Monday, April 30, 2007

War supporter (and occasional kool-aid drinker) John Hawkins has a post The Consequences Of The Democrats' Iraq Policy, in which he outlines what he thinks may/will happen if "we leave Iraq before the Iraqi military can defend the country":

Here are John's consequences (in bold), along with (in italics) my responses:

* The end of democracy in Iraq. I don't care if Iraq is or isn't a democracy. What is important is not the way a country picks its leadership, but rather whether they are supportive of the United States. I'll take a friendly dictator over a democracy like 'Palestine' any day of the week.

* Millions of Iraqis killed in a real "civil war". So? Sure, it's not something I want to happen, but neither is it something I'm willing to have Americans die in order to keep it from happening. American soldiers fight to protect America, not to keep a bunch of crazies from trying to kill one another.

* The invasion of Iraq by Iran and/or Turkey. There is nothing sacrosanct about 'Iraq' (Iraq was created out of whole cloth by the British after WWI). Along the lines of John's first point, what is important is not the borders Iraq has, but rather whether it is supportive of or an impediment to US interests.

* Iraq becoming a satellite state of Iran. Ditto the previous answer. Iran with Iraq is not, per se, a problem. And were Bush willing to confront Iran, it wouldn't matter whether Iran had control of part of Iraq or not.

* A regional Shia on Sunni civil war that could begin as all sides pour in money and weapons. And this would be bad for the US in what way? Seriously, a regional civil war ain't going to happen, as the dictators of every country in the region have no problems using brute force to keep their subjects in line. The Shiites in Saudi Arabia know better than to take on the Saudi Royal family, just as the few Sunnis in Iran know it isn't in their interests to confront the Mad Mullahs.

* A terrorist "state within a state" controlled by Al-Qaeda. Why does John presume that a democratic and free Iraq would be hostile to Al Qaeda? In any event, Al Qaeda is not lacking for places to set up camp, and, as we've shown with Afghanistan, we have no problem going after Al Qaeda wherever they might be.

* Al-Qaeda switching its focus from Iraq to the United States which could lead to more attacks here. This is such a bogus claim, I'm surprised otherwise smart guys like John can bring themselves to cite it. Al Qaeda's focus isn't Iraq, it is the United States. We are the enemy. We are the ones they hate. Can anyone seriously think that Al Qaeda isn't attacking us at home because they're busy in Iraq? Do they really think that as soon as we leave, the thousands of Al Qaeda terrorists are going to hop the next plane to JFK? Think about it: they kill 5 soldiers in Iraq, no big deal. Kill 5 Americans in an American shopping center, it's panic, panic, panic. That they haven't attacked us here since 9/11 is something to be grateful for, but make no mistake, it has nothing to do with our being in Iraq (if it did, what accounts for their not attacking us between 9/11/01 and March of 2003, when Bush ordered the invasion to begin?)

* A massive surge in recruiting by terrorist groups bolstered by Al-Qaeda's "victory" over the US. As I've been commenting at QandO, the terrorists are going to claim victory when we leave no matter when we leave or the circumstances under which we leave, so I'm not at all concerned with sticking around to deny them their claim to victory. And, given the chip the Muslims have had on their shoulders for thousands of years, do war supporters not think our 'victory' wouldn't be a great motivator for the crazies?

* A massive spike in worldwide oil prices if all the oil from Iraq is cut off in the fighting.
Hey, we're not there for the oil, are we? And if there weren't massive spikes in oil prices when we first went in, why presume there would be cutoffs and price spikes in the future? And, furthermore, if I have it right, John is an advocate of taking action against Iran to keep them from getting nukes, even though Iran might respond by cutting off oil shipments... so what is with the selective concern about oil prices? And even if there were price hikes, I'd rather pay $5 a gallon than have 1,000 American soldiers die each year to save me a few bucks.

Now, to turn things around, let me ask the war supporters to consider the consequences of sticking around in Iraq:

* Non-stop US casualties (100 this month alone) as we prove incapable of making the Iraqis learn to, paraphrasing Golda Meir, love their kids more than they hate their neighbors. This means thousands of widows and kids growing up without their mom or dads, tens of thousands more Americans coming home with body parts missing.

* Hundreds of billions of dollars wasted as money continues to be poured down the Iraqi sinkhole. The money being wasted each year would pay for extending the Bush tax cuts. It would pay for improved security at airports and ports. It would pay for real border security.

* Further deterioration in public discourse, as both those in favor and those opposed to the war resort to even uglier rhetoric against one another. As bad as things are now, I can certainly see things getting even worse.

* Further distraction of our military and intelligence agencies away from protecting against attacks here in the United States.

* Continued drains on our military, preventing us from taking military action against the real threats we face, such as Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

* Democratic gains in the 2008 elections, as the public punishes GOP candidates for their lockstep support of Bush's not-so-excellent adventure in Iraq, and all that such gains would do to domestic policies: liberal judges, legislative affirmation of the right to abortion, gun control, higher taxes and so on.

Tell me people, are the Iraqis worth all of this? Especially when we can not and will not be able to stop the Iraqis from killing each other?