Note: This is part 4 of a six part series. Return to Part I
DISASTERS THE ADMINISTRATION AVOIDED
It is extraordinarily easy to look at the week or so of looting in parts of Baghdad, the growing incidence and media coverage of Zarqawi’s insurgency and the unfortunate loss of American heroes and say, “Oh my God. What a disaster! It’s a freakin’ nightmare.” Although the loss of any American life is tragic, this view, the view shared by most on the left, is overly simplistic and completely unfair.
This is war, not Tiddlywinks. Yes, the bombs and the beheadings get all of the press coverage. But the good news coming from Iraq fades just as quickly as it is first reported. And the doomsday warnings of a veritable slew of hyperventilating media experts before invading Iraq never materialized.
We heard of pending humanitarian disasters like mass starvation, disease and a refugee crisis the likes of which never before seen. We were warned of potential attacks on Israel, Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. We were warned of an impending war between the Kurds in the north and their tenuous neighbor Turkey. We heard the impending doom of urban warfare and thousands of dead Americans lining the streets of Baghdad because of our inability to fight in urban settings. Iraqis were going to destroy bridges and dams which would impede the American attack and drown hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.
If people are going to crucify the Bush administration for failing to plan for a week or so of looting and Zarqawi’s insurgency, they should also give Bush credit for a superb plan which avoided hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths due to starvation and disease. Bush’s plan also avoided a refugee crisis of epoch proportions. These Monday morning quarterbacks should also credit Bush for a masterful plan to eliminate attacks on neighbors Israel, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. Bush should also get credit for limiting attacks on Kuwait to just a couple of minor incidents. The Bush administration should be credited for their artful diplomacy between the Kurds and Turkey. Americans should be thankful that Bush’s military leaders properly planned for and trained for urban warfare, avoiding the thousands of deaths in the streets of Baghdad that were predicted. And Bush should be praised for the plan that kept dams and bridges from being destroyed, avoiding a massive human tragedy.