Thursday, October 19, 2006

What About Iraqi Civilians?

I just want to put this out there: In this political season of ours, does anyone in American politics care about Iraqis?

Nobody wants to see American troops die for a war we should never have fought. As Senator John Kerry famously said during 1971 before the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

This is a great question. Now while I don't have an answer, morality dictates I ask this question: How can the greatest military history has ever seen roll into a oppressed and devastated country, create instability and the possibility of civil war, even ethnic cleansing, and withdraw because our democratic nation didn't stop the rush to war?"

While I vacillate between support of a time table for withdrawal from Iraq, I'm afraid the evacuation of U.S. troops without a steady stream of UN peacekeepers as replacements will give jihadists exactly what they want, a new base from which to train and plan attacks, and provoke a civil war that will end in a Shiite genocide against Iraq's Sunni minority. The geopolitical ramifications of this would be devastating as jihadists radicalize more Sunnis and the sectarian violence in Iraq between Sunni and Shiite becomes regional in scope.

I still believe the Iraq War was incompetent, illegal, and immoral. But do we not have a moral responsibility to the people of Iraq because of our blunder? Have we not handed Al Qaeda in Iraq a devastating blow by killing Zarqawi, an enemy even more vicious than OBL and Zawahiri?

Like any war, we have had successes and we have had failures.

What America must do now is hand the daily security responsibilities over to Iraq's security forces while pulling back to Iraq's borders and providing border security so militant volunteers cannot enter the country and commit terrorist attacks. Border security shouldn't take 130,000 troops and therefore a good portion of our boys will come home to a hero's welcome. This is the only responsible and moral compromise I can think of if we are to try and leave Iraq a better place.