Saturday, January 13, 2007

Why we must stay.

A commenter on asked "Why can't we just leave Iraq?" He asked why we didn't just let the Iraqi people vote, and leave if they said to go.

If you ask the average Iraqi whether they would like American troops to be gone in a year, they would say they would. If you ask an American the same, you'd get the same answer. But that doesn't mean the person wants the Americans out now, or even in a year if things are the same. It just means that other things being equal, why sure, we should be out in a year.

Conditions can change rapidly; that is part and parcel of why we don't run war by popular vote, or even through the legislature. It has to be run by an executive.

Furthermore, nobody (as in, not anyone) wants us to stay there forever.

But to answer your question:

The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can't. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that some day. And me, for example, I can let you drown, but I can't bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies, savvy? So, can you sail under the command of a pirate, or can you not?

-- Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Carribean, Dead Man's Chest

We could pull out of Iraq, but there would be negative consequences to America that either don't matter or are seen as positive by the Iraqis.

Our allies (and prospective allies) would learn that we will not be loyal in the face of resistance.

Our military would learn, in a lesson that would last at least a generation, that we don't have the will to win, and neither should they. I was a Marine in the era between Viet Nam and the Gulf War. We knew, and we hated it.

Our enemies would have even more evidence that we are a weak, ineffectual "paper tiger". Terror would be rewarded, and would flourish.

The simpering leftists in the MSM would be rewarded for defeatism.

All of the lives and energy, to say nothing of the treasure, we have used to fight in Iraq would be offeset only by the removal and death of Saddam Hussein. That's not enough.

The power vacuum would be enormous, which would lead to and increase in Iranian and Syrian control or influence. That is not acceptable, regardless of what the Iraqi public says.

But as it happens, the Iraqis did vote on it: they have a government. If that government didn't want us there, it would be crying to the United Nations, if nothing else. And yes, they could do that, because, as Capt. Jack said, there are only two rules. They think having us there is better than asking us to leave.

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1 comment:

RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the new Sec. Def.Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

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