I keep hearing people on the right reiterating that “the surge worked,” so that withdrawing from Iraq would be surrendering. To me, this is a non sequitur.

First of all, there’s the simple question of why we’re at war. We went in as a pre-emptive strike against Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. We took him out, and although we never did find evidence to support that he was building up his WMD arsenal, we did take out a cruel tryant. I’m a little unclear why we’re still there: the Iraqi threat has been neutralized, and Iraq’s got a sovereign government in place. Al Queda keeps coming to try to attack our troops, but the fact that our troops have become targets is hardly a reason to stay in Iraq.

Now here’s the thing! If the Iraqi government wants us to stay, I’m all for allowing our volunteer troops to keep helping them. But it’s being widely reported that they want us out. While I trust this was an unfortunate accident, it suggests that Iraq has wanted us to leave for some time: “It also bolstered calls from Iraqi politicians to pressure the American military to leave Iraq after this year, when a United Nations mandate expires, unless the United States agrees to permit its soldiers to be subject to criminal prosecution under Iraqi law for attacks on civilians.”

I’d ask: if we’re at war, who are we at war with? It’s the Iraq War, but we’re supposed to be helping Iraq. We’ve taken out Saddam, and most of the violence is directed at our troops: staying in Iraq isn’t going to fix anything.

It’s not “surrendering” or “giving up” to recognize that you achieved your goal a long time ago, and that all you’re doing now is making things worse. It sounds great to try to attack your opponent for that, but it’s simply not true.

3 thoughts on “Iraq

  1. The Iraqi threat has not been completely neutralized. The reports from the generals state that there is still massive amounts of unrest in the region. If we were to vacate the region prematurely, the newly formed Iraqi government could be easilly overrun by the social unrest. Any party that would take over the newly formed democracy would be anti-american, and as a result, would likely be just as hostile towards us as Sadam was, if not more for us dominating them.

    It goes back to basics of, I believe it was Sun Tzu, who stated that one must completely destroy their enemy, or you risk an eventual upheaval.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am in no means a supporter of the Iraqi war. I feel that it was a poor decision to enter the war. However, now that we’re there, we have to see it through until the Iraqi government is stable and secure enough for us to leave the region. At this time, it is not stable enough.

  2. But most of the unrest is directed at us, not the Iraqi government, is the problem.

    Complete destruction of the enemy is all well and good when it’s a formal military that can surrender, but we’re basically at war now with an ideology, and a crazy, irrational one at that . Not only will we not be able to ever completely defeat it, but if neutralizing it was the goal, what we’re doing now is breeding more extremists.

  3. By definition, if there is still unrest is directed at us, then the threat has not been completely neutralized, and our enemies not completely crushed, which would merit us to stay in the region for longer until they’re all gone.

    And your argument that it’s a war of ideology, I agree, and it should have NEVER occurred, but that’s arguing the merits of the war, not the current position.

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