THE SPINE MAY 15, 2007
Ed Koch has written a commentary on the state of the war and the state of the Democrats. He says what he means. It's not exactly how I read the situation. But he may be right...about everything here.
May 14, 2007
Sadly, the war in Iraq appears to be lost. The Democrats, like terriers shaking a rat (Iraq) using a plan of funding war for three months -- salami tactics -- causing the Army command to recognize that the Congress, not the President, is effectively in charge, have achieved their goal: implementing withdrawal.
The Democrats will be responsible for affecting army morale. No one will want to lead the last charge and be responsible for or themselves suffer the last death or be taken prisoner before the order to stand down is issued. When and if -- God forbid -- the war and the acts of terrorism now faced daily in Iraq follow our retreat across the ocean to our homeland shores, the Democratic leaders who forced the withdrawal will be held responsible. While they will reject responsibility for the deaths and destruction that occur here in our homeland, the American public will remember the dire predictions of what would follow giving up the fight, and switch their support and recall the valiant efforts of George W. Bush to save us from those consequences and honor him in larger numbers than those who mistakenly now loathe his very name.
The Democratic Party will reap the political whirlwind, notwithstanding that President Bush and his advisors, particularly former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, failed in a host of ways in the conduct of the war through incompetence. Our army easily won the war, but then lost the occupation. While President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld failed in their leadership and strategy and bear the responsibility for those failures, they did recognize the true and long term danger of international Islamic terrorism, unlike the Democrats, and sought, albeit inadequately, to stop it in the center of the hostile Islamist world -- Iraq.
The two men most responsible for actions causing the debacle other than President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld were CIA director George Tenet and former administrator of the U.S.-led occupation, Paul Bremer -- Tenet for his totally incompetent operation of the CIA, e.g., foolish and inaccurate reporting on what was taking place in Iraq with respect to WMD and the dangers to the U.S., and Bremer, for his disbanding of the Iraqi army of more than 500,000 soldiers which had been toughened in an eight-year war with Iran from 1980 to 1988 and was capable of policing the country and preventing the now ongoing insurrection and terrorism. To see these two men honored by President Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom was shocking. They both deserved major reprimands and removal from their posts, rather than medals. Their effrontery has no bounds evidenced when each produced a book seeking to absolve themselves of blame. Both have since been hooted off the stage by the reading public.
My position until now has been different than that of either the Republicans or Democrats. The Republicans take the position that we must remain in Iraq until the Iraqi are able to defend themselves. The Democrats believe the Iraqis will never reach the ability to do that and therefore, we should leave now. My position is that we should provide our allies -- the regional Arab countries of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey, all Sunnis -- with an ultimatum, with a similar ultimatum to our NATO allies, that unless they come in with boots on the ground, we will commence getting out in thirty days. I believed that while our NATO allies under the leadership of France and President Jacques Chirac would never come in, our Arab allies out of fear of the consequences to them of our leaving would come in to prevent the enormous calamity of Iraqi refugees and terrorists crossing their borders by the millions. I learned recently from a U.S. general who was in Iraq that in fact former Secretary of State Colin Powell had gotten Turkey to agree to provide one army division to serve in Iraq and help police the occupation. But that the Iraqi government vetoed the offer refusing to accept the services of those troops. Our government, instead of insisting the Iraqi government accept the offer, acceded to the Iraqi refusal.
Our government has similarly acceded to the refusal of the Shiite majority in the Iraqi government to share power and oil revenue with the Sunni population. It is regrettably time to leave. It makes no sense to lose any more American soldiers or spill any more American blood. This is particularly true when, according to The New York Times, not long ago the King of Saudi Arabia referred to our occupation as "an illegal foreign occupation." The Iraqi government has not passed a resolution denouncing the King's comment and welcoming the presence of our troops. Even more indicative of a lack of Iraqi support for our troops is the Times report dated May 12, 2007 that "A majority of Iraq's Parliament members have signed a petition for a timetable governing a withdrawal of American troops, several legislators said Friday."
The war in Iraq is drawing to an end. Remember the poignancy and impact of the death of the last German soldier -- played by Lew Ayres in the film "All Quiet On the Western Front" -- shortly before the armistice that ended World War I.
Because the Democrats are forcing an end to the struggle in Iraq, we must now prepare to fight terrorism in our homeland for the next thirty or more years. This is a war of civilizations. The Islamic terrorists worldwide want to destroy the U.S. and every other Western nation, along with moderate Muslim nations, e.g., Egypt, Jordan, etc. Our very survival as a nation is involved. Will we have the courage and will to do all that will be necessary to prevail?
What did "victory" mean in the Cold War? Did it mean invading the USSR? Did it mean bombing Moscow? No, it meant hanging tough, preventing the Soviets from expanding their base of power, until the internal contradictions and flaws in their system brought them down. The fight against terror and Islamic radicalism has the same goal...to prevent the radicals from expanding their base, which would happen if they get control of Iraq, and to maintain a tough defense until their medieval culture adapts to the modern world.
During the Cold War the pols in Washington were mostly united in support of this goal. But now the Democrats are not. There is no safety for the weak and foolish. When you seek to end a war without substantially achieving your essential goals by simply ceasing to fight, it is often a form of surrender. And that's the way the Democrat-imposed outcome in Iraq will be understood around the world, especially by our enemies.