I have a decent number of news/blog feeds that I read. One thing I try to do is read things that I know I will disagree with. I think it's the best way to keep my mind open. Sometimes it's really frustrating though. For example, today I read this article on the Opinion Journal.
It's a horribly partisan piece, as it quickly reveals in its subtitle "Some alternatives to pre-emptive retreat." So it immediately makes the assumption that exiting Iraq is "pre-emptive retreat." As if leaving a sovereign country alone is retreat, and is if any such exit could not be pre-emptive, i.e. someone would force us out. Such an opening to an article sguarantees that it will never motivate someone who thinks we should leave Iraq to re-consider their opinion. Instead this just becomes a ra-ra article with no chance of having real substance.
The author (name not listed) does offer a single argument against leaving Iraq:
"former U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith suggests resigning ourselves to the partition of Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish states. The big problem with that idea is that Baghdad is a multiethnic city, and dividing it along ethnic and sectarian lines would entail displacing at least two million Iraqis and a lot more bloodshed."
So we shouldn't let the people there decide their own future because ... they could hurt themselves? News flash: they're doing that already. Too bad for the US that England or France didn't step in 150 years ago to stop us from hurting ourselves in The American Civil War. If only England could have been occupied and guided America, then a lot of American lives could have been saved...
The unidentified author then goes to provide his list for fixing Iraq:
- More security forces for Baghdad -- Sounds like Vietnam all over again. Just pour more troops in. That's sure to go over well with the population. Even better, "embed" more troops with Iraqi police forces. Yeah that's really going to make people respect the Iraqi police as legitimate authority.
- Better intelligence -- When all else fails, blame the troops. We've already seen the President do this. I love how some writer for OJ can claim "it shouldn't be as hard as it has been to identify the likely troublemakers." Maybe the CIA should "pre-emptively retreat" and let this guy take over for them. Clearly he could find out who those "troublemakers" are. Just using such a term shows the author's overwhelming arrogance and ignorance.
- Iraqi leadership -- What's this, an elected Iraqi spoke poorly about Americans? That's clearly causing violence in Iraq. There was probably no violence until these elected leaders started saying bad things about Americans. So we should definitely do as the author suggests and threaten any Iraqis who say things we don't like. That will definitely stop the violence.
- International support -- He claims that Iran and Syria are supporting the militia groups by giving them weapons, but a bigger problem is "tacit encouragement" from other Arab states. So let the guns and bombs keep flowing in, but get those Arab leaders in line damnit!
- U.S. resolve -- Hear we go with the typical Republican tactic of all-but-claiming treason on anybody who questions the President. The real reason for violence in Iraq is the Democrats! If you say that you think we should leave Iraq, you are causing violence in Iraq! So shut up before more people die!
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