Michael Yon is an independent journalist embedded with American forces in Iraq whose dispatches from the war will someday earn him a Pulitzer, or should. His latest is worth reading in its entirety, but here are some excerpts:
The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the "al Ameriki tribe," or "tribe America."
I've seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can-more or less and with giant caveats-rely on.
Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it's not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don't want to stay here, and that many of us can't wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us.....
The argument that the war was about oil was always ridiculous. If we wanted oil we could have invaded Saudi Arabia or stayed in Kuwait. The idea that we would take on the world's third largest military for oil when we could have taken it without breaking a sweat from somebody else was an argument born of intellectual desperation.
Then Yon gives us this horrifying report:
The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11 years old. As Lt. David Wallach interpreted the man's words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, "What did he say?" Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.
It is absolutely unimaginable that human beings who profess to be doing the work of God would be so depraved and inhuman. But there's more. Yon describes another al Qaida horror in this dispatch. Read the whole report.
That's the nature of the enemy we fight, and it's the fate the average Iraqi will face if the Democrats and MoveOn.org have their way and we pull out too soon. How anyone with any sense of responsibility to their fellow man can just walk away and leave people to this kind of savagery and barbarism is beyond me.
Their reply, of course, is that we're there now and this sort of thing is still happening so how much worse can it be if we leave? I find that argument to be utterly specious. Everything we've seen about al Qaida's behavior suggests that if we leave the whole country will be turned into an abbatoir as the terrorists rush in to eliminate any and all who stand in the way of their total domination. If we stay we will gradually flush the barbarians from their havens, as we've been doing since the surge began, and save the lives of millions.
Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems to me that leaving now would be the most heartless, cruel, and immoral thing our nation could do.
Before you say you disagree, please read Yon's dispatches at the links above.RLC