21 July 2008

One More Step Towards Winning the Iraq War

It's pretty inevitable now that we're going to be declare true victory in Iraq, with the Iraqi people being the true winners in the war. Yes, the GOP has been dragging the Democrats toward victory in Iraq, kicking and screaming as it were, and now we've reached another huge milestone in Iraq. Today, the Sunni bloc officially rejoined the new Iraqi government. This is a tremendous development and yet another key sign that the war is drawing to a close. Bringing the Sunnis back in is a huge victory for al Maliki and the Iraqis. As it is clearly obvious to any honest observer, the surge has been tremendously successful.

John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, deserves a great amount of credit for calling for Rumsfeld's ouster after he did not initiate a build up of troops after the amount of violence greatly increased upon our taking of Baghdad. Rumsfeld, though, orchestrated a incredible ground invasion that was lighting quick, however, his dealings with the insurgency were his downfall, as he did not listen to the commanders on the ground. Upon the implementation of the surge we have seen the utter demolition of al Qaeda in Iraq, the build up of the Iraqi security forces, deals on oil contracts and economic policies, a dramatic reduction in violence with lower American and Iraqi casualties, the Mahdi Army's disembowelment, etc. The surge has worked greatly.

The question, then, is where do we go from here? Certainly not to withdrawal and leave Iraq to fall back into chaos. The way leave Iraq victorious is clear. We must continue to train Iraqi security forces in order to become even more capable of defending themselves and provide for the security of the Iraqi people. The American ground forces can be withdrawn as the Iraqi forces are built up. Certainly, Iraq will need our logistical and air support as those networks are built up, but as American casualties continue to fall, the swell in support here at home will continue to draw. As Iraq develops these capabilities, we continue to withdrawal our troops until Iraq is completely self sufficient or until they ask us to leave completely.

Political solutions are entirely left to the Iraqis. We cannot force Iraq to implement laws and rule that we are forcing upon them, this is not our mission, nor should it. The Iraqis have their own unique needs and wants, and we must leave it up to them to decide their own fate. The way to ensure that they do is to provide security in the interim while they choose their policies. This is the mission that we are seeking to complete.

Despite what Obama is currently saying, he completely opposed the surge of forces in Iraq that created the current situation. His current visit to Iraq is a disgusting way to try to score cheap political points. In the years between his first and now current visit, Obama lacked the courage to go to Iraq when things were looking bleak and his own personal security may have been at risk. That utter lack of courage is highlighted even more so when you consider the number of Republicans and Democrats who went to Iraq during the times of extreme violence regardless of their opinions on the war. Obama's lack of leadership and courage are on full display, this is not a man who should be leading our nation.

Finally, I just want to touch on the irony of the situation. The Liberals refused to support Iraq when thing were bleak and made much of the fact that we essentially went into Iraq as the leaders of a small coalition. Fast forward to present day and our path to victory is clear and no longer deniable, even to the most ardent of Liberals and even after some of allies left Iraq. It was under our leadership, our forces, that a conflict that started out so bleak turned the corner. On the other hand, the Afghan conflict, led by NATO, which started out so well and now falters under NATO's lead and internal positioning, is the conflict supported by the Left. They constantly labeled this conflict as "the good conflict," and is now the more dangerous of the two missions. I commend those calling for a similar surge in Afghanistan, but even as they do so, they highlight with even greater emphasis the success Gen. Petraeus and President Bush have secured in Iraq. We can not lose either of these conflicts, and for as great as an importance as it is to America, it is of an even more, exponential importance to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan that we finish the mission and leave these nations with the necessary, domestic security forces, for them to protect themselves.


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