Monday, June 16, 2008

Iraq Fades as News

By Alan Caruba

Five years passed an extraordinarily successful invasion of Iraq and the taking of Baghdad, followed by several years of a slow and bloody learning curve, Iraq is fading from the front pages of our newspapers and reports on television precisely because Iraq has begun to learn how to govern itself, to develop a national identity out of its warring religious groups, and perhaps most importantly to create an army and police corps to provide a real measure of security.

It has cost the United States billions to achieve this and those who would prefer to leave dictators in place in the name of stability or to wait for renewed attacks on our homeland have become silent for the most part.

We have one candidate, Barack Obama, who gained political traction by expressing his opposition to the war and our continuing military presence in Iraq. We have another who understands that war is often the only way to liberate a captive people and rearrange the geopolitical map of the world.

The study of history is, more often than not, the study of warfare, of the winners and losers. It’s why we still remember the exploits of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Washington, Grant and Lee. In the modern era, it’s why we know the names of McArthur, Nimitz, Patton, and a former General and President, Ike Eisenhower.

It’s why we re-enact Revolutionary and Civil War battles. Wars can enslave and wars can liberate. The winner gets to write the history. This is why winning is the only choice a rational person would want.

I can understand why people advocate peace. Who does not want peace? The problem is that there are far too many other people in the world for whom war makes perfectly good sense and, in Islam, war or jihad, is one of the pillars of the faith until the whole world is required to worship Allah. That makes for a very interesting comparison with Christianity whose message is love, albeit a religion with its own long history of intercine and external wars. The predecessor of both faiths, Judaism, has its own history of conquest and its own wars.

So why is the media showing so little interest in what is shaping up to be the successful outcome of our war in Iraq? I think it is because they want America to fail. The liberal media is utterly baffled by the stubborn determination of most Americans to win.

Washington’s war of Revolution against the British took some seven years to accomplish its goal of independence and then the new nation had to stumble around with the Articles of Confederation until some very smart men gathered in secret in Philadelphia to come up with the Constitution.

The initial years of our republic were hardly a smooth beginning and by 1863 we ended up fighting a horrendous Civil War over issues of states’ rights and slavery. Why should we expect the Iraqis who lived under the rule of a pathological killer for three decades be expected to learn the arts of modern democratic governance any faster than our early leaders did?

Why is war so a bad thing when, in the case of Iraq, we have killed a lot of al Qaeda jihadists and uncooperative followers of Muqtada al Sadr who is currently hiding out in Iran? Like flies to honey we created the killing fields and destroyed them. These days what’s left of al Qaeda is hiding out in the remote regions of northwest Pakistan where even the Pakistanis are reluctant to go. Keep them penned up there. Keep killing them there.

For all the criticism of George W. Bush—much of it deserved—there has not been a single major or even minor attack on the United States since 9/11. Who would have put money on that in 2001? Or 2003?

That’s why Americans have historically preferred men with some military experience when they pick a President, albeit Bush43’s resume in that regard is thin. Even so, he did serve in the Texas Air National Guard. Some military training, some experience is better than none at all. Barack Hussein Obama has none.

For my part, I am delighted that Iraq is no longer “news” in the sense of combat and casualties. You should be, too.

1 comment:

Saildog said...

I am glad too, especially for the average Iraqi, who has had a most rotten time, first with Saddam, then an invasion, followed by an occupation by foreign troops that had to hold on against a shockingly violent grab for power by the Islamic fundamentalists.

Much of it goes back to the original colonial lines on maps, drawn in London and Paris. Of course the local inhabitants were not really "people" in the eyes of the colonials. Australia was described as "empty" by the Brits when they first arrived. Africa has been a mess and still is. The crisis in Zimbabwe, playing out right now, has its roots in those same colonial events.

The US, and today to a lesser extent the UK, have meddled for far too long in the area. One cannot help thinking the world would be better off without these two countries giving themselves carte blanche to exercise gun boat (or gun ship) diplomacy wherever the choose.