Even Rep. John Murtha, the congressional Democrats’ most emotional opponent of the Bush policy, is admitting that the surge is “working.” That certainly represents a shift in the reflexively negative thinking of the Democratic party. Since the surge began (see my previous articles), I’ve always conceded the point, which I think is pretty obvious, that if our troop levels were increased, and if, as under Gen. Creighton Abrams in Vietnam, our troops remained in areas they had secured, instead of entering an area, killing the enemy, and then leaving, then the violence in those areas would decline and civilian life could resume. That was not the point. The point was: what would prevent the enemy from fading away temporarily, then returning when the surge came to an end? Amazingly, as though to prove my point, even as the administration’s supporters have been celebrating the success of the surge and boasting that it shows the Iraq critics to be wrong, the administration has commenced discussions with the Iraqi government aimed at reducing U.S. forces in Iraq, which must mean the end of the surge and very likely the end of its accomplishment in reducing violence.
So, while the surge has been a material success in reducing violence and increasing security, as I always acknowledged it would be, this success is tempered by the following factors: (a) the success is likely temporary; (b) the success is partial, since violence including terrorist attacks continue daily in Iraq; and (c) even if this (partial) success were permanent, reports indicate the ongoing development of a hard-line Shi’ite sharia society in the southern part of Iraq. So at best we will have suppressed the demonic forces of al Qaeda only to make Iraq safe for a sharia regime that will be no friend of ours. Which means that we are not accomplishing anything positive for ourselves in Iraq, but only, at best, staving off the worse (for the Iraqis) in favor of the less bad (for the Iraqis). We will have enhanced the well-being and safety of a people who will remain our civilizational adversaries, not our own well-being and safety. We can only secure the latter by permanently separating the Muslim world from ourselves, not by being involved in it.
This is why I remain a dissident on the president’s policy, and why I see our continued involvement in Iraq as a tragic waste of material and mental resources, not to mention of our men’s lives and limbs.
Terry Morris writes:
Re: Murtha’s 180, that’s interesting because it wasn’t more than three or four days ago that I saw Murtha on one of the cable news channels (most likely Fox News) saying, in a news conference, that these indications of successes were unreliable. He was rather scolding anyone who trusted the reliability of these indicators, basically calling them dupes for believing any favorable reports coming out of Iraq. He went so far, as I recall, as to say that these reports originating in the Bush Administration and the Pentagon were just another round of lies coming from the same sources who lied about WMDs and etc.LA replies:
Since the first time I ever became aware of Murtha, when he emerged as a critic of the Bush policy a year or two ago, he struck me as a highly emotional person whose positions were not based on rational thought. Therefore the sudden switch Mr. Morris describes does not surprise me.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 30, 2007 06:30 AM | Send