Friday, June 24, 2005

Firm and Patient Realism Needed in Iraq (Heritage Foundation

I just wanted to point out this great article from James Phillips of the Heritage Foundation. In it he lays out the reasons why we must not cut and run like Clinton and Feingold want. We must stay the course and show that we are not only strong militarily, but posess an iron national will as well.

Devised according to considerations in Washington rather than the situation on the ground in Iraq, a pullout would send a dangerous signal of weakness and fecklessness to our allies and enemies in Iraq and elsewhere. Iraqi government forces would be demoralized and could begin to hedge their bets by making deals with, or even defecting to, the insurgency. Insurgent groups would be emboldened to redouble their efforts against Americans to strengthen their claim to a military victory and attract more recruits. Many Iraqis who have been sitting on the fence, particularly in Sunni Arab areas, would have little choice but to support the insurgents in order to insure themselves against reprisal.

In addition to laying out an intelligent and reasoned argument for seeing this endeavor through, Mr. Phillips also manages to debunk the Vietnam comparisons so popular among leftists.

Iraq is not Vietnam. The Iraqi insurgents do not have the military strength, popular support, political unity, ideological cohesiveness, great power assistance, charismatic leadership, or alternative political program that the Vietnamese communists possessed. The insurgents are divided by ideology, religious affiliation, and factional rivalries into separate groups, including remnants of Saddam’s Baathist regime, Sunni Islamic radicals, Shiite Islamic radicals, tribal forces, and foreign Islamic radicals, such as Abu Musab Zarqawi’s Al Qaeda faction.