Thursday, March 8, 2007

Questions for Democrats

Roll Call reports today that "Senate Democrats emerged Wednesday from a closed-door meeting with details of a new Iraq resolution calling for phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country beginning within three months."

This brings to mind a number of questions. Were I a Washington-based journo, here are 10 I'd think to ask:

1) Yes or no: Is victory in Iraq possible?

2) If no, What does it mean that America can conquer the Axis Powers of World War II but not Iraq-based Islamic insurgents?

3) If yes, Is victory an outcome you favor?

4) If it is, How does a phased withdrawal help achieve victory?

5) If it is not, Is failure consistent with upholding America's national security? If so, how?

6) A recent Pentagon statement credits heightened Baghdad patrols for insurgent attacks falling off 80 percent. If, then, the "surge" is working, why demand its end?

7) What's the worst that could happen from a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq?

8) What are Democrats planning should such a contingency arise?

9) If Osama bin Laden says Iraq is the central front in his Jihad versus the West, how does withdrawal advance the War on Terror, or, less specifically, America's general national security?

10) According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan for withdrawal, the latest possible date American troops could remain in Iraq is September 2008. Is there anything significant about this date, other than the fact that it's two months prior to America's next presidential election?

These questions are fairly basic. I'd like to think any halfway serious journalist would ask at least a couple of them. So why is it we won't hear the answers to any?

1 comment:

David said...

Oooh, oooh, oooh, lemme have a crack at 'em.

1. I don't know. The guy who wrote the book is running the show right now, so that's a plus. I'm still a little dubious about this whole Nixon Doctrine approach. Vietnamization didn't work so well in 73-75, and I don't see enough differences between that situation and this situation to believe that it will work now.

Either way, for the record, victory in Iraq means that the US leaves Iraq as a democracy, with enough political will to continue to maintain the democracy, and not in a culturally weak state that is susceptible to outside influence, or in a militarily weak state so that it is vulnerable to attack.

2. Since I'm on the fence, I'll take a shot at this one. It means that the US Military is has been built up to fight against a well defined foe, who is segregated from the civilian population, in open fields of battle, and who follows general principles of conventional warfare. That is the job that they do best. It means that the US Military is not designed to be deployed in force in urban environments, to fight a poorly defined foe that is generally indistinguishable from a populace whose own allegiances are fleeting and multifaceted. Moreover, the US military is highly vulnerable to sophisticated unconventional warfare and tactics that are employed without regard for civilian casualties.

3. Of course.

4. We are unfortunately left with two alternatives at this point. We can remain for an undetermined amount of time until the Iraqi people demand that we exit, which will be proof of the strength of their coherence as a culture. One might say that we will stay until the Iraqis throw off the shackles of their imperial overlords. Or, we can execute a phased withdrawal, which will force the Iraqis, by necessity, to solidify as a nation. In this case, they will either succeed or they won't. If they do, then bully for them, and if they do not, they will be no worse off than they are now. At which point, we can re-evaluate the mission and utility of a military intervention. We have long since declared "Mission Accomplished", and at this point, the Iraqis have proven to be needy, welfare kids. It is time for them to do their own work.

5. These are two causally unrelated ideas.

6. The answer to any issue of a rise in crimes is to bring in more police officers. We have seen that effect. We can not police Baghdad indefinitely.

7. In the same way that China aided the North Vietnamese which allowed the Communists to take over South Vietname, the Iranian power elite could fund political movements that could realign Iraq as an Iranian ally. This would give Iran significant clout in the world oil market, and enable them to fund more covert terrorist operations.

8. Rather than wasting money on a costly war where Americans die, I think money is better spent peddling influence in Iran. It will take the propaganda war to their shores.

9. We are no longer fighting the War on Terror, it is now called The Long War Against Violent Extremism. Get with the program. This nomenclature has been in effect for a year and a half.

If Iraq is considered the front lines, then we are doing pretty well. It is an intrinsic feature of the enemies position that in order to effect their operations, i.e. create terror, they must come to us. Withdrawal will allow us to redeploy later. This will force the enemy to regroup and redeploy to engage us. Withdrawal seizes the initiative. We will fight guerillas using guerilla tactics.

Despite its shoddy recent reputation, our intelligence and information operations are world class, and hopefully, will provide us an edge, and allow us to neutralize the enemy as they reorganize.

Anyways, when did Osama bin Laden's word become gospel. The Iraqi's said, "All your base are belong to us," which was patently untrue. Since you line up with him on this, I think you are a terrorist, I'm calling the FBI.

10. Probably. We can't afford to let the people who picked GW to pick another president. They collectively have pretty bad judgement.