General Tonic, of the Springfieldian, has started a discussion on the war in Iraq that I had to chime in on. So here's what I think of the whole thing, if you're not into politics please feel free to skip this:
Ok, here it is, straight from a "Bush Supporter." I believed the President when the sales pitch for going to war was the "WMD" line. I still believe the UN would have never put any teeth behind it's resolutions.
However it is obvious that the WMD pitch was misleading, whether the President was also mislead or did the misleading is another debate. Either way a good leader takes the blame when there's blame to be taken and I think the President should have simply come out and said something like "sorry, my bad, now here's what were going to do to fix it."
The reality of it is, we're now there, we've created a power vacuum, and we have to stabilize this area before we can leave.
American politics aside, both sides want the troops to come home (of course except for the extreme left and extreme right, which I'm discounting completely). Timing is the issue that is really up for debate.
If you believe the President intentionally misled the world (and I'm not arguing that he did or didn't) then so be it. But does that mean that a hasty withdrawal is the correct answer? Even if one hates this administration you have to see the tactical and strategic mistake that would be (in terms of the greater "war on terror" not the upcoming 2008 election). We can't simply apologize and start packing up the security forces. We have a responsibility to help restore order. I believe we can do just that. It worked in Germany and Japan, it can work in the Middle East. It seems those who are demanding an immediate pull-out of our troops are only seeking vengeance against the current administration, a political point to be counted in 2008. I don't see how it could possibly benefit the US or the world if we simply packed it up and went home.
And while I would love to see a "timetable" I believe that's also silly to presume that one is possible. What would one expect to see on this, realistically?
I believe comparing Iraq to Vietnam is actually appropriate in some ways. We did loose the battles for Vietnam, but we ended up winning the greater war that was the Cold War. Vietnam was a proxy war. The war was fought in Vietnam but was part of the larger conflict of Democracy against Communism. In this light I believe the comparison is valid. Iraq is also a proxy war. The battles are taking place in a Iraq but this is about the bigger war of American ideals and way of life against the "ideals" and way of life of Islamic extremism.
Here's hoping the Springfieldian will go back to some more light-hearted blogging.
[update: Go here to see the version of this rant print in the Springfield News-Leader.]