Yeah, I’m shocked too that the NYT has called for surrender and genocide in Iraq.
There’s not much I can add to the able criticism from many quarters – Jules Crittendon, Dave Price at Dean’s World, Sean Hackbarth, or dozens of other “bitter dead-endeders” like the Iraqi Foreign Minister – so I’ll make some indirect comments.One of the main arguments supporting the claim that we should leave now is the obvious and real collapse of public support for the war – a collapse that is shocking, just shocking, given the years of media spin on the war – media spin that bloggers have been pointing out continually. There’s something to say about the media and antiwar left beating on public opinion for four years, and then using that collapse of public opinion as an argument for their position.
There’s a bigger argument here about the failure of the Bush Administration to make it strategic case – a failure I argued here in 2003 with Trent Telenko over this post on Statfor:
The Bush administration’s continued unwillingness to enunciate a coherent picture of the strategy behind the war against al Qaeda — which explains the war in Iraq — could produce a dangerous domino effect. Lurking in the shadows is the not fully articulated perception that the Iraq war not only began in deception but that planning for the Iraq war was incompetent — a perception driven by the realization that the United States is engaged in a long-term occupation and guerrilla war in Iraq, and the belief that the United States neither expected nor was prepared for this. Ultimately, this perception could erode Bush’s support base, cost him the presidency and, most seriously, lead to defeat in the war against al Qaeda.
On one hand, I’d like to say that Bush and the leadership should simply ignore this and push on. On the other, it’s obviously impossible for them to, and more seriously, it’s impossible for the troops to.
At least the Times has the courage to admit what will follow:
That conversation must be candid and focused. Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.
They claim that we can mitigate the impacts by allying with the Kurds – which will enrage the Turks, BTW – and why in the world would the Kurds – or anyone else for that matter – accept us as a reliable ally in the face of this withdrawal?
We will have helped train a new generation of jihadis to believe that if they kill several thousand troops, we will surrender. The last time we taught them this lesson was in Somalia, which in Bin Laden’s words
But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the “heart” of every Muslim and a remedy to the “chests” of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.
I can’t wait to see what he says – and more importantly, does – in response to our pullout from Iraq.
Fortunately, the leadership of the country – the leading candidates on both the Democratic and Republican sides – haven’t yet drunk this Kool-Aid.
It’s time to see what can be done about it.