Forgetting Iraq

Back in September I wrote about winning in Iraq:

“If we succeed, we will not realize it at the time. It will be as in the Cold War, we will look around one day and suddenly realize that Iraq is largely peaceful and stable. We will realize that our goals were accomplished and everybody except leftist academicians will say, “we won, I don’t know exactly how or exactly when, but we won.”

It has begun.

(update: Does anyone know how to statically link to a specific day-by-day cartoon? I realized that the code I used above will cause a different cartoon to get loaded everyday.)

11 thoughts on “Forgetting Iraq”

  1. agreed, but the “if we succeed” being the important point. If not, we will realize that we spent a huge amount of money to help mobilize the uneducated muslim masses against a common enemy… US

  2. In case you weren’t paying attention, uneducated muslim masses were already mobilized against us. Prior to 9/11 our reputation in in “the arab street” couldn’t get lower.

    Only by improving the lives of people in the area can we hope to change their minds.

  3. oh come on, I’ll give u the fact that there where extremest before IRAQ.. but u don’t really believe that our reputation hasn’t gotten worse since IRAQ, not only in Muslim parts of the world but … everywhere in the world.

    I know, I am on the wrong blog :-)

  4. Pat,
    What is the purpose felt by the aroused Iranian street? There is no doubt in my mind that many people have been aroused (Carroll, Moyers, Eason in the last couple of days spring to mind). They speak to one another, we speak to one another.

    Maybe your sense that Guardian readers and CNN devotees are representative of the world and especially of the Arab states is right. It is true I don’t want to believe that. And either of us could be into denial.

    Still, those purple fingers, those constant answers “Don’t ask me about my group. I am an Iraqi” to western reporters questions, reporters forcasting a civil war, make me feel that my sense of the future is right.

    People choose something. Right now, Iraq is a demonstration of what they can choose. The critics do not offer a choice. The minister at my church prayed for a “restoration” of order to Iraq – I don’t think many Iraqis prayed for a restoration.

  5. “I’ll give u the fact that there where extremest before IRAQ.. but u don’t really believe that our reputation hasn’t gotten worse since IRAQ, not only in Muslim parts of the world but … everywhere in the world.”

    Pat, if you look at actual opinion polls taken before and after the liberation of Iraq about muslim attitudes toward America there was very little change. Even though polling in the region is notorious unreliable, there has been an up tick in positive attitude measured by some.

    Bush polls well among muslim apparently due to his overt religious nature. Traditionalist muslim fear secularism more than they fear Christianity. Christianity they understand, traditional Islamic sources have a place for Christianity in its world view. They have no such place for atheist and agnostics.

    The idea that a powerful response creates more extremist is not supported by history. Islamist terrorist gained status within Muslim society by their perceived ability to strike at the West without serious retribution. They gained an aura of invulnerability and omnipresence. America’s response to 9/11 changed that.

    The extremist are now in disfavor everywhere from both governments and the people. Every step we take that reveals them to be paper tigers reduces their power even further.

  6. Success does not necessarily justify the cost. This has been way too expensive an operation, in both financial and manpower costs.

  7. Pat,

    When i was in the service during gulf war I, there was an Al Jazeera poll about positive opinion of americans among arabs with about 40% having a positive view…..the same poll was given 2 weeks ago, with the result being 36%….so the idea that Arabs have had a huge drop in their opinions of the US becuase Iraq is somehow wrong is laughable…

  8. “..Success does not necessarily justify the cost. This has been way too expensive an operation, in both financial and manpower costs…”

    Opinions…everyone has them….

  9. Unfortunately, it is easy enough to calculate the cost of lost soldiers when you do not have a son, daughter, father or mother among the casualties.

    That said, I am thankful that we have an all volunteer armed forces process, and I do not accept the premise that people join up for job skills or education. Perhaps some do, but there is an explicit understanding that must set in when one is handed a weapon and is taught how to use it.

    For these reasons there’s no higher honor than that due our guys that guard the wall, and those that have given the supreme sacrifice. Saint John wrote that there was no greater love than that of where one laid down his life for his brother.

    That is virtue that Dalton Trumbo would never know, and that present day defeatists ignore. I am stunned at the thinly veiled desire of so many that truly want the U.S. to fail in Iraq thus resulting in the implicit condemnation of millions…again. The result would make the Khmer Rouge look like amateurs.

    We had 20,000 men KIA in a little over a month in the winter of ’44 in the Ardennes, due in part to a massive intelligence blunder. And there were hundreds of German soldiers that were murdered by U.S. personnel while captives, ostensibly under the protection of Geneva Convention rules of war. I do not believe there were calls to quit the fight in ’44, and few were the calls for Marshall’s or Eisenhower’s sacking…nor did these failures and crimes negate the greater purpose. Perhaps it was because the people understood what was at stake.

    Memories dull over time. I fear that the day will come when Al-qaeda will revisit, with 30,000 lives lost instead of 3,000. Writing this in the shadow of NYC skyscrapers reminds one that given the opportunity, there’s no question that they will try it again.

    And I for one am thankful that GWB is in office…at least we have leadership that understands the gravity of the times, even if Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd do not.

  10. I have a very close friend stationed in Iraq. He has seen scary times, has offered to lay down
    the dearest price. This said, he has written me many times and described the excitement, optimism and positive attitude he has seen ignited by the newly found freedom of the common Iraqi. If he says it is true, and he has seen this firsthand, I believe him. Already our presence in that part of the world has had a positive influence on surrounding nations. You can’t put a ‘price’ on something like that.

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