There are a number of good story items out there today regarding the situation in Iraq. Ambassador Ryan Cocker (see FOXNews for complete article) was grilled by a Senate committee today, and here are some quotes:
If there is one word, I would use to sum up the atmosphere in Iraq â€” on the streets, in the countryside, in the neighborhoods and at the national level â€” that word would be fear.
The longer I am here, the more I am persuaded that progress in Iraq cannot be analyzed solely in terms of these discreet, precisely defined benchmarks because, in many cases, these benchmarks do not serve as reliable measures of everything that is important â€” Iraqi attitudes toward each other and their willingness to work toward political reconciliation.
The media and the politicians are always quick to discuss the failures of the military, but as former President Bill Clinton said (quoted, derogatorily, by NewsMax), there is no military victory possible here. He’s right (sorry, NewsMax). Both the Ambassador and former President Clinton (not the president-elect one) have it right. This must be “won” by the Iraqi people.
However, what the Ambassador has right, and future-first-something Clinton has WAY wrong, is that, currently, the only possibility (other than letting Al-Quaida or Iran run things) for that to occur is with Coalition troops doing what they can to provide it. However, at some point the Iraqi people will have to take it upon themselves to do so. Although, I have to say, every time some politician calls for withdrawal (which I’m sure Al-Jazeera trumpets quite loudly), the Iraqi people have an incentive NOT to step up, because if we leave, THEY’RE DEAD!
Then there’s Senator Kerry stepping into it, trying to build a case that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will happen to all those people who stood up for freedom, if we should abandon them.
Look, I want my friends to come home, and my family not be redeployed. However, do people like Kerry and Clinton remember (or even care) what was said of Vietnam Vets when they came back? I, and others, have noticed an increased number of vehicles sporting the Vietnam Service Ribbon. I don’t think that’s coincidence. These vets who served (and 99.99+% served well) are supporting those troops that are serving now, by displaying a ribbon that used to engender scorn (still does, but those same people scorn anything military). They see, probably unconsciously, history repeating itself. Let’s finish our task in Iraq, and bring them home in victory.
(*whine*) But it’s taking too long!
Brief history lesson. Hitler took power in 1933. The Marshall Plan was over in 1951 (I think). That puts an entire World War (from build-up to somewhat recovered) in a span under 20 years. The Germans populace had had democracy before Hitler, and thus a history of it. The people of Iraq had Saddam from 1979 to 2003, and military government before (and during) him, and a monarchy before that. Add to that the lunatics (mostly from outside of Iraq) that keep destroying that which is built back up (like power plant, oil production, factories, etcetera). What do you expect? People that do not have a history of Western thought aren’t going to start thinking like us! They have to find their own way.
They have to stop fearing. They have to find their own way, as did the U.S.. Quick question, was the first union of the states a success or a failure? A failure! That’s why the Constitution was written, because the Articles of Confederation didn’t work! I am so confused about politicians. I don’t know if they say the things they do because they don’t grasp history or societal inertia, or because they believe they can say it and it will be true. Of course, much of the body politic works the same way.
Which brings me, in a very round about way, my homage to Senator Clinton’s (crowned-president-elect) book, when she was still First Lady, It Takes A Village To Raise A Child. It will take the Western world, working together, to build a new jewel of hope in the Middle East, because there are too many who feel threatened by the freedom it represents.