Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Consequences of Withrawal From Iraq

A couple of years back, when Iraq was descending into an endless spiral of terrorist violence, and hopes for an American victory were fading fast, some analysts warned against a precipitous withdrawal:

Certainly the most damning consequence of failure in Iraq is the likelihood that an American withdrawal would provoke a take-no-prisoners civil war between the Sunni and Shiite Arabs, which could easily reach genocidal intensity.
We're now three years forward, and the calls for an American surrender in Iraq are as loud as ever. No matter that we're experiencing what's been called a "miraculous" strategic turnaround, the hard-left still clamors for a hasty retreat, strategic consequences be damned (see Matthew Yglesias for more cluelessness).

But check out
Dr. Sanity's post yesterday, where she quotes an Iraqi blogger on the dangers of failure in Iraq:

The solution of the Iraqi situation cannot be helped by trying to find scapegoats and excuses to run away and escape. The formulae expounded by the Democrats amount to nothing but defeat and escapism. The problem is that this is a situation where defeat is fatal. If anybody thinks that the U.S. can run away this time, and sits safely and happily in tranquil isolation between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, is in grave error. Solutions can be found to reduce casualties and expenses, but the strategic involvement of the U.S. in Iraq is a necessary and sufficient condition to avert a disaster the scale of which boggles the mind. A disaster that is infinitely more serious and dangerous than the aftermath of the Vietnam defeat. Because the Vietnamese had a clear objective, i.e. to unify their country and once that this objective had been achieved, they had no more business with the U.S. and the West. In the case of Iraq, the objectives and purposes of the enemy are fundamentally different, as has been expounded “maint fois” by people of the like of Al-Zawahiri et. al.; so many times have we heard Al-Qaeda leaders affirm that they consider Iraq the central front in their International Jihad campaign, and as being the more appropriate battle ground, being in the heart of the Arab world and so near to the holy lands apropos to which they share the sick visions of certain of their western (and non-western) counterparts of Armageddon’s and Apocalypses and all such kinds of nonsense and legend.
Yes, but to hear those on the left, this is all a mirage. It's the United States that's the problem, all the more reason to quit the mission:

It is time for the United States to remove itself from the quagmire in Iraq and begin a phased redeployment of troops. Staying on the current path will only continue to strengthen Iran's position in Iraq and the region, a result that undermines America's national security interests.

Staying in Iraq will "undermine" America's interests, while bolstering the West's implacable foes throughout the region. Such comments are anti-intellectual and grossly misstate the world's ideological, political, and strategic realities.