Saturday, January 13, 2007

What the Iraqis Want

True or False: The Iraqis want the coalition forces out of Iraq now. For the answer go here.

True or False: Iraq's Arab neighbors want the coalition forces out of Iraq now. For the answer go here.

The genuine fears of the people whose lives are placed in jeopardy if the Democrats have their way in Washington are apparently of secondary concern to the leaders of the Democrat party and various other anti-war spokespersons around the country who insist we withdraw regardless of the consequences. It doesn't matter that our presence is the only hope the Iraqi people have of ever achieving a secure future for their children. For some reason, never very clearly or cogently articulated, that doesn't enter into the rhetoric of those who want to get out as soon as possible.

The demands for immediate withdrawal remind me of a letter written by the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Sirik Matak, back in the 1970s. The Democratic congress had decided to abandon Southeast Asia to the communists by cutting off funding for the war, just as Democrats are talking about doing today. The American ambassador to Cambodia offered Matik the opportunity to escape. Matik replied in words that should be engraved in a monument and placed on the floor of both houses of congress: "I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion. As for you, and in particular, for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty." Matik remained in Phnom Penh and was brutally murdered, along with a quarter of the country's population, by the Khmer Rouge.

This young Iraqi, photographed by Michelle Malkin in Iraq, speaks for millions of Iraqis and Arabs who know full well that if the U.S. leaves before Iraq is self-reliant it'll only result in war, pestilence, famine, mass murder and torture throughout the region:

See Michelle's blog for an explanation of this pic and more photos from her ongoing embed with the troops in Baghdad.


Wallis on the Surge (Pt. I)

Jim Wallis of Sojourners seems to be growing increasingly nastier and strident in his political rhetoric, and in this piece I think he says some things which are really quite indefensible. He writes, for example, that:

Bush stubbornly believes that military solutions are always the best answer, and consistently chooses war over politics. But without a political solution in Iraq, no escalation of the war will succeed. Whether in Iraq, or even in the larger war on terrorism, Bush believes, as he said again last night, that we are in a great "ideological struggle" between us and them, good and evil - and that only military solutions against "them" will suffice. Both wisdom and humility (two religious virtues) suggest that political and diplomatic resolutions to conflict are ultimately required. But last night, Bush again chose the primacy of military solutions.

This is such a distortion of the President's words and actions that I have to fight the temptation to think Wallis is deliberately misrepresentating the facts.

First, what has the president ever said or done that justifies Wallis' claim that he believes military solutions are "always the best answer," and how does Wallis conclude that Bush "consistently chooses war over politics"? Wallis has to ignore the entire history of our involvement with Iraq from 1990 on in order to say such things. The fact is that Bush only chose war after Iraq continued to violate one U.N. resolution after another, after they tried to assassinate an American president, after they repeatedly fired on our aircraft in violation of the terms of the cease-fire, after they committed mass murder against both Shia and the Kurds, and after they refused to give our weapons inspectors full cooperation, and gave every impression that they were trying to hide illegal weapons.

Second, when did Bush say that "only" military solutions would succeed in Iraq? He's never said that. He's spent the last three years trying to make political solutions work in Baghdad and when they came up short, and force became necessary, Wallis accuses him of only wanting to use force. Of course politics and diplomacy must be implemented, and they have been, but this is not an either/or strategy. There has to be diplomacy and there has to be force to back it up. Otherwise, diplomacy will never work. Wallis seems to think that diplomacy and military force are mutually exclusive so that if we employ one we cannot, and must not, employ the other.

Wallis then quotes an American soldier who is reluctant to go back to Iraq as if to demonstrate that even the military has given up on the war.

"I don't want to die over there; I don't think it's worth it," said one American serviceman who was interviewed this morning about the president's new plan. He and his new wife had a new baby just five days ago, but now he has been ordered back to Iraq. He named several of his friends who have new wives and babies on the way, who will now also be sent back.

Yes. Our soldiers are giving up on the war. That's why enlistments and re-enlistments are higher than ever. That's why the one segment of our population that is most supportive of what we are doing in Iraq are military personnel and their families. That's why Bush consistently gets standing ovations when he addresses military audiences. That's why the one segment of our population that least wants us to cut and run is the military. Wallis ferrets out one or two soldiers who are a little less than gung-ho and offers them up to us as if they are representative of the military as a whole. I'm sure he could have found soldiers in every war we've ever fought who felt the same way as the serviceman he quotes above, but it means nothing.

He goes on in his article to contend that the Iraq war fails to meet the traditional criteria of a just war, and, in the process, makes some very questionable, and very disappointing, assertions. In a day or two we'll consider this part of his argument.


Boxer's Blunder

It's not often that I agree with Andrew Sullivan, but I do on the stupidity of Senator Barbara Boxer's questioning of Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice the other day. I wouldn't, though, call it "vile" as Sullivan does, it was just dumb. I can't do better than one of Sullivan's readers does in explaining why:

Reasonable counter argument? Man this is easy. OK, here we go, so all of you out there put down the bong and try to follow. Your reader wrote about the "human element" of watching your child go off to war and how that is relevant to governmental policy decisions. Fair enough. Then should any elected official have a say in public education if their children go to private school? How many of these phony Democrats who are "for the little guy" actually educate their children in the public schools they purport to believe in? Hello, Kerry, Edwards, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Clinton, et al?

Or should any of them have a say in welfare policy? How many actually are punitively subjected to the ravages of a bunch of lazy malcontents sitting around their neighborhoods while they go to work at low paying jobs that disqualify them from receiving public entitlements (but yet have to live with the crime and nonsense that goes with the neighborhoods where such conditions exist). This is fun!!! Want some more? OK. Why should any elected official get to have a say or vote on immigration and border enforcement issues if they don't reside in the border states where the destruction of open borders have made regions of the US almost unidentifiable as America anymore. This is the kind of logic I have to debate?

Be honest Andrew. Liberalism is all about feelings and intent, not actual facts and results.

We might add that according to Ms Boxer's logic no one in the administration or congress who has children who are not in the military or not in the war zone should be permitted to make any policy that might jeopardize the lives of those who are. I'm sure that if Ms Boxer had a chance to reflect upon her words she'd want to retract them for they certainly don't reflect well on the wisdom of those who voted her into office.