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Reply to Ms. Solis' comments

Reader comment on item: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: ingredient for lasting peace in Iraq

Submitted by Roger W. Gardner (United States), Aug 22, 2007 at 21:34

Sadly, I find myself in almost total agreement with Ms. Solis' thoughtful and straightfoward comments.

We are in a real war and, as she pointed out so well, half-measures just won't do.

Culture does matter. And the culture in most of the Middle East isn't quite the same as the culture in Sweden. I remember, back when our troops first entered the city of Baghdad, one of our embedded reporters was interviewing some of the Iraqis on the street, who were dancing and rejoicing over the apparent fall of Saddam Hussein. One of these excited Iraqis spoke English, and when the reporter asked him how he felt about those people who supported Saddam, he answered, "If I catch one I'll slit his throat and drink his blood!" And I remember thinking --Jeez! And this is one of the good guys!

Yes, they actually might continue"decimating each other" and , yes, there might be a civil war. And finally, you're absolutely right about some people seeming to need strong dictators, even if they're brutal and muderous -- some Russians still look back lovingly to the good old days, when their kindly Uncle Joe was in charge.

And yet, despite all of these ominous -- indeed, sometimes seemingly inevitable -- scenarios, we still have to stay there and win. Why? Because all of the senior Al-Qaeda leaders have said that the battle for Iraq is absolutely central to their plans to eventually take control of the entire region and turn it into their long-awaited Caliphate.

Like it or not, this is the center of focus for our war against Al-Qaeda.

We just cannot allow Iraq to turn into another Taliban-like theocracy. We cannot allow Al-Qaeda to win.

Again, I agree with almost everything the observant Ms. Solis has said; but I respectfully disagree with her conclusion.

Submitting....

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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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