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Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Springfield News-Leader will be publishing a version of my Iraq War rant in tomorrow's Ozark Voices section of the paper.

Today I attended the St. Louis Stellent User Group Meeting. We learned some good stuff, met some good contacts, and I think I got us volunteered to host the next meeting.

[Update:] Here's the link to my Iraq War opinion article in the news leader. And here's the text:

I believed President Bush when the sales pitch for going to war in Iraq was weapons of mass destruction. I still believe the United Nations would have never put any teeth behind its resolutions.

However, it is obvious that the WMD pitch was misleading; whether the president was also misled or did the misleading is another debate. Either way, a good leader takes the blame when there's blame to be taken. The president should have simply come out and said something like "sorry, we were mistaken, now here's what we're going to do to fix it."

The reality of it is, we are now in Iraq, we have 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. 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.

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 pullout 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 United States or the world if we simply packed it up and went home.

And while I would love to see a timetable, it's silly to presume that one is possible. What would one expect to see on this, realistically?

Many are comparing the war in Iraq to the war in Vietnam, which is actually appropriate in some ways. We did lose 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.

It is in this light that I believe the comparison is valid. Iraq is also a proxy war. The battles are taking place in 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.

Let me sum up by saying that I'm not "pro-war," as the "pro-peace" crowd would label me. I'm pro-victory.

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