Minister's Study

Ministering, writing, and wrestling in a land flowing with sweet tea and deep-fried food

Monday, May 21, 2007

What I don't get about the push to withdraw from Iraq

Okay, I can see some of the arguments for withdrawing our troops from Iraq. I don't know that I particularly agree with many of them, but I'm pretty good at grasping what the other guy is getting at. As it happens, some actions of the Bush administration concern me enormously, particularly when you look at their potential long-range ramifications.

But here's what I don't understand.

Remember back in the justification-for-the-attack stage? How weapons of mass destruction actually weren't the only reason for going to war? I know, as a member of the media not too long ago, it's easier, and often necessary, to boil a person's arguments down to their strongest points, and keep those in prominence in the articles. But a key reason for going to war in Iraq was because it was merely one front in the campaign against terrorism -- Bush's crew claimed first that Sadaam had ties to Al Qaeda, then backed off to the safer claim that he and his administration had definite ties to terrorist organizations.

And, since the United States was (and supposedly still is) at war with global terror, if the Commander and Chief figures that the next best place to launch an attack on global terrorism is Iraq, I can definitely see the point in going to war there, especially if a government with known terrorist proclivities and animosity toward the U.S. might possess or develop WMDs.

As it turns out, WMDs never did turn up in quantity. But terrorist connections -- oh, my. The initial evidence that Hussein and his administration had ties to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations has never been refuted, to my knowledge, and has only been added to. And now, our trops are dealing with Al Qaeda and other terrorists practically on a daily basis.

So, let me get this straight. We, the United States, are at war against global terror, with a special bone to pick with Al Qaeda. We know exactly where Al Qaeda is operating in force -- in fact, our troops are constantly in contact with our sworn enemy, and frankly beating the pants off of them at every turn, because our boys are the best.

And now, with the enemy in sight and taking losses far heavier than our own, we want to retreat, effectively handing an entire country of potential allies over to our enemies to destroy and subvert. Why would we do that to our military? "You're winning, guys, in conflict with the mortal enemies of our country. Now come home quick!"

Our military exists to go out, find, and combat the enemies of our country. They have gone, they have found, and they are combatting. Yes, it's complicated. Yes, there have been losses. I have a brother in the National Guard, and I have friends who have been in Iraq and are on their way there, and I'd hate to lose any of them. But they're doing the job they signed up for -- fighting the enemies of our country. In the process, whether by coincidence, some other factor, or because of intel gained by our military while keeping the enemy engaged in his own territory, neither Al Qaeda nor any other terrorist organization has succeeded in any terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.

Why in the world would we run away from Al Qaeda? That's what we would be doing by pulling out of Iraq. I do not understand why so many in the United States would want us to retreat from the very terrorist organization that attacked our country.


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