Sunday, February 18, 2007

Courageous leadership, or political pandering?

Why was General Patraeus unanimously approved as our new commander in Iraq, if Democrats were going to pull the plug on the mission before we could even begin to have any success? And if they are deadset on withdrawal, why haven't Democrats started planning for what they are going to do in the aftermath of a hasty US pullout from Iraq? Are we going to partition the country? Withdraw to Kurdistan? Strike a deal with Iran or Syria? Does "pulling out" mean all 150,000 troops? Are we going to leave any of them to fight Al Qaeda? As Joe Biden pointed out, just "bringing home the troops" is not a plan or a strategy. It is a politically convenient and intellectually inane talking point.

One absolutely cannot discuss withdrawal without having a plan for it - and it better be a damn good one. The risks that would follow such a power vacuum in Iraq are enormous, and the Democrats aren't even beginning to acknowledge it, let alone discuss how to prevent a wider catastrophe. This is not Vietnam. This is not Vietnam. This is not Vietnam. There won't be a communist takeover and then peace once we leave. There will be far more violence. It is immoral and irresponsible to just plan on packing up and going home, leaving the region to implode in an orgy of ethnic cleansing, civil war, and regional conflict.

And now Hillary Clinton, one of those wise souls that voted for the Iraq war, and said a few weeks ago that she supported the 'surge', has started talking about a 90 day deadline to have troops out of Iraq. We have deluded ourselves into thinking that things can't get worse. Well, they can. And guess what? Its our responsibility to help fix it, whether we like it or not.

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