Wednesday, April 5, 2006

I'm Talkin' Iraq Today People

I haven’t posted about Iraq in quite a while, because it seems to me that at this point the spectrum of opinion can be lumped into three basic groups;

  • Those who think Iraq is a disaster
  • Those who think that Iraq is a tough situation but will ultimately work out
  • Those who are swayed based upon which of the preceding two groups they last heard from.

In other words, for most people they’ve either made up their minds or are so indecisive that they cannot make up their minds. For the record, I’m a proud member of group 2.

Make no mistake I am not fully thrilled with how this administration has executed the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq. In my view, the U.S. has clearly been too gentle in its approach to Iraq’s insurgency and to the region’s nefarious meddlers among whom I’d count Syria and Iran as the worst. As I’ve said before, we should have aggressively gone after members of the insurgency with brutal force. Iran and Syria should have been on the receiving end of a few well placed warning shots and a clear demonstration that we were willing to back up our threat if needed.

Easy for me to say, of course, but I strongly believe that once a country decides to go to war, the war must be prosecuted with the full faith and fire power of that country’s military until full victory is secured. For this reason I was and continue to be disappointed that the first Bush didn’t proceed to Baghdad in the first gulf war, and I am now disappointed that Bush II decided nice guys can win somewhere around the time that he prematurely declared victory. Colin Powell, who as Secretary of State managed to make Madeline Albright appear positively statesmen like, really didn’t get it right when he said “you break it, you buy it”. What he should have said was, “you break it, you keep kicking butt until everyone knows there is a new sheriff in town”.

Alas this for the most part is water under the bridge. Mendacious scribblers with personal axes to grind can continue to post all they want about all the problems with Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney but I’ve noticed something about these folks. Almost without exception they consistently fail to suggest any alternatives other than the most banal of slogans such as “we need more troops” and most interestingly most of these critics have failed to ever visit the country for a first hand look. We know who they are, and we also know that in many cases they’re using Iraq as a cudgel to beat the Bush administration because of disappointments in other areas that are not popular with the public. Fine for them I suppose, but the rest of us need to realize that there remains a war that must be won. The truth is, despite all the misleading reporting and hand wringing over the progress of things in Iraq, we’re actually making progress every day.

I recognize that I’m in the minority in this view, which is fine with me. I understand that when the media is reporting daily on a civil war that has never happened and massacres that are imaginary that it is difficult to see progress, but there is progress none-the-less. Just today, via Instapundit, I came across some remarkable numbers, here is the link. Before you click over though, do me quick favor. Sketch out in your mind what you would guess are the monthly numbers for U.S. military combat deaths, Iraqi police combat deaths and Iraqi civilian combat deaths over the past six months. Got a guess? Go click, I’ll wait here.

Amazing huh? So amazing, even I – a glass half full sort of dude – had no idea that these were true. In fact, as I type this I really am wondering if I should post this item for fear that a grand hoax will be revealed in the next day. Having typed the preceding CYA sentence though, I now feel that I can.

Why is this not as big of news to our media as the fake civil war or the fake Koran abuse allegations, or the fake U.S. Military massacres? Beats me, but were I a betting man I’d bet that it doesn’t play into the preconceived notion of the American left that Iraq is a disaster, and the simple truth is most of our media players are lefties. Even worse, they’re far too invested in the story line that Iraq has failed to reverse course now.

As for the rest of us, it’s our country folks. We can find a way to win here, or we can let those who don’t quite measure up lead us down the road of despair. Early on the left tried to make hay with repeated comparisons to Vietnam. Happily, these arguments were widely recognized as ridiculous. Still, I do find one similarity. In that war, we choose the losing path because of the anti-war left’s lies, and the administration’s failure to forcefully promote our cause and kill the enemy. In this war we are now faced with the same decision, and the left chose to lose before the war ever started. Me? I’m choosing victory.

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