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Military Strength Requires Political Resolve - From ALL

Reader comment on item: Salvaging the Iraq War

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jul 24, 2007 at 16:38

If the policies of the American government could be extricated from the politics of the American government, then it would seem that maintaining a strategic presence and eliminating the police activity is a scenario that might work. But it can be seen that the American interdiction into Middle East politics has serious issues that cannot be resolved by American style politics. If America cannot solve the crisis of Iraq, then what of the American presence in the Middle East?

Another aspect is that the struggle in Iraq has exceeded the boundaries of Iraq, as is implicated by the meetings now being conducted with the Iranian delegation. That the insurgency is inextricably tied to al – Qaeda makes the conflict, at minimum, trans-regional. Because of this, strategic thinking for the region has been compromised for the tactical commitments of keeping the local peace in the face of regional incitements.

If the perception is correctly made that the United States led coalition forces cannot completely overcome the intricacies of democratizing Iraq, it is for good reason. The newly re-aligned indigent political base has made their own self-determination, and in spite of what they say, it runs counter to the intent of the American led coalition. This is complicated by the presence of foreign insurgents, who are there for a cause that transcends the establishment of a local Iraqi government. Further, in the absence of a complete overthrow of the entire Islamic society by crushing military means (not very likely), the change to the new Islamic mindset of Iraq is incontrovertible.

Successful implementation and enforcement of ideologies comes down to backing up what one believes, and the strength of belief is backed up by the power of the ideology. This can take on supernatural implications, but short of that, it comes down to what one is willing to die for, or in the case of political will, how many are to be sacrificed for the cause.

The leadership of the insurgency, and the powers backing it up, have counted on, and have, by all appearances, correctly determined the failing will of American politics. There seems, indeed, to be a limit in the current American government, with the possible notable exception of the top administration, of just how much is to be sacrificed to preserve the American way of life and the liberties enjoyed here. The founding fathers are likely screaming from their graves, "what are you people doing by wasting our legacy?"

The perception of Mr. Pipes back in the Twentieth century was fairly directed and significantly accurate in determining certain eventualities, leading towards and up to September 11, 2001. From then on, one could make the argument that his synopsis, with certain exceptions, reads like a playbook. What was decided by the enemy decades ago is in current development.

The problem is that the hidden strategies in that playbook have been understood and used by the enemy, all the while the power players of the global scene under heavy American influence argue over politically motivated interests that run counter to the war. They have turned a blind eye to the underlying antipathies of the region to let them fester, and are following alternatives reflected in those motives. What is not being seen is the Islamic terrorists are fighting a strategic war, while the coalition and other international forces are responding tactically.

In typical American style of wanting to get something done efficiently but failing for the lack of patience and resolve, Iraqi democracy was to be said and done with Saddam Hussein quickly put out of the picture. Regional stability, the true American goal in order to conduct international business in relative calm, was supposed to come after a democratic Iraqi government was established to help keep a peace. The error of that occidental thinking is found in contradiction to the history of the land. As such, American rhetoric is being rejected and is itself being replaced with the ideological thinking of the region.

Out of these circumstances, there is a hazard to implementing the strategic plan of withdrawal to a central base in Iraq and letting the locals work out their differences in the tactical arena. The Shiite majority may very well overcome the Sunni/Baathist minorities after intense infighting, and with Iranian help, secure a modicum of relative calm. But does that cause the regional stability sought after by international interests? Hardly so, for the international community will have limited influence and will need to submit to the pressures of needing energy. Further, the military presence of any outsiders will have be in involved in self protection there as they do in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

In the final analysis, America will always have to be ready to fight to stay in Middle East politics, for it is the intent of the new powers in the region to get America out. It is further to be demonstrated that this is a stepping stone to the greater ideological threat, heard over there, and in the mosques in America, the overthrow of a Constitutional America. Hence the dilemma, we have heard what is being said, but beyond the salvaging of the Iraqi crisis, what are we willing to do about it? How we decide to react, if at all, is going to have greater consequences than who America chooses as next president, and it needs to be determined before we go to the polls. If not, if a new political resolve cannot be found to support and defend the Constitution that gives America her political strength, then there is no need to try and salvage the American position in the Iraqi War.
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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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