Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunday Editorial

I was invited to join a number of non-journalists in the York area who will be submitting columns to the local Sunday paper over the next year. My first contribution is on the Iraq war and borrowed from a post I had written some time ago for Viewpoint. It appeared in yesterday's paper:

Feb 11, 2007 - President Bush has taken much criticism, some of it deserved, for the way the post-war has played out in Iraq. Disillusionment with the Iraqis and the rules under which we operate there has led many to favor bringing our troops home as soon as logistically possible. The day may come when we decide to do that, but before the American public signs on to such a step we should understand clearly what withdrawal will entail.

One need not be a military expert to anticipate that the aftermath of an American pullout would likely include at least these seven consequences:

1. Sunni and Shia would be at each others' throats in a desperate civil war for political dominance. It would be a fight for survival because whoever prevails would surely oppress, if not utterly eliminate, the loser.

2. Iran would move into Iraq on behalf of the Shia and to settle old scores with the Iraqi Sunnis dating back to the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s. They would doubtless annex the oil fields in the south. Meanwhile, pressure would mount on Sunni nations like Egypt and Saudi Arabia to come to the aid of their beleaguered brethren. Turkey would take advantage of the chaos to settle their chronic Kurdish problem by invading northern Iraq. Syria would be sorely tempted to grab some oil fields wherever it could. Iraq would get carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey among its neighbors and would be almost completely helpless to prevent it.

3. Al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations would exploit Iraq's weakness to establish training areas and safe havens in the country from which to launch terrorist attacks around the world.

4. Anyone who had collaborated with or cooperated with the coalition would be marked for torture and death by insurgent forces. This could amount to perhaps hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Iraqis.

5. The chaos of war and the rape of the country's resources would result in severe shortages of food, water, medical care, sanitation and electricity. Refugees would flood into neighboring states and subsist in squalid camps. Perhaps millions of Iraqis would starve or perish from disease if these conditions persisted more than a few months.

6. The United States would be thoroughly discredited and blamed for the misery and strife in Iraq because of our retreat. No nation would ever trust us again to honor a commitment. Pressure from their people would cause governments in Kuwait, Oman and Qatar to insist we abandon our bases there. Other Muslim nations, like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia, seeing that we are undependable partners in the war on terror, would ratchet back their cooperation. As the last American helicopter flees Baghdad, every Arab nation with enough money will begin looking for nuclear weapons to protect themselves from the Iranians. Nations like Libya, which had given up the quest for nuclear weapons, would feel safe to resume it.

7. Our lack of credibility in the region would embolden Israel's neighbors to settle the "Zionist problem" once and for all. Once we start pulling out of the Middle East, it would be psychologically impossible to reverse course and go back in. The enemies of Israel would see our withdrawal as presenting them with a golden opportunity to wipe Israel from the Earth, and the Israelis would probably resort to nuclear weapons to keep that from happening.

It may be, of course, that none of these things would occur. It may be that in the vacuum created by our absence the Shia and Sunni would turn their swords into plowshares and live amicably with each other.

It may be that other nations would not be at all tempted to grab what they can of Iraq's oil wealth.

It may be that al-Qaida feels content in the hills of Pakistan and wouldn't move in force into Iraq.

It may be that the insurgents would forgive and forget the collaboration of their fellow Iraqis with the infidels.

It may be that Israel's Arab neighbors would feel sorry for Israel in its isolated and vulnerable state and offer to make peace instead of war.

And it may be that the Second Coming will be tomorrow, but all of our experience tells us it probably won't be, and it is our experience which should inform our judgments and policies, especially our foreign policy.

The status quo in Iraq is certainly not acceptable, and we may soon decide that we've done enough there, but, if so, let us not delude ourselves by thinking we are doing something noble or moral by withdrawing. A premature exit would consign hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Iraqis to almost certain death and would earn us the contempt of history for our betrayal.

There is an opportunity to comment at the link.


Honoring a Hero

Those readers of a certain vintage will remember how the left vilified Ronald Reagan as a trigger happy cowboy who was, they insisted, the greatest threat to the world's existence ever to serve as a head of state. His resolve in refusing to bend to the Soviets' attempt to achieve military dominance in Europe, and his refusal to back down from his plan to place medium range Pershing missiles in Europe within striking distance of Moscow, drove the left into apoplexy.

So it is that those of us who thought his determination to gain peace through strength was the correct course and that his plan to drive the Soviet Union to collapse was absolutely necessary read this article at with particular satisfaction:

Opponents of Poland's former communist regime reportedly want to pay a posthumous homage to US President Ronald Reagan by erecting his statue in the place of a Soviet-era monument.

In an open letter to the mayor of the southwestern city of Katowice, the former anti-regime activists said that the staunchly anti-communist Reagan had been a "symbol of liberty," the Polish news agency PAP reported.

As a result, they said, he deserved to become the centrepiece of the city's Freedom Square, replacing a monument to the Soviet troops who drove out the occupying Nazis in 1945.

They also said that they wanted the site to be rebaptised "Ronald Reagan Freedom Square."

There are already separate plans to erect a statue in memory of Reagan in the centre of the Polish capital, Warsaw, which would be paid-for from private funds.

Reagan, who dubbed the Soviet Union an "evil empire," is widely credited by Poles with having driven communism to the wall.

The conservative Republican made fighting communism the cornerstone of his 1980-1988 presidency, and backed Poland's Solidarity trade union after it went underground when the regime declared martial law in 1981.

I was reminded the other day that while Reagan was working to dismantle the "evil empire," Sen. Ted Kennedy was trying to arrange a meeting with Soviet premier Yuri Andropov to discuss ways that Reagan could be undermined. Some things never change. One of them is the complete unwillingness of the left to stand up to any tyranny that is not allied to the United States.

Anyway, maybe a couple of decades from now Iraqis will be erecting statues of George Bush in Baghdad, Basra, and Mosul. Wouldn't that just drive the Bush-haters completely bonkers.


Unhappy People

One liberal at Daily Kos comes right out and says what a lot of them seem to think:

When pressed, I sometimes reply: "I don't hate America. In fact, think it's one of the best countries anyone ever stole." But, after the laughter dies down, I have a confession to make: If by "America" they mean the elected/appointed officials and the corporations that own them, well, I guess I do hate that America-with justification.

Among many reasons, I hate America for the near-extermination and subsequent oppression of its indigenous population. I hate it for its role in the African slave trade and for dropping atomic bombs on civilians. I hate its control of institutions like the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization. I hate it for propping up brutal dictators like Suharto, Pinochet, Duvalier, Hussein, Marcos, and the Shah of Iran. I hate America for its unconditional support for Israel. I hate its bogus two-party system, its one-size-fits-all culture, and its income gap. I could go on for pages but I'll sum up with this: I hate America for being a hypocritical white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.

"I'm committed to fighting U.S. foreign policy, the greatest threat to peace and happiness in the world, and being in the United States is the best place for carrying out the battle. This is the belly of the beast, and I try to be an ulcer inside of it."

[N]o, I do not support the troops and yes, I hate what America does.

For the left it's always about what they hate. Very unhappy people, leftists.

HT: Hot Air