there! I don't hear you arguing or protesting about our presence in Germany. And how about South Korea? Japan? Those are all stable countries now, aren't they? In fact, each country has blossomed under American protected democracy.

Surrender Monkeys: Come on! The Iraq war is different from all those wars. How can you even compare one war with another! Besides, Iraq is definitely worse than Vietnam!

Hawkish Eagles: Didn't you just say I shouldn't compare wars? Worse than Vietnam? Please. A cursory glance at the number of U.S. fatalities within the same time-period alone proves your theory wrong. In Vietnam, over 58,000 American lives were lost, and as many as 4 million Vietnamese civilians. Still worse than Vietnam? You shouldn't utter such hollow platitudes without any further evidence or introspection.

Surrender Monkeys: The U.S. isn't even in Iraq to help the Iraqi's. This was an war for oil and money to feed our massive Military-Industrial Complex!

Hawkish Eagles: I suppose you are entitled to your opinion, even though there is virtually no way to prove what you are saying. Speaking of money, who profited from Saddam staying in power? Consider all the Iraq war opponents overseas. Besides, many reconstruction contracts have been awarded to foreign companies.

Surrender Monkeys: But we didn't even get approval from the U.N. to invade Iraq! This was not a multilateral effort. We can't behave like a bunch of drunken cowboys. We're not alone in the world, and the opinion of our allies affects our soft power.

Hawkish Eagles: No U.N. approval? Not a multilateral effort? Did Bill Clinton obtain U.N. approval for Kosovo? Did we not go to war with Britain, Italy, Australia and a host of other allies? Wouldn't two or more allies constitute a 'multilateral' effort? Speaking of the U.N., didn't they make out like bandits, profiting from the Iraqi Oil for Food scandal?

Surrender Monkeys: Bottom line, we shouldn't be getting involved in another country's problems!

Hawkish Eagles: That view failed in 1914 [WW I], 1941 [WW II], 1950 [Korean War], 1991 [First Gulf War], and 1999 [Kosovo War] (to name a few), and it fails today.

Surrender Monkeys: What gives us the right to enter other countries, anyway? The Iraqis did not attack us, it was the terrorists. We're acting like an imperialist empire!

Hawkish Eagles: If other nations are harboring terrorists and providing safe haven, are they not accomplices? Besides, I have already said that this is not a debate about the justification for the Iraq War, this is about pulling out of Iraq now. But to your point, how many attacks were perpetrated upon us by terrorists and their terrorist-sponsored states before the United States took action? The first World Trade Center attack? The Khobar Towers? The U.S. African embassy attacks? The attack on the USS Cole? 9/11? The Madrid Bombings? The London Bombings? How many attacks do we have to suffer before we can fight back? And did you say imperialist? Allow me to let Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett reply, from page 119 of his book, "The Pentagon's New Map,":

"Countries seem to switch sides these days at the drop of a hat - or perhaps just a hint. Think about our secretaries of state jetting around the world trying to get all sorts of small powers to subscribe to our latest public offering, promising this or that aid package in return. What kind of "imperialist power" has to go around begging every little country sitting on the UN Security Council to let it - pretty please - invade some country and topple its horrible leader that nobody likes? Does that seem a dignified way to run a world empire?"

Surrender Monkeys: We can't win this guerrilla war in Iraq! It's not possible!

Hawkish Eagles: Oh no? What about the French in Algeria? The Colombians? (With U.S. support), The British over the IRA? Spain and ETA? Russia and Chechnya? The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

Surrender Monkeys: Look at the terrorist attacks of this week! Almost 200 dead in one day! It's getting worse! Basically, we and the Iraqi people are suffering due to our involvement there.

Hawkish Eagles: You can either look at one day, one snapshot in time, OR you can take in the full spectrum of events from the past four year, look at them inside and out, combine that with the global jihadist movement, security policy, etc. and then make a decision. I see that you're taking the former approach.

Surrender Monkeys: We're fighting in Iraq, but look at all the suffering around the world, like in Sudan!

Hawkish Eagles: Didn't you say we shouldn't get involved in other country's problems? Besides, what make the Sudanese more deserving than the Iraqi's? If you ask Barack Obama, Senator Joseph Biden, and Hollywood, then the answer is yes, we should help go help Sudan. But those same people want us out of Iraq. Should we trade one Civil War for another?

Surrender Monkeys: Just as bad as the Iraq war, we're illegally holding combatants in Guantanamo Bay! Their Geneva Convention rights are being stripped away from them!

Hawkish Eagles: Oh, really? Are you aware that a number of those GITMO prisoners that we have released have been killed or captured after joining with terrorist groups again after they were released from Guantanamo Bay? Do you know that the wealthy families of many of these "prisoners" have hired an American law firm to defend their sons AND to launch a PR campaign to help obfuscate their crimes, and hyper-inflate the "crimes" being perpetrated upon them? They are supplied with "Harry Potter" books, how bad do you think it really is for them?

Surrender Monkeys: But what do we even have to show for the war in Iraq, or the war on terrorsim, for that matter? We're clearly losing!

Hawkish Eagles: What do we have to show? We're losing? We've caught or captured 90% of al Qaeda's leadership, Zarqawi, Hussein, his sons, his secondaries, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, and countless others. We kill 20 of them for every one of our troops, especially in Afghanistan. Those aren't accomplishments? Not to mention we have not been attacked again at home since 9/11. Let's go one step further - Internet subscribers in Iraq have gone from 4,500 prewar, to 197,000 today. What does that tell you? Independent newspapers went from 0 to 268 today. Freedom of speech is on the march. Not only are Iraqi civilian deaths down, but the number of Iraqi civilians killed by U.S. troops is also down 25% from January 2006. We like to call This progress:

The movement of thousands of terrorist personnel from Baghdad resulted in many of them being caught or killed. In the last two months, three senior al Qaeda leaders have been caught, and over 500 terrorists killed or captured. Lots of documents and other evidence was also scooped up, and many of the captured terrorists are in a talkative mood. Sunni Arabs are showing the effects of four years on-the-run. While many of the captured terrorists express despair, and believe they have no choice but to fight to the end, they do seek a less dismal outcome. But Sunni Arabs in general know that the majority of Iraqis hate them, mainly for what Saddam and his crew did. While Saddam was in power, the Sunni Arabs prospered, and everyone else suffered. Now it's time for payback.

What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Unknown
We sleep peacably in our beds at night only because rough men stand read to do violence on our behalf." ~ George Orwell
For Victor [and Bill]

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