Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Democrats are correct in that we ought not be in Iraq to keep one batch of Iraqis from killing another batch of Iraqis. They are right in that Iraqi politicians have next to nothing to get their act together. They are also right when they say we have seen nothing to suggest that the Iraqis will ever get their collective act together.

The Republicans are correct that our forces are doing a rather good job of killing the Al Qaeda terrorists who have flocked to Iraq in the (misguided) thought that doing so was a good idea. They are correct when they say that Al Qaeda will claim victory if we leave Iraq (of course, they will claim victory no matter when we leave or the circumstances in which we leave). And they are right that every terrorist killed in Iraq is one less terrorist who can attack Americans and American interests elsewhere, whether it be here at home or elsewhere in the world.

The challenge: to formulate a strategy that reflects the above realities.

So, keeping in mind, Queensryche's asking (is) anybody listening?, I hereby and humbly propose just a strategy, a strategy that everybody, I repeat, everybody, whether Democrat and Republican - ought to be able to rally around... and a strategy that anyone, whether Democrat or Republican, who fails to support is determined, by definition, to be an idiot and someone not needing to have any attention paid to them...

We stay in Iraq - but for the sole purpose of seeking out and killing Al Qaeda terrorists. And we stay in Iraq as long as there are enough Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq that it qualifies as a 'target-rich environment'. And we reduce our military forces in Iraq commensurate with the reduction in terrorists... the more we kill, the fewer terrorists that survive, the more we can bring our troops home.

We don't keep our military in Iraq to prop up the ineffectual and corrupt central government. We don't keep our military in Iraq to play peacemaker between warring factions, whether it be Shiite-Sunni, Sunni-Kurd or Kurd-Shiite. We don't keep our military in Iraq to help rebuild their economy and infrastructure. What we do is invite the United Nations to step in and handle the rebuilding of that country.

The simplicity and, dare I say, the genius of this plan, is that we separate the two planks of what is going on in Iraq: killing terrorists and rebuilding the country. Our military focuses on what it does best and we let the UN do what it claims it does best.

Should the Democrats oppose this, they would be painted - and rightfully so - as weak on terror and not dedicated to protecting Americans from harm. No serious candidate can oppose American troops seeking out and killing terrorists. Were Bush to propose such a 'change' in strategy, what would the Reids and Pelosis say, that it is wrong to try and kill terrorists? That our military shouldn't be used to kill those who would harm us? And the Democrats, having invested so much in the UN, they certainly can't come and oppose the UN taking over.

And any Republican who opposed the above proposal, who wanted to stay true to Bush's (flawed) vision, they would be demonstrating a total disregard for reality and for the value of American lives. America doesn't want their brave soldiers being sacrificed for something that can be justifiably be described as tilting at windmills. And America is convinced - and again, rightfully so, that the Iraqis have no desire, nor the ability, to get their act together. While I don't share the same feeling, America is okay with its military being used to help those in need... but only provided that those in need are not idiots who refuse to help themselves.