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December 6, 2006

Why We 'Should' Perservere In Iraq

I'm a little surprised to see common sense coming out of the WaPo, although in this case it's an opinion rather than a reporting piece, so we don't see an anti-administration/anti-Iraq slant. Another reason is because the piece is by Army Maj. Gen. Caldwell, chief U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, who's more likely to know the situation in Iraq better than a reporter who either got his story from a runner or has inserted his/her liberal bias into an article.

In his piece, Major Caldwell offers an important key perspective that, as we've seen to be the case, violence will increase before life gets better (as we've seen up to now and are likely to see for a while). Those who know that freedom and democracy offer more hope than anarchy will not give up; however, as the Iraqi people labor to build a country based on human rights and respect for all citizens, they are (albeit more slowly than we would prefer)) moving from the law of the gun to the rule of law:

[...] BAGHDAD -- I don't see a civil war in Iraq. I don't see a constituency for civil war. The vast majority of the people want hope for their families, not to massacre their neighbors or divide their country. A poll conducted in June by the International Republican Institute, a nonpartisan group that promotes democracy, found 89 percent of Iraqis supporting a unity government representing all sects and ethnic communities. No wonder no "rebel army" steps forward to claim credit for vicious car bombs and cowardly executions of civilians.

I see debates among Iraqis -- often angry and sometimes divisive -- but arguments characteristic of political discourse, not political breakdown. The Council of Representatives meets here in Baghdad as the sole legitimate sovereign representative of the people, 12 million of whom braved bombs and threats last December to vote. No party has seceded or claimed independent territory.

[...] I studied civil wars at West Point and at the Army Command and Staff College. I respect the credentials and opinions of those who want to hang that label here. But I respectfully -- and strongly -- disagree. I see the Iraqi people suffering from overlapping terrorist campaigns by extremist groups combined with the mass criminality that too often accompanies the sudden toppling of a dictatorship. This poses a different military challenge than does a civil war.

As the Iraqi people labor to build a country based on human rights and respect for all citizens, they are moving from the law of the gun to the rule of law. Violence will increase before life gets better. Those who know that freedom and democracy offer more hope than anarchy will not give up. (Read more)

As we move forward in trying to decide what to do about Iraq, Major Caldwell's perspective needs to be taken into account, juxtaposed with we should have recognized all along and what is in direct opposition to what is being proposed by the Iraq Study Group - negotiating with Iran - which ignores the indisputable fact that the fundamentalists ruling Iran do not play by the West's rules.

As mentioned in our previous piece and as has been written by David Ahmadi at Iran Focus, they have their own rules, and that is why the West's policy of appeasement of the Iranian regime over the past two decades has been a total failure. U.S. policy has gone wrong in Iraq, not because it did not engage in negotiations with Iran but because it did not stop Iran's meddling In Iraq. The ISG's naive proposal to negotiate, trust, and appease Iran "resonates more of the policy of appeasing Hitler than containment in the Cold War era." It is a dangerous exercise in futility that can onlty result in disaster for the U.S., the West, Iraq, and the entire ME region.

Cross posted from Hyscience



Posted by Richard at December 6, 2006 12:13 PM





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