A New Direction
President Bush announced a new direction for the US military in Iraq. The new plan will send 21,500 additional troops to Baghdad to clear the streets of insurgents who are spreading terror. Second, the US will step up training of Iraqi police to ...
President Bush announced a new direction for the US military in Iraq. The new plan will send 21,500 additional troops to Baghdad to clear the streets of insurgents who are spreading terror. Second, the US will step up training of Iraqi police to increase security in the country. Third, the al-Maliki Government has agreed to arrest rogue militia, whether Shiite or Sunni, that are engaged in revenge killings. The president has appointed a new commander, General David Petraeus, to carry out the assignment. The general has a proven track record in Iraq.
The words were barely out of the president's mouth when the war critics said it wouldn't work. Many politicians who voted for the war are jumping ship. They are Mugwumps who sit on the fence with their finger in the air until they see which way the wind is blowing. Then they come down on the side of popular opinion. Criticism without an alternative is a sham and they offer no alternative except retreat. Public opinion should not run foreign policy. It changes too rapidly. Three years ago public opinion was strongly in favor of the war. The flames were stirred by the deaths of 3,000 people on 9/11. It created an intense desire to kill Osama bin Laden along with every terrorist in the world. Now, a war weary nation and incompetence on the battlefields have worn us down and public opinion is against the war. If we start winning in Iraq it will change again. Great presidents like Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt faced unfavorable public opinion and prevailed. Winning changes everything.
Terrorists from around the world have made Iraq a defining moment in their quest to defeat America. Losing Iraq would be a serious blow to their hegemony in the Middle East. If the US loses Iraq it will be a disaster. Millions of Iraqis who supported us will be killed. Iran and Syria will set up an Islamist America hating theocracy in Iraq. They will have the freedom and funds to mount a world-wide terrorist effort to kill Americans. Israel will be history. We will be in a much more dangerous fight down the road. President Bush realizes this possibility and is sticking to his guns. No pun intended. He's like Rocky Balboa who stubbornly stays in the ring while being punched and pummeled. He will not sell out his principles in exchange for popularity. Even the biggest Bush hater can have a speck of admiration for his courage.
Three years ago we won the battle for Iraq and deposed Saddam Hussein. The new government is a friend and ally. Islamic terrorists want to overthrow that government and morally we can't let that happen. It is our duty to defend our ally and find a way to defeat the common enemy.
Will a troop surge in Baghdad rid Iraq of Sunni and Shiite terrorists? No one knows, but there isn't a better plan on the table. We will know in three to four months if it works.
Americans want a peaceful Iraq and a stable Middle East. If successful, President Bush will be the hero and America the winner.