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Hold the Fort

Reader comment on item: Tempering Ambitions [in Iraq]

Submitted by K.H. Ahmed (United States), Nov 12, 2006 at 08:36

There was a time when the neo-cons had some bright ideas for American foreign policy-but like many of my fellow conservatives they lost their way. It is pointless now to argue about the fallacious nature of pre-emption the genie is already out of the bottle. Saddam was no threat to America and Iraq is nothing more than a sump hole to attract the jihadists. As a proponent of American military might I fear neither the Iranians or the North Koreans in a knock down drag out fight. I have no doubt they fear American power much more than the American military fears them. However, the argument about this forward thrusting American projection of power is for another day.

Iraq is a disaster because very little thought went into the whole project. All the bluster and jingoism in the world isn't going to change the reality on the ground. Iraq is an Iraqi problem, we broke it but we are not about to fix it. It is time to pull back to the edges and let the Iraqis fight it out. The American military has done the job that is the object of any military. They have destroyed the oppositions army and its military establishment. They have wrecked the infrastructure of that country and made Iraq as a nation impotent and unable to make war or threaten its enemies. It is not the job of the Army or any other branch of the military to re-establish some semblance of democracy in Iraq.

The terroist threat is another matter and not a matter to be solved by the military alone. This requires a seperate grouping of forces and tools to bring it to a conclusion. Regardless of what Mr. Bush or Mr. Pipes say the war in Iraq is now a seperate issue from the war on terror. Neither victory or failure in Iraq will change the equation as it relates to terror. The sooner we come to recognize the difference between a war between nations and a war against terror the sooner we will begin to make the appropriate adjustments in our strategy.

It is my hope that in the near future we will be debating ways to win the struggle against terror instead of debating the importance of establishing democracy in some bombed out sector of the middle east.

Mr. Pipes I know you have studied the middle east. You know its history and culture as well as I. We are in a struggle for the hearts and minds of the great unwashed masses of that region of the world. Memories run deep and old slights are remembered. We will never win over any part of that portion of the world through armed might. It is time to stop trying to take the easy way out and begin to do what is hard and necessary. Create consensus in a part of the world that has never truly known consensus.

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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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