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April 24, 2007

Defining Victory in Iraq

Many Democrats, while stating that we have lost the War in Iraq and should leave now, are asking Republican supporters to define what victory means. This question is often asked to counter the accusation that they (the Democrats) do not support our troops and are on a path of retreat.

So with that in mind, I offer the following definition of victory in Iraq. But before stating my definition of victory, I wish to lay out a few points that leads me to arrive at this definition.

  • Force is the only language terrorists understand, therefore, we must speak to them from a position of force.
  • The United States is safest by staying on the offense and putting constant pressure on terrorists and terrorist regimes.
  • We must operate on their turf to prevent them from gaining a foothold on ours.
  • Iraq is currently the central stage in the global war against terrorism (the long War against Radical Islam).
  • We cannot demonstrate any sign of weakness or it will be interpreted as a lack of resolve and encourage them to wait us out.
  • Radical Islamic fighters actually seek death at the hands of “infidels” in an effort to gain rewards in the afterlife. If we weren’t there, they would follow us here to die in homicide bombings.
  • We didn’t start this War but we must end it.

With these long-term thoughts in mind, the invasion of Iraq made perfect sense. Furthermore, it is inconceivable to leave Iraq now. Iraq represents the first major battle in the long War against Radical Islam where we actually got credit for firing the first shot. It was long overdue, in my opinion. Everything else before, from the 1970s to 2001 was merely a weak response to some act of terrorism committed against us. Decades of relative inaction emboldened terrorists to carry out the 9/11 attacks. I’m sure the 9/11 terrorist planners anticipated elements of the Afghanistan campaign; however, I don’t think they were prepared for the invasion of Iraq. Therein lies the brilliance of that move.

The surprise move to invade Iraq forced terrorists to shift gears dramatically and fight armed American soldiers instead of blowing up more unarmed civilians. It cut into territory they once felt they could depend on for support. It removed a regime that had provided free oil and financing to terrorist-sponsoring nations and homicide bombers. In short, it changed the landscape dramatically.

I define this successful transition in the long War as a victory. The tables have been turned and the balance has been shifted in our favor. It put us in the driver’s seat for the first time in the over 30 years that this War has been waged against us and we did little. So today, every terrorist killed or captured is a victory for us. Everyday we have a strong foothold to launch more attacks against terrorists is a victory. Everyday we secure and train allies to do the same sweetens our victory and gives hope to millions who can now grow up with a different outlook on life. Iraq, while difficult, represents a major victory for us.

So I am thankful for our troops who liberated millions from a brutal dictator and his evil sons. I am thankful our military is on the front lines taking the fight to the enemy so he is too battered to take it to us. I grieve for every hero who dies in the fight. Their sacrifice is not in vain. They have done a huge service the extent of which we will probably never know.

In conclusion, I define victory in Iraq as removing a terrorist-supporting regime and securing a place to kill and disrupt terrorists. First and foremost, we are there with our best interests in mind and fighting terrorists is in our best interests. Our military presence in Iraq created the irresistible “terrorist magnet” needed to kill them on the battlefield instead of waiting for them to invade our civilian population at home. An since a dead terrorist is no longer a threat to anyone, we gain victory in Iraq every day.

One Comment on “Defining Victory in Iraq

Echo
July 22, 2007 at 5:34 am

You say we did not start his war. Well, who did and when, exactly? You allude vaguely to some time in the 70’s. Does this mean terrorism did not exist prior to this date? Or that there had just not been any terrorism directed against the United States previously (yeah, right!)? As my 10th grade English teacher used to say: Be specific!!

By the way, you also mention that bringing the fight to Iraq prevents terrorists from blowing up unarmed civilians, but I bet the tens (perhaps hundreds) of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed since the US invaded would beg to differ. Well, they would if they were still alive. A mere technicality, I realize….

I suppose your response is you meant civilians of the UNITED STATES, but I bet those dead Iraqi’s (and their surviving friends and family members) do not draw such distinctions.

Which leads to another point: Sure was brilliant invading a country that has yet to be proved to have any connections to bin Ladin, al qaida or any direct (hell, even indirect) threat to the United States. That sure threw al qaida a curve ball. I am sure they are wondering about a US strategy that will piss off the entire Arab world. It certainly solves any need to look for new recruits.

Maybe that’s Bush’s strategy: Get so many people beating a path to Bin Ladin’s door to join him that we find out where he is!!

I would also remind you of another point: The Mujahadeen was supported and financed by the US when it suited our “interests.” I realize empires have “interests” and not “allies,” but we should be more careful nonetheless in choosing our interests. Bush I ought to have reminded Bush II about a guy named Noriega, but I digress.

Bush I also knew that invading Iraq was hopeless and gave up that effort within 72 hours in 1991. As the Powell Doctrine pointed out: Don’t go in without a plan to get out.

That still leaves me wondering: What is the definition of victory in Iraq? When do the troops come home? Your answers would appear to be, respectively, “Invading Iraq = Victory” and “Pretty much never.”

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