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Reply to Ms. Solis' comments

Reader comment on item: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: unconditional surrender

Submitted by Roger W. Gardner (United States), Aug 26, 2007 at 18:48

Dear Ms. Solis,

As usual, your comments are right on target. Ironically, although I keep agreeing with you, the disagreement seems to continue. As much as I enjoy this ongoing debate, I'm afraid I' m going to have to bow out at this point. Not because I think this discussion isn't an important one, or that I think your ideas aren't sound -- they are -- but I'm just beginning to wonder if this is the proper place to keep this dialogue going.

However, because of the respectful and serious manner in which you've framed your last questions, I'm not going to just disappear without at least attempting to answer them to the best of my ability.

One of the additional reasons I feel that it's probably a good idea for me to leave this particular discussion at this point is that I feel that -- as interesting as it has become -- it has strayed a little too far from my original intent in posting that first "Battle of Iraq ---" comment. If you recall, far from attempting to minimize the problems we are facing in this volatile region, I was attempting to prove that they were in fact much bigger and more ominous than some people seemed to believe; that, rather than being a comparatively smallish war confined to one relatively small country, it was, in my view, just one battle in a much larger and more dangerous looming worldwide conflict.

Yes, as you point out so clearly, there are many differences between what is currently going on in Iraq and what previously happened in Japan and South Korea. And yes, there are of course further differences between what happened in these two countries after WWII and what transpired with the sudden fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. My purpose in siting these examples was not to presume that what happened in these countries could , or ever would, happen the same way in Iraq, but to show that, what appears at first sight to be absolutely insurmountable problems, sometimes turn out to be otherwise. This thought gives me cause for a little optimism.

If you will recall my previous remarks about the violent culture of the Middle East, in general, and Iraq, in particular, I have no illusions about the grave difficuties we face there in the future. Indeed, it may be necessary for us to maintain a strong military presence in this area for 50 years or more.

I completely agree with your assessment of the need for a powerful and intimidating force there to accomplish our long term goals. In order to do this, however, I believe we need two things -- both of which seem to be in dangerously short supply right now -- manpower and willpower. Hopefully, in the future we can correct these shortfalls.

Once again, Ms. Solis, I've thoroughly enjoyed this discussion and hope to continue it somewhere else at a later time.

Best wishes,

Roger G.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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