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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Reposted: The National Strategy for
     Victory in Iraq

War always has, and always will, be about imposing one's will upon another. Success in war means you have the power to effect that will.

America is gambling that it has the resolve and the power to impose its will upon Islamic militants. America has put its reputation on the line, committing itself to helping the Iraqi people build a free and democratic society.

Winning in Iraq means the marginalization of the Sunni insurgency and al Qaeda as potent forces in the world. They know that. Both forces have compared their fight with America to the Vietnam War, the American failure in Somalia and the failure in Beruit. Al Qaeda attacked on 9/11 believing America would cut and run. Our failures in Vietnam, in Beruit, in Somalia emboldened al Qaeda and continues to embolden the Sunni insurgency.

We cannot let them win in Iraq. Too much is at stake.

We have, and have had, a consistent and comprehensive strategy. We have, and have had, definite goals, tactics, objectives. Just because we did not analyze them to death, just because we didn't laboriously compose, write and publish a 500 page "peace" document (a la Richard Holbrooke and Bosnia) detailing beforehand exactly what those objectives were and how were going to accomplish it and when each milestone would be met, does not mean we went in blind.

As much as I enjoy analysis in the extreme, I have a great deal of respect for leaders who take action because it is Right, and not merely because of, or only after, all the i's have been meticulously dotted and all the t's scrupulously crossed.

Three years after President Bush took action, the words he spoke in early 2003, laying out the broad reasons and objectives, are accurately reflected as those i's and t's are dotted and crossed in the recently released Administration's National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.

Who do YOU want leading the country? A President who writes 500 page edited scripts before considering any action, or one who acts when necessary? A President who does not give the troops the support they need to mount a simple rescue operation of a downed Black Hawk helicopter, or one stays in the fight even while taking flak from his own rear echelon? A President who acts only when the political risks have been managed to death, or one who takes those risks before they become unmanageable?

I have been reading the National Strategy. It is clear, it is concise (38 pages in PDF format), it is comprehensive, it is consistent. And it is no different than what President Bush has been saying for three years.

I will post the quotes from Bush offered in the Strategy. These are not equivocal by any stretch of the imagination.

The Strategy is clear. The enemy must, will, be defeated. Iraq will be protected until she can stand on her own, with established democratic institutions and a fair chance to survive in the long term.

The Reason is clear. The Middle East is a vital strategic interest to America. Fostering democracy is the best means we have to establishing a free, peaceful, stable world. To fail is to crawl up behind two oceans and turn our back on the world. But remember, those two oceans didn't stop 9/11 from happening. We either work to make the world safer, or we resign ourselves and learn to accept anarchy and chaos.

The Means is clear. We will support Iraq in building a constitutional and representative government. We will provide for Iraq's security and help in creating her own security services.

Politically, we will isolate the enemy from those who can be won over by democratic processes, we will engage all who want to be a party to the political process, we will help build national institutions to create a society ruled by law, not the whims of tyrants.

Militarily, we will clear territory of enemy influence and control, we will hold that area with the ever-expanding Iraqi security forces, and we will build local institutions to secure the rule of law and civil society in those areas. And we will not stop until we succeed.

Economically, we will restore the economic infrastructure, we will reform the economic infrastructure from the legacy of the Tyrant to a modern self-sustaining one, we will build an infrastructure governed by the rule of law and one that improve the general welfare of all Iraqis.

Yes, these are "talking points". So what? Shouldn't we be talking about this?

Bush has put America's reputation on the line. Those that would lament that do not seem to understand that a reputation that is mere potential is merely nothing.


Blogger Jay Cline said...

“The United States has no intention of determining the precise form of Iraq’s new government. That choice belongs to the Iraqi people. Yet, we will ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another. All Iraqis must have a voice in the new government, and all citizens must have their rights protected.

Rebuilding Iraq will require a sustained commitment from many nations, including our own: we will remain in Iraq as long as necessary, and not a day more.”

President George W. Bush, February 26, 2003

“Our mission in Iraq is clear. We’re hunting down the terrorists. We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.”

President George W. Bush, June 28, 2003

“The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our nation’s security, this will not happen on my watch.”

President George W. Bush, June 28, 2005

“America’s task in Iraq is not only to defeat an enemy, it is to give strength to a friend – a free, representative government that serves its people and fights on their behalf.”

President George W. Bush, May 24, 2004

“There’s always a temptation, in the middle of a long struggle, to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world, and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder. This would be a pleasant world, but it’s not the world we live in. The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday’s brutality. This enemy considers every retreat of the civilized world as an invitation to greater violence. In Iraq, there is no peace without victory. We will keep our nerve, and we will win that victory.”

President George W. Bush, October 6, 2005

“The principal task of our military is to find and defeat the terrorists, and that is why we are on the offense. And as we pursue the terrorists, our military is helping to train Iraqi security forces so that they can defend their people and fight the enemy on their own.”

President George W. Bush, June 28, 2005

“America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, to attain their own freedom and to make their own way.”

President George W. Bush, January 2005

12/05/2005 4:57 PM  

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