I watched the morning news today with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. The “anchor,” if you can call Diane Sawyer that, was a little too happy to report all the talk of the possibility of imminent troop withdrawals now that Democrats won control of Congress. They also reported on the upcoming report from Baker’s group and a bit on Rumsfeld’s replacement, Gates. The information Bob Owens has compiled at Confederate Yankee about Robert Gates gives me even more reason for concern. Read it all.
Owens also quotes James Lewis at The American Thinker.
The Baker commission seems to be doing a lot more than just re-thinking Iraq. It appears to be copiously leaking a Vietnam-type cut-and-run plan that will leave the Gulf far more dangerous than it is now. The Vietnam model looks like a “face-saving” retreat by the United States–just like that one that left Vietnam a Stalinist prison state with tens of thousands of boat people fleeing and dying, and next door in Cambodia, two or three million dead at the hands of Pol Pot.
Baker’s press leaks seem designed to test public reaction to the cut-and-run plan.
Conservatives have lost Congress for the next two years, but acquiescing in a disastrous retreat from Iraq would be the worst of all possible worlds. It would empower all the most destabilizing actors: Ahmadinejad, his dangerous guru Ayatollah Yazdi, and Moqtada el Sadr, who wants to turn Iraq into another Khomeinist state.
Withdrawal would embolden Hamas and Hezbollah and weaken Iran’s natural enemies–the Sunni Arab countries, including the Sunni Gulf states. In Afghanistan, the Taliban would be reinvigorated, and in Pakistan the Al-Qaida-supporting elements in the military and secret services might try–again–to launch a coup. A successful Al Qaeda coup in Pakistan would give Islamofascists not just one, but two nuclear-armed states.
The US held on in Vietnam for fourteen years. We gave Vietnamization a chance. The 12 million Iraqis who voted for parliamentary parties deserve a chance to see their elected government work. Not long ago I wrote about how a lot of attention was paid to the way the President had conducted the war, but practically none was paid to how those who opposed the war had conducted themselves and how that might have affected the situation in Iraq. I got a lot of email from liberals saying I was trying to blame Democrats for Bush’s failures and that nothing they had done had any impact on the mission in Iraq. They are dead wrong. Public opinion and support is incredibly important when waging war and I think it can be seen now quite dramatically in the talk of plans to cut and run. Democrats are not in power yet, but just from the support gleaned through their success at the polls, corresponding action is being discussed seriously. God help us if their plan for failure in Iraq, and it cannot be described in any other way, is enacted.
Update: I referred to the “Brady” plan when I meant the Baker plan but have now corrected it.
Update II: Read Bob Owens’ plea to the President to recommit to the effort in Iraq.