The "Surge" Decision
Dear Dorsey, from my website came your query re my reaction to President Bush's speech earlier this week i.e. his decision to "surge," not retract, the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. Since I am no longer a candidate for the U.S. Senate, I cannot be accused of trying to be politically correct.
First of all, I start with what I believe is the principal purpose of our government: TO PROTECT OUR NATION FROM FOREIGN INTERVENTION. Secondly, we should ask who is in charge of executing that policy? Clearly it is the Commander-in-Chief. Thirdly I consider the fact he is the best-informed person on National Security...including the array of highly classified military/economic/political intelligence, and skilled advisors. Next, I believe he is basically intelligent; I do not believe he has a hidden agenda; I doubt I could do a better job; I think he listens to others, etc.
Mix all this together and I conclude that in the last 30 years of American Presidents, this one has the best understanding of the Jihadist threat to our Nation. The attacks on America have increased in severity since the 1979 invasion of our Embassy in Tehran; after 9/11 were we going to sit around and wait for the nuclear version? Not on George W. Bush's watch! So much for the decision to meet this threat head-on.
Could Iraq have been restored better?....surely yes in hindsight. But given what our President is dealing with today, I would like to share with you the concluding part of a scholarly comment by Raymond C. Kraft:
If we do this thing in Iraq successfully, it is probable that the Reformation [which the U.S. has initiated...LC] will ultimately prevail.
Many Muslims in the Middle East hope it will. We will be there to support it. It has begun in some countries, Libya, for instance. And Dubai. And Saudi Arabia. If we fail, the Inquisition [led by the Jihadists...LC] will probably prevail, and terrorism from Islam will be with us for all the foreseeable future, because the Inquisition, or Jihad, believes they are called by Allah to kill all the Infidels, and that death in Jihad is glorious.
The bottom line here is that we will have to deal with Islamic terrorism until we defeat it, whenever that is. It will not go away on its own. It will not go away if we ignore it. If the US can create a reasonably democratic and stable Iraq, then we have an "England" in the Middle East, a platform, from which we can work to help modernize and moderate the Middle East.
The history of the world is the clash between the forces of relative civility and civilization, and the barbarians clamoring at the gates. The Iraq war is merely another battle in this ancient and never-ending war. And now, for the first time ever, the barbarians are about to get nuclear weapons. Unless we prevent them. Or somebody does.
The Iraq war is expensive, and uncertain, yes. But the consequences of not fighting it and winning it will be horrifically greater. We have four options:
1. We can defeat the Jihad now, before it gets nuclear weapons.
2. We can fight the Jihad later, after it gets nuclear weapons (which may be as early as next year, if Iran's progress on nuclear weapons is what Iran claims it is).
3. We can surrender to the Jihad and accept its dominance in the Middle East, now, in Europe in the next few years or decades, and ultimately in America.
4. Or we can stand down now, and pick up the fight later when the Jihad is more widespread and better armed, perhaps after the Jihad has dominated France and Germany and maybe most of the rest of Europe. It will be more dangerous, more expensive, and much bloodier then.
Yes, the Jihadis say that they look forward to an Islamic America. If you oppose this war, I hope you like the idea that your children, or grandchildren, may live in an Islamic America under the Mullahs and the Sharia, an America that resembles Iran today.
We can be defeatist peace-activists as anti-war types seem to be, and concede, surrender, to the Jihad, or we can do whatever it takes to win this war against them.
The history of the world is the history of civilizational clashes, cultural clashes. All wars are about ideas, ideas about what society and civilization should be like, and the most determined always win.
Those who are willing to be the most ruthless always win. The pacifists always lose, because the anti-pacifists kill them.
In the 20th century, it was Western democracy vs communism, and before that Western democracy vs Nazism, and before that Western democracy vs German Imperialism. Western democracy won, three times, but it wasn't cheap, fun, nice, easy nor quick. Indeed, the wars against German Imperialism (WWI), Nazi Imperialism (WWII), and communist imperialism (the 40-year Cold War that included the Vietnam Battle, commonly called the Vietnam War, but itself a major battle in a larger war) covered almost the entire century.
The first major war of the 21st Century is the war between Western Judeo/Christian Civilization and Wahhabi Islam. It may last a few more years, or most of this century. It will last until the Wahhabi branch of Islam fades away, or gives up its ambitions for regional and global dominance and Jihad, or until Western Civilization gives in to the Jihad.
Senator John Kerry, in the debates and almost daily, made three scary claims:
1. "We went to Iraq without enough troops."
We went with the troops the US military wanted. We went with the troop levels General Tommy Franks asked for. We deposed Saddam in 30 days with light casualties, much lighter than we expected. The real problem in Iraq is that we are trying to be nice - we are trying to fight a minority of the population that is Jihadi, and trying to avoid killing the large majority that is not. We could flatten Fallujah in minutes with a flight of B52s, or seconds with one nuclear cruise missile - but we don't. We're trying to do brain surgery, not amputate the patient's head. The Jihadis amputate heads.
2. "We went to Iraq with too little planning."
This is a specious argument. It supposes that if we had just had "the right plan" the war would have been easy, cheap, quick, and clean. That is not an option. It is a guerrilla war against a determined enemy, and no such war ever has been or ever will be easy, cheap, quick, and clean. This is not TV.
3. "We proved ourselves incapable of governing and providing security."
This, too, is a specious argument. It was never our intention to govern and provide security. It was our intention from the beginning to do just enough to enable the Iraqis to develop a representative government and their own military and police forces to provide their own security, and that is happening. The US and the Brits and other countries there have trained over 100,000 Iraqi police and military, now, and will have trained more than 200,000 by the end of next year. We are in the process of transitioning operational control for security back to Iraq.
It will take time. It will not go with no hitches. This is not TV.
Remember, perspective is everything, and America's schools teach too little history for perspective to be clear, especially in the young American mind.
The Cold war lasted from about 1947 at least until the Berlin Wall came down in 1989. Forty-two years. Europe spent the first half of the 19th century fighting Napoleon, and from 1870 to 1945 fighting Germany.
World War II began in 1928, lasted 17 years, plus a ten year occupation, and the US still has troops in Germany and Japan. World War II resulted in the death of more than 50 million people, maybe more than 100 million people, depending on which estimates you accept.
The US has taken more than 2,000 KIA in Iraq in 3 years. The US took more than 4,000 killed in action on the morning of June 6, 1944, the first day of the Normandy Invasion to rid Europe of Nazi Imperialism. In WWII the US averaged 2,000 KIA a week for four years. Most of the individual battles of WWII lost more Americans than the entire Iraq war has done so far.
But the stakes are at least as high...a world dominated by representative governments with civil rights, human rights, and personal freedoms...or a world dominated by a radical Islamic Wahhabi movement, by the Jihad, under the Mullahs and the Sharia (Islamic law).
I do not understand why the American Left does not grasp this. They favor human rights, civil rights, liberty and freedom, but evidently not for Iraqis. In America, absolutely, but nowhere else.
300,000 Iraqi bodies in mass graves in Iraq are not our problem. The US population is about twelve times that of Iraq, so let's multiply 300,000 by twelve. What would you think if there were 3,600,000 American bodies in mass graves in America because of George Bush? Would you hope for another country to help liberate America?
"Peace Activists" always seem to demonstrate where it's safe: in America. Why don't we see Peace Activist demonstrating in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, in the places in the world that really need peace activism the most?
The liberal mentality is supposed to favor human rights, civil rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc., but if the Jihad wins, wherever the Jihad wins, it is the end of civil rights, human rights, democracy, multiculturalism, diversity, etc. Americans who oppose the liberation of Iraq are coming down on the side of their own worst enemy. (If the Jihad wins, it is the death of Liberalism. Everywhere the Jihad wins, it is the death of Liberalism. And American Liberals just don't get it.)
True, there are evil people in the world and the jihadis are among the worst and most dangerous.
Also true, most Americans don't seem to realize the dangers posed by Islamists - if the polls are anywhere near accurate. When we defeat the Islamists, there still will not be eternal peace because Nature keeps spawning evil people; hence, war is our present and our future; that's the unimpeachable reason we have for keeping a strong defense. As Marius once said to his troops, "if you wish for peace, then prepare for war." That really doesn't work any better than pacifism, but you live in freedom longer.
Raymond S. Kraft is a writer and lawyer living in Northern California."Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."
-- Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.
(Dem candidate for U.S. President 1956)
Dorsey, I hope I have added some worthwhile dialog to this discussion. I had hoped to be debating this issue in the U.S. Senate by now, but the Florida Republicans had other ideas for me. As vexing as this matter has become, we dare not retreat from it, because our lives are at stake...as individuals, as a Nation, as a paragon of freedom on the planet Earth.
But you asked what I think. I think we must be patient with our President...again. He has responded to the electorate's desire for a change...and he has NOT responded to the whimsical polls. I like that ability to discern the difference, ...and swim upstream. Love, /s/ Roy