What if Bush Lied?
Despite the fact that this contention is demonstrably false (if you are not wearing a tinfoil hat), let’s for a moment stipulate that the President did “hype” or even falsify intelligence so that he could obtain Congressional permission to go to war in Iraq. What significance would this stipulation have with respect to the early withdrawal of US troops from the region? Answer: NONE
The fact is that Saddam Hussein was a genocidal dictator that not only had WMDs, but actually used them in combat against Iran and also against innocent Kurds. Additionally, although there is no evidence (that is publicly known) that Saddam was personally involved in the planning or support for the 9/11 attacks, there is ample evidence of long standing connections between Saddam and UBL. Many high level contacts between AQ and Iraqi intelligence have been laboriously documented from UBL’s Sudan days to Zarqawi’s precipitous move to Iraq after having been wounded in Afghanistan during OEF. But that is neither here nor there.
The Iraq War has by any objective standard been an unmitigated success at not only preventing follow on attacks on the US Homeland, but also eliminating thousands of AQ operatives who traveled to Iraq to engage “the great satan”. The value of this last consequence cannot be understated. The rapid denial of Afghanistan as a base of operations for AQ was a necessity, but as a result thousands of AQ operatives that escaped our dragnet were dispersed throughout the region. The Iraqi battlefield has served as a magnet for these terrorists who likely would have been disposed to reconsolidate in cells throughout the world to plan and execute attacks against US interests and soft Homeland targets. By drawing them to a central location for their eventual slaughter, we have significantly culled the herd and continue to do so.
Make no mistake that AQ views Iraq as the central front in their war on civilization and have thus staked the reputation and survival of the movement on their ability to defeat the US in this arena. But they have sorely miscalculated and yet the die is cast. They HAVE to win in Iraq in order to succeed in the creation of a worldwide Islamic caliphate, and conversely the US MUST defeat AQ in Iraq if we are going to be able to halt the onslaught of murderous terrorists against us.
The US military is objectively kicking the everloving $hit out AQ in Iraq and the Iraqi political process is moving forward toward full sovereignty at an unprecedented pace. Even if we were being regularly defeated on the battlefield, it would still be in our best interest to win this fight if only to prevent the inevitable vulnerability that would follow if we were to withdraw in defeat. Back in the 60’s we could safely slink back to the States and hide behind our nukes, but these days there’s nobody to nuke and our enemies consider it a religious imperative to die in the conduct of attacks. In other words, there is no option but victory.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the long term strategic value of a stable and vibrant democracy in Iraq holds the promise of peace through strength while serving to defend the obvious economic benefits of preventing islamofascists from controlling a huge percentage of world oil reserves. We have already reaped rewards by scaring Libya into WMD disarmament and inspiring democracy in Lebanon and democratic inertia in Egypt and even Saudi Arabia. Not to mention a deterrent military presence to an increasingly belligerent Iran.
Contrary to the pleadings of Cindy Sheehan et al, the only way to view our combat losses in Iraq as a waste would be to cut and run before affording our soldiers the opportunity to complete the mission they have given their all for. In that vein, we now have the most lethal and battle tested military we have ever fielded which may well come in handy down the road. The synergistic effect of our unrivaled military proficiency coupled with the strategic and diplomatic effect of our victory in Iraq will serve as a powerful bargaining chip against the intransigent regimes that continue to threaten us.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Bush didn’t lie, but that is hardly a reason to withdraw even if he had. Moreover, the Democrats know this which makes their protestations all the more craven and politically motivated. The fact that a major political party and its adherents are willing to trade victory and by extension the sacrifices of our troops for political power will attest to their eternal shame. Fortunately, President Bush and our military are not about to let that happen.