A Reality Check On Iraq
That's the subject of my latest Usual Suspects column.
There are many, many legitimate criticisms of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq, and there are some legitimate (though not persuasive) arguments supporting his critics' contention that we should just get out of Iraq and leave the Middle East to the Islamists.
However, the one argument that gives me the worst migrane is the complaint that fighting to win in Iraq is "delusional" or shows an inability to grasp "reality." Oh, there's some self-delusion on Iraq, all right, and it's in the minds of those who refuse to deal with the reality of what happens if we leave.
1--The Islamists get another country, and its one with lots of oil generating lots of money to fund lots more terror.
2--America is defeated in the Middle East. We lose, and we lose in a region where the brutal tribal culture values strength over all. People in the region looking to back a winner have yet another reason to back the whackjobs. More whackjobs who want to kill us will have more power, and the moderates will have less. Or be dead. Which brings up point #3:
3--Blood in the streets. LOTS of it. You think 1,000 Iraqis killed in a month is a lot? You're not paying attention. Rwandans died by the thousands per day, and they only had machetes. Imagine how ugly a real religious cleansing campaign would look. Are you prepared to say "Yep, 100,000 Iraqi women and children had to die in 2007 because we weren't sure we could win?"
4--If we lose in Iraq, the biggest winner will be Iran. President Ahmedwhack-i-job of Iran already has plans to do the Holocaust right this time, will have a new ally. And soon, he'll have nukes, too. (Thanks, Europe!) How do you feel about handing Whack-I-Job a major victory?
5--The Iraq training camps that were training terrorists in the 1990s re-open under new management. It is indisputable that life will be better for Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas if we leave Iraq. Is that OK with you?
6--Leaving Iraq will do nothing to stop the Big War, the war of terrorism the Islamists have been waging seriously since 1993. Another attack on America is inevitable, no matter what we do in Iraq. When that day comes, an Islamist Iraq will be allied with the terrorists. We will have more--and stronger--enemies to fight after the next 9/11. And what will you say if the next 9/11 is made possible by an Islamist Iraq? If the terrorists are trained or funded there? Will those 3,000, 5,000 or 10,000 American casualties be worth it to "get out now?"
These are the "realities" of getting out of Iraq. You may decide that they are worth it, that the price of staying is still higher than the price of leaving. But don't kid yourself about what's going to happen if you get your way. At least be realistic about it.