Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hatfields & McCoys Feud With Revisionist Democrats Asking The Wrong Questions

Steve Chapman has an article posted on Real Clear Politics wherein he tries to legitimize the Democrat's plans for retreat from Iraq by comparing those plans to what he claims were similar Repulican moves to retreat from hostilities in the past. He even manages to work in a "Mission accomplished" cheap shot. For her part, Hillbilly Politics has an excellent point by point refutation, clarifying the history as posited by Mr. Chapman.

I am only writing to add that, if you look at Chapman's article, you'll note he stays away from any assessment of the consequences of retreat from Iraq. Even if Mr. Chapman were correct in his every assertion that today's Democrats are no more craven then Republicans of days past, it is meaningless. The consequences of disengagement, in every instance cited by Mr. Chapman, do not even begin to compare with the consequences of disengagement from Iraq.

The bottom line, you can argue about whether we should have gotten into this war, but that question is wholly academic now. You can beleive Bush lied if you like, but that is a question for partisans. To quit Iraq for that reason would be wholly infantile. It would be making a decision on personal feelings today rather then on any sort of inquiry into the possible and likely consequences of the decision. And for those who give short shrift to the question of consequences, it is worth noting that such a tremendous "failure of imagination" is precisely what the 9-11 Commission identified as being at the heart of our failure to assess the threat of al Qaeda to begin with. The greatest single issue facing us today is the one no Democrat will touch. What are the costs and consequences for leaving Iraq?

Why our MSM does not ask about the consequences of retreating from Iraq with every far left Democrat they interview - and I include, Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, Boxer, Obey, Clinton, Obama and Edwards in that group - is beyond me. They are doing a disservice to the nation. And I find the failure of the conservatives and moderates in Congress to demand that this be the center of debate incomprehensible. They should be asking that question before every microphone they can find on a daily basis.

I guess that I need to add just a bit more, given that Harry Reid declard our military defeated. Our military cannot be defeated on any battlefield in Iraq. I defy anyone to identify an engagement we have lost in Iraq when a platoon or larger element of our soldiers was involved. It hasn't happened.

When Harry Reid claimed our forces defeated, he was making a purely political statement devoid of any military reality. The truth is that defeat will not happen at the hands of radical Islamists on the battlefield. Given support from Congress and the Executive, we will succeed in securing Iraq.

In 2005 and 2006, we pulled our military back into large cantonements so as to minimize our footprints. At the same time, we turned over security to Iraqi forces. The Iraqi forces ultimately proved to be not up to the task. That strategy was a mistake, and the effect of that mistake was magnified exponentially when al Qaeda was able to bomb the Mosque of the Golden Dome.

Such mistakes are common in war. Study WWI, WWII, the Civil War and the Korean War and you will find the early history of those wars riddled with such errors. For example, the failure of Generals in WWI to adapt their strategy to new weapons led to carnage on an unheard of scale. On July 1, 1916, Sir Douglas Haig ordered his men forward in a frontal assult on German lines at the Battle of the Somme. By days end, his strategy had resulted in 57,000 British solders dead, wounded and missing. Over a four month period, his offensive saw British casualties rise to 420,000. Fortunately, most mistakes of strategy are not that costly.

We are following a different strategy in Iraq now. One that is aggressive and maximizes our efforts. The question is not will it work, but how long will it take, and whether Congress will provide the funds and manpower for sufficient time to allow the mission to be completed. Which brings us back full circle to the penultimate question. What will be the consequences of retreat from Iraq?

1 comment:

HillbillyPolitics said...

Gee, Scott... Why did you have to bring the Hatfields and McCoys into it? ROFL

Good addition to what I started. Thanks.


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