Saturday, January 13, 2007

Iraq 2007

I think one of the things you learn as you get older is that criticizing just for the sake of it is too easy. And like everything else that is too easy, it adds very little value.

I understand people who are against the war in Iraq. I even understand people who are against all wars. What I don’t understand (and much less respect) is that people take these positions and don’t acknowledge their consequences.

When was the last time you heard pacifists taking responsibility for the 1 million plus South Vietnamese and Cambodians that died after the US withdrawal from the Vietnam War?

What to think about people who were in favor of the Kosovo war and cry about Darfur but say that the US had no business invading Iraq?

I really wish we could just get all these people out of the equation as stupid hypocrites and continue the conversation about war, peace and whatever is in between.

Right now in Iraq, the US has one objective: to establish a somewhat stable government that is not a safe haven for terrorists. Nothing more, nothing less.

Is it possible? I’m not sure. Is it a valid objective? I am sure it is.

Now, why is Iraq still in chaos? Did Bush make mistakes? Yes. Are the Iraqis partly responsible for all the stupid nonsense violence as well? You bet. Is Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc, part of the problem? No doubt about it.

Is Bush’s plan of “surging” Baghdad risky? Yes.

Does anyone else have any other plan to actually get to the goal of establishing a stable government in Iraq? No.

Even considering all the obvious differences, there is a chance that the Iraq war may end up being like the Vietnam war: a "conflict of choice" that brought nothing but despair to the US and to the host country.

However, there is also a chance that this war becomes another Korean War: a not so clear cut victory that in the long term worked well for the US and to the whole region around the conflict.

Time will tell.