Hanoi Jane Must Be Proud
As I noted some time ago, the VietNam Syndrome is slowly playing out again. A President under fire, opposition party members making political grist from it, calls to abandon the people who are depending on us . . . it's the same ugly scenario, with one big difference.
We're winning in Iraq.
Pulling out either immediately or on some arbitrary schedule would plunge Iraq into chaos, destroy US credibility for a generation, embolden the merchants of terror, and invite attacks on American interests all around the world. These things are so self-evident that statements like that issued by Congressman Murtha absolutely boggle my mind.
It doesn't matter at this point how we got into Iraq. Like Colin Powell said, we broke it so now we own it. We cannot leave until things are set to rights. That means Iraq functioning as a nation again, with the ability to police and defend itself from the retrograde insurgents who want to take it back to the twelfth century.
If you look at the situation dispassionately, checking your politics at the door, you can see that progress is being made. Slowly but surely Iraqi society is standing up and functioning again. Executing a VietNam-style cut-n-run would demolish any hope of Iraq becoming anything but a nest of vipers. It would be Taleban Times all over again, only on a larger scale and in a nation much more centrally located. Or worse, it would lead to an Iranian invasion.
Any way you cut it, pulling out now is a disastrously bad idea.
I can only pray that the American people are smart enough to understand this, and will take appropriate action in 2006. If those like Murtha get their way, the next decade will be a black one indeed.