Postcards from Tradocia

it’s not for us

I’m writing this post a) because I want to try out the TrackBack feature and b) I think that this post by Varifrank is an excellent summary of why we’re in Iraq now and why we can’t leave anytime soon.

Several people in the company have asked me, “why the hell are we still in Iraq anyway? I thought the war was over.” I tried to give an adequate answer, but I fumbled because like many things, it seemed self-evident to me; we can’t just go blow up a country and leave it in shambles. Here’s the short version if you don’t want to read Frank’s whole post:

Why are we in Iraq? To preempt a far larger and more deadly war.

Why should we stay in Iraq? Because to do otherwise would be inhumane.

Who gains if we stay? Islam will survive as a pillar of culture in that part of the world.

Who loses if we stay? All of the Jihadi Tyranny systems that exist. The power structures of the middle east have existed largely out of a power vacuum. By prodiving a strong alternative to the Jihadi leaders, we can lower their importance.

Who gains if we leave? The powerful who prey on the weak, those who wish to enslave people and treat women as farm anmials.

Who loses if we leave? Billions of innocent people who want nothing more than to live their lives in freedom.

4 Comments

  1. sec

    In assessing a country full of war, do you judge it by the blog post of one man in one place with an obvious bias? Wouldn’t you seek something such as the National Intelligence Estimate:

    “…National Intelligence Estimate looked at the political, economic and security situation in the war-torn country and determined that — at best — stability in Iraq would be tenuous…at worst, were ‘trend lines that would point to a civil war.’ The official said it ‘would be fair’ to call the document ‘pessimistic.'”

    More at: http://tinyurl.com/5dr5q

    Or perhaps the broader input of several more experienced leaders:

    “…According to the US military’s leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush’s war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, said: “Bush hasn’t found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it’s worse, he’s lost on that front. That he’s going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It’s lost.” He adds: “Right now, the course we’re on, we’re achieving Bin Laden’s ends.”

    “Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me: “The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We’re conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It’s so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong.”

    “Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: “I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true. There’s no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan.”

    Read the full article at: http://tinyurl.com/48p2d

  2. delobius

    “In assessing a country full of war, do you judge it by the blog post of one man in one place with an obvious bias?”

    Then you quote Sidney Blumenthal? No obvious bias there…;p

    Look, the point isn’t that Iraq is a happy cheery place full of flowers and grinning marmots. The point is that, what are you going to gain by sitting here talking shit about how the war’s already “lost”? What are you going to say? “Good job al-Qaeda and other Islamofascists – you win, USA loses, we’ll go home and hand out prescription drugs and put on some burkhas now”?

    How about this for a constructive response? “The way President Bush has handled the war so far has been shitty for reasons X, Y, and Z. Instead, I propose we do A, B, and C.” How come I never hear that from any of these great critics?

  3. delobius

    Or, as Mark Steyn says,

    “That is not to say there are not serious questions about both short-term tactics (Fallujah, Najaf) and long-term goals (a democratic Iraq). But neither the newly parochial post-internationalist Left, unable to get past its “BLAIR LIED!!! PEOPLE DIED!!!!!” nursery rhymes, nor the snob Right – the Max Hastings/Douglas Hurd/Crispin Tickell crowd – has any useful contribution to make to this debate.

    Instead, all the discussion is within factions of the American Right – between the “neocons”, with their plans to democratise the Middle East, and the more traditional “assertive nationalists”, whose hopes for a foetid region are a little less ambitious. That’s worth arguing over, but it is not an argument you can enter if you have got no useful proposals of your own.”

  4. sec

    Here’s a more realistic assessment from: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/lorentz1.html

    Before I begin, let me state that I am a soldier currently deployed in Iraq, I am not an armchair quarterback. Nor am I some politically idealistic and na

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