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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Why We Fight 
Senator McCain makes the case better than the Administration does:

"When America toppled Saddam, we incurred a moral duty not to abandon the people there to terrorists and killers. If we withdraw prematurely, risking all-out civil war, we will have done precisely that. I can hardly imagine that any U.S. senator or any American leader would want our nation to suffer that moral stain.

And yet the implications of premature withdrawal from Iraq are not moral alone; they directly involve our national security. Instability in Iraq would invite further Syrian and Iranian interference, bolstering the influence of two terror-sponsoring states firmly opposed to American policy. Iraq’s neighbors – from Saudi Arabia to Israel to Turkey – would feel their own security eroding, and might be induced to act. This uncertain swirl of events would have a damaging impact on our ability to promote positive change in the Middle East, to say the least.

Withdrawing before there is a stable and legitimate Iraqi authority would turn Iraq into a failed state, in the heart of the Middle East. We have seen a failed state emerge after U.S. disengagement once before, and it cost us terribly. In pre-9/11 Afghanistan, terrorists found sanctuary to train and plan attacks with impunity. We know that there are today in Iraq terrorists who are planning attacks against Americans. We cannot make this fatal mistake twice.

If we leave Iraq prematurely, the jihadists will interpret the withdrawal as their great victory against our great power. Osama bin Laden and his followers believe that America is weak, unwilling to suffer casualties in battle. They drew that lesson from Lebanon in the 1980s and Somalia in the 1990s, and today they have their sights set squarely on Iraq. The recently released letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s lieutenant, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, draws out the implications. The Zawahiri letter is predicated on the assumption that the United States will leave Iraq, and that al Qaeda’s real game begins as soon as we abandon the country. In his missive, Zawahiri lays out a four stage plan – establish a caliphate in Iraq, extend the “jihad wave” to the secular countries neighboring Iraq, clash with Israel – none of which shall commence until the completion of stage one: expel the Americans from Iraq. Zawahiri observes that the collapse of American power in Vietnam, “and how they ran and left their agents,” suggests that “we must be ready starting now.”

We can’t let them start, now or ever. We must stay in Iraq until the government there has a fully functioning security apparatus that can keep Zarqawi and his terrorists at bay, and ultimately defeat them. Some argue that it our very presence in Iraq that has created the insurgency, and that if we end the occupation, we end the insurgency. But in fact by ending military operations, we are likely to empower the insurgency. Zarqawi and others fight not just against foreign forces but also against the Shia, whom they believe to be infidels, and against all elements of the government. Sunni insurgents attack Kurds, Turcomans, Christians and other Iraqis, not simply to end the American occupation but to recapture lost Sunni power. As AEI’s Fredrick Kagan has written, these Sunni are not yet persuaded that violence is counterproductive; on the contrary, they believe the insurgency might lead to an improvement in their political situation. There is no reason to think that an American drawdown would extinguish these motivations to fight.

Because we cannot pull out and hope for the best, because we cannot withdraw and manage things from afar, because morality and our security compel it, we have to see this mission through to completion. Senator Kerry’s call for the withdrawal of 20,000 American troops by year’s end represents, I believe, a major step on the road to disaster. Drawdowns must be based on conditions in-country, not arbitrary deadlines rooted in our domestic politics."

Comments:
there is news coming in from ramadi that the insurgency is splitting and turning against itself. other blogs are posting interviews with locals there who tell of sunni's turning against al qaeda and zarkawi's followers in open running gunbattles in the streets. there is conjecture that zarkawi sent bombers into jordan to do the Amman wedding explosions because they frankly can't do much of anything in Iraq now, between Operation Steel Curtain breaking up their ratlines from Syria and the sentiment in Anbar turning against them there too.
So we are farther along than it seems.
Also that zarkawi got pissed when the MSM became infatuated with the teenagers of France burning cars night after night and forgot about AQ for two weeks. like any jealous lover, he had to come up with yet another way to get the MSM to put their sights and coverage back on HIM and his deeds. Hence, the Jordan caper. But we are ever closer to dispersing his effort and sending it scattered to the 4 winds; what he is doing isn't pleasing OBL and zawahiri in exile, nor is it frightening the jordanians. So there is no need for a drawdown, we are winning, it is working, and fractures are appearing in the front, among the terrorists themselves. Looks like native sunni Iraqis are breaking ranks and beginning to feel like Iraq is theirs again, worth defending, worth participating in, and needing to be cleansed of the filthy foreigners who keep trying to get in their midst and blow things up.
stay the course. if it's happening in ramadi, you KNOW we're almost finished!
kind of like a course of antibiotics. you feel better in a coupla days, but the doc tells you to keep taking em unabated for ten straight days, otherwise you'll just kill off the easy ones and the resistant strains will recover and come back stronger than whatever medicine you have against them.
this is the last couple of days of the prescription. keep taking it till it's ALL gone.
 
Of course when he's wearing his other personality, Sen McCain is undermining our war effort with his mindless, bulldog determination to tell our enemies exactly what to expect should they be captured. Just like he speaks out of both sides of his mouth on illegal immigration, government spending, and many other things.
 
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