US and British officials hope Britain’s 8000 troops in Iraq can be cut to 5000 by the end of the year and the US’s 133,000 troops to about 100,000. Iraqi security forces could be in charge of much of the country by the year’s end.
Buoyed by the formation of Iraq’s new unity Government at the weekend, senior officials travelling with Mr Blair said all foreign troops should be out of the country within four years.
Mr Blair is to hold further discussions on withdrawal at a White House summit with Mr Bush later this week.
In response to that report, Jim Hoft says, “Boy, it’s going to be interesting to see the reaction to this news! …I guess that means, we won, huh?”
I will likely catch some flack for this, but my response to Jim would be that not only have we won, but we won some time ago. In fact, I would argue that we won it back when President Bush strapped on that flight suit and landed on the aircraft carrier in front of the “Mission Accomplished” sign. There were many additional battles yet to be fought, and very sadly there were many more lives to be lost, but from that point on, instead of us fighting to win the war, we started fighting to keep from losing it. That is a very important point to make. Regrettably, many of those battles were ones fought here in the arena of public opinion.
Over the past three years, some Democrats have seemed determined to do whatever it took to see us lose in Iraq, whether it be by demoralizing the troops in harm’s way or calling for us to cut and run. Their efforts stand in stark contrast to those of the President and the military who have insisted all along that we were winning and that if we would stay the course until the country was stable enough, and the Iraqis ready to take back control, that victory would be ours. Don’t forget, there were some that declared we were losing in the earliest days in Afghanistan and in the sandstorms on the road to Baghdad. Some of those people will never, under any circumstances, admit that we have won. That is something that should not be lost on voters.
Update: Just to clarify my position, to say that we won long ago does not mean to say that we couldn’t still lose that win under certain circumstances. For example, if we were to cut and run (withdraw all troops immediately) the progress we have made in Iraq could be undone and the effort could result in what would constitute a loss. The following analogy might not be the best, but it is what immediately comes to mind. Let’s say Teams A and B are playing basketball. With two minutes to go in the game, Team A leads Team B by 40 points. Team A has effectively won the game. There could still be points scored by Team B, and Team A could still even suffer some injuries, but barring anything exceptional happening, the game has been won. But what if, with two minutes to go, Team A decided to send all their players home. Team A would lose by forfeiting the game. That is what I fear could happen in Iraq if Democrats had their way.