October 7, 2005

My Voice Will be Heard

Have you ever tried to call into a talk radio show? Turns out it's harder than it looks. Even local talk show guys have call screener. Now that is a hard guy to impress. He lisens to your comment with the air of a guy who heard it all and could care less. I understand this, after all he's a radio talk show call screener, but still its rather off-putting. I didn't make the cut.

The subject at hand was the Iraq war, of course, in particular the President's speech yesterday and a letter from Al-Qaeda's #2 to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda's guy in Iraq. The talk show guys main point was that Al-Qaeda is in Iraq now and if we leave they will take over Iraq and then the world and wasn't it good that the President gave a speech outlining the stakes.

Now there is whole lot there take apart and really no way to do it is this in 10 seconds with a rude call screener. But for starters the real struggle in Iraq is not us vrs Al-Qaeda. It's the three way struggle between the Sunni, Shia and Kurds. Kurds and Shia dominate the government and the Sunni are fighting them. We are fighting for the Kurd/Shia government against the Sunni who used to be in power. The Kurds/Shia don't have to compromise with the Sunni or get their act together with the army and police because we are fighting for them and taking the casualties. If we left or announced that we were going to leave then the Kurds/Shia will ether have to compromise or get it together with their own military. Our troop presence is a crutch that the Kurds and Shia will use until we are bleed dry. Al-Qeada in Iraq is supported by the Sunni. When the Sunni are brought into the government or defeated then Al-Qaeda won't have a base to operate from. But we haven't been able to deal with the Sunni. Only the other groups can. So we have to make them. This isn't a bleeding heart liberal reason for pulling troops out. This is a hard-headed geopolitical power-play reason. That's the case for withdrawing that I couldn't get pass the call screener.

1 comment:

Laura said...

It's a good point, Craig, but I'm afraid that it oversimplifies things. It isn't as though the Kurds and the Shias really have the resources to fight the Sunnis and Al-Quaeda without our help. My fear is that we pull out now, before the reconstruction is done and things go from very, very bad to much, much worse.

I seem to recall from my government lessons that a new Democracy is not very strong. Most fascists regimes grow out of the roots of failed democracy. The bottom line is that we helped create this mess (starting way back with U.S. involvement in the Taliban government of Afghanistan) and if we walk away now, we may solve things for ourselves for the immediate future, but set ourselves up to have to deal with an even bigger mess than we have now in a generation or two.

Aside from that, the U.S. is losing political clout in the world. And we need it. If we pull out now, it becomes another U.S. failure, which will weaken us in the world. Too many governments are willing to overlook basic human rights for us to not have the power to influence other governments. What we need is new leadership of our forces in Iraq, and we need to empower the U.N. to be more than a witness in what is happening there.

Bush shouldn't have gotten us into this mess. But he did. And I hate to have to agree with anything the White House says, but to pull out now before democracy is really given a chance would be a mistake.