Will the Democrats listen to the troops they say they support? Don’t bet on it.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SYKES, Iraq, Nov. 5 — For the U.S. troops fighting in Iraq, the war is alternately violent and hopeful, sometimes very hot and sometimes very cold. It is dusty and muddy, calm and chaotic, deafeningly loud and eerily quiet.
The one thing the war is not, however, is finished, dozens of soldiers across the country said in interviews. And leaving Iraq now would have devastating consequences, they said.
With a potentially historic U.S. midterm election on Tuesday and the war in Iraq a major issue at the polls, many soldiers said the United States should not abandon its effort here. Such a move, enlisted soldiers and officers said, would set Iraq on a path to civil war, give new life to the insurgency and create the possibility of a failed state after nearly four years of fighting to implant democracy.
“Take us out of that vacuum — and it’s on the edge now — and boom, it would become a free-for-all,” said Lt. Col. Mark Suich, who commands the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment just south of Baghdad. “It would be a raw contention for power. That would be the bloodiest piece of this war.”
The soldiers declined to discuss the political jousting back home, but they expressed support for the Bush administration’s approach to the war, which they described as sticking with a tumultuous situation to give Iraq a chance to stand on its own.
This the opinion of the men and women who are on the front lines everyday. They have an up close and personal view of Iraq that the Democratic politicians in Washington don’t. Yet, if the Democrats have their way they would get the hell out of Dodge as fast as possible. Elizabeth Dole was absolutely right when she said on Meet the Press yesterday that “the Democrats are content with losing.”
Greg Tinti writes:
In sum, it states pretty much unequivocally that the vast majority of the people fighting in Iraq–unlike the people trying to make political hay out of it here at home–believe in the mission and want to continue fighting until the job is done.
Or, in other words, according to the troops, the Democrats are wrong, wrong, wrong.
I really like Captain Ed‘s comments:
We have heard a lot from the Democrats in this election season about supporting the troops by withdrawing them from Iraq. Terms like “phased redeployment” and “event horizon” have been thrown around by critics of the war. However, the people that will have to execute those maneuvers do not have much enthusiasm for them.
No they don’t.
Richard at Hyscience correctly notes that pulling out of Iraq would not only increase the danger of more terrorist attacks not only in the Middle East but also here:
A premature withdrawal from Iraq would cause unimaginable instability not only in Iraq, but also throughout the Middle East. And there can be no doubt that jihadists would chalk up Iraq as proof positive that terrorism works — adding it to other “successes” in Lebanon (1983) and Somalia (1993). Worse, an ignominious U.S. retreat would prove to countless other troublemakers that America is nothing more than a paper tiger.
Update: Leader of the terrorist organization Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, tells Muslims in the Middle East that the US will abandon them the same way it left Vietnam:
Here’s a partial transcript:
When I talk about an [American] failure, I’m not saying that the Americans’ plan for the region has collapsed, and that they are packing up their things and leaving, like what happened in the final days in Vietnam. But I would like to tell you clearly… I am one of those people who see a very clear picture. In our childhood… When we were young boys… I cannot forget the sight of the American forces leaving Vietnam in helicopters, which carried their officers and soldiers. Some Vietnamese, who had fought alongside the Americans, tried to climb into these helicopters, but the [Americans] threw them to the ground, abandoned them, and left. This is the sight I anticipate in our region, but I am not saying it will happen in months. It will take years. The Americans will gather their belongings and leave this region – the entire region. They have no future whatsoever in our region. They will leave the Middle East, and the Arab and Islamic worlds, like they left Vietnam. I advise all those who place their trust in the Americans to learn the lesson of Vietnam, and to learn the lesson of the South Lebanese Army with the Israelis, and to know that when the Americans lose this war � and lose it they will, Allah willing – they will abandon them to their fate, just like they did to all those who placed their trust in them throughout history.