Friday, March 24, 2006

Thoughts on Iraq

So much has been published, debated, and otherwise discussed as to the situation in Iraq and the resulting political free for all. Here's what I think about the whole affair:

Accusations that the President has engaged in an illegal war are total BS. If you remember, Congress voted to go into the war. Only later when there was political gain to be had did the Democrats renege on their decision (remember the line "I voted for the war before I voted against it!" campaign line?). If these morons succeed in their call to impeach the President, I think they should get right on up there with him and impeach themselves on the same charges.

There have been so many reports of Iraq having or not having WMDs that it is hard to determine what the truth really is. Considering that chemical weapons were used in the Iran/Iraq war, and by Saddam against the Kurdish uprising, anyone with an ounce of common sense would say there has to be chemical weapons with Iraq's name all over them somewhere. Saddam had 9 months to move or hide these weapons before the invasion of Iraq (which he knew was eventually coming). And yes, I know about the documents and the interviews - that doesn't mean anything since documents can be forged (a la Dan Rather) and people fudge the truth to make themselves or someone else look good.

Also along the WMD mis-information line, the intelligence gathering of the United States has been compromised by the increasing reliance on electronic assets (satellites) and a decrease in human information sources. Budget cuts by previous administrations has not helped. Information that was used & presented to Congress and the United Nations came from various other sources such as the British and Israel as well as what sources the United States still had in the region.

The violence in Iraq is mainly coming from two sources. One is from foreign fighters backed by either al-Quaeda or Saddam loyalists, and the other are Muslim religious factions looking for power and control. The first was expected, and has been present from day one. The second has only recently reared its ugly head, and reminds me of the situation in Bosnia. If you recall, when the Soviet Union pulled out of Europe, many of the ethnic blood fueds started right back up again once the Soviets left, and mass killings & genocide resulted.

The reports of a brewing civil war are at this point untrue. What is being reported is the religious strife between the Shites and Sunnis of which Saddam had previously suppressed. However, if the United States pulls out of Iraq at this time, then you can count on a civil war that will consume that country and possibly the region.

Whether or not you agree with the war and resulting occupation in Iraq was necessary, it is now the responsibility of the United States to leave in place a functional, self-supporting government. The US cannot leave Iraq until this is accomplished, which renders the calls for a withdrawel timeline irrevalent. While I understand the calls to bring the troops home, for better or worse, the US must finish the job it started out to do. Iraq is in a very delicate state.

The politicians (along with their mainstream media lackeys) that are leading the charge to pull out of Iraq have yet to put forth any plan that would leave Iraq with a government that can effectively control their own destiny. All that has been put forth is a lot of grandstanding, accusations, and hot air designed to smear & undermine that goal. And it is important that the United States leaves a fully autonomous government in Iraq when the troops do come home.

If Iraq dissolves into chaos, anarchy, and civil war, the impact on the region (and the rest of the world) would be enormous. I predict that the radical Islamic clerics would take over much as they did in Afghanistan. Any & all freedoms that the Iraqi people gained after Saddam was toppled would be gone, and al-Quaeda would find another home in which to mount attacks on the rest of the world. The United States would be percieved to be weak and vulnerable, and would have a bigger target on the country (and populous) than what it does now.

Bottom line is that the United States finishes the job and leaves Iraq when the Iraqi people are capable of supporting themselves and their government can control their own country. Any other action negates the sacrifice of our soldiers, and does nothing to secure the freedom of a formally oppressed people.

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