by user Chris Short
I have been a little curious lately about the Iraq war stance democrats and liberals have taken lately. Basically, they are going to force the President to use his veto power and then keep sending the President funding bills that include pork barrel spending or a timetable for withdrawal. Trust me, folks, a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq is like sending al Qaida an invitation to make the next pre-9/11 Afghanistan. Only this time the resistance will be weaker and the death toll will be much higher during the takeover. I am sure most people that would argue with me on that fact are going to say that I am merely using Conservative talking points. That is not the case here; it is the truth.
I am very perturbed by the fact that the current anti-Operation Iraqi Freedom battle cry is that the United States does not need to be in Iraq and, more recently, that the military has failed in Iraq or that the military can no longer sustain this operation. I find the latter statement to be a complete falsehood. The US Armed Forces contained the reach of the Soviets for many years only giving up ground where it did not make sense to fight or because of actions like this current Congress is trying to take (de-funding the war). Did the US military need to go in to Bosnia and help stop genocide? The short answer is, no. The long answer is yes, because, those people were deprived of their liberty. The Iraqi people for years were deprived of their liberty. We liberated Kuwait when Saddam Hussein deprived Kuwaitis of their liberty. A by-product of liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein is violence from terrorists. This violence must be stopped, contained, or destroyed before a withdrawal from Iraq can be considered.
I completely understand that the reason the US gave to the world was that Saddam Hussein was a madman with weapons of mass destruction. We definitely had 50% of that justification for war pegged. However, the hoards of WMDs have not turned up, yet. There have been batches of this and that chemical or biological agent found but the intelligence failure pre-OIF is now a widely accepted conclusion. However, WMDs are not the reason we are still in Iraq today.
Nevertheless, there are essentially two sides to this debate; those that want us out of Iraq and those that want us to stay in Iraq. Those that want us out have a myriad of reasons which I am sure most of us have heard. Being in the military, I have been told face-to-face every "reason" to pull out of Iraq. Those reasons vary from pacifistic-type reasons to down right hatred of anything that President Bush proposes. Some people have decent justifications for withdrawal but no one has truly stepped out of the crowd and given me a justifiable reason.
To be honest, I have one reason to stay in Iraq. It is something that I have found that the vast majority of Conservatives believe in and the exact opposite is something I have noticed from those on the left. That reason is simple; hope. Yes, hope. It is a simple fact that the US military came in and overthrew Saddam Hussein. However, the underlying want, what most people who share my opinion are yearning for boils down to hope.
My short term hope is that my comrades who have fallen in Iraq did not die in vain. My long term hope is that Iraq can be a prosperous, free nation in the Middle East. My distant hope is for an Iraq that becomes a model for other nations in that region. A CEOs hope might be for an emerging market in cell phones, construction, and other various kinds of infrastructure that could be gleaned from Operation Iraqi Freedom. An Iraqi mother hopes for a neighborhood safe enough to let her child roam free in and a nation strong enough to provide many opportunities to her child. An Iraqi father hopes that his family will not be threatened by the terrorists that roam his streets currently and that US-led coalition forces are struggling so hard to remove from that father's streets.
Why is it time to pull out of Iraq? The real answer is that now is definitely not the time to abandon the Iraqi people and our mission in Iraq. There is so much to hope for and it is so incredibly close. The successes in the demolition of terrorist networks in Iraq can not be measured by someone who does not see reports of that on a daily basis. When you mirror those successes against the US casualty reports it pains you but you can still see success. I can not definitively measure those successes for I am not reading such reports on a daily basis (weekly would be more like it). Hope breeds success and success breeds will and will breeds hope. What I am seeing today is a lack of hope for the future from those that want the United States out of Iraq. It pains me to see people give up all hope.
Originally Written for Conservative Thinking