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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Choices We Made: How We Won Iraq By Ignoring the Left

There are actually people on the left gloating about Obama's withdrawal plan for Iraq. Apparently, the timetables the antiwar crowd and the Democrats have been pushing for are now a reality. For five years we've heard the whining about timetables, private military contractors, equipment and so on; for five years such talk was ignored, and rightly so. This is why.

I'll tackle the most controversial first: equipment. No one but the most ardent military haters could argue against our soldiers receiving the best equipment. We want our warriors as protected as they can be when the are at war. Alas, the military is supplied by the government, and the government, as we conservatives know, isn't close to being a reliable supplier of anything to the military, unless you want to live in a centralized military dictatorship like North Korea. Congressional pet projects, ideological debate, political partisanship, appropriation battles, turf wars, favored companies; all play in to the massive cluster**** our military ends up in when it comes to equipment supply during war. When Donald Rumsfeld told a soldier that

It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the army of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it. As you know, ah, you go to war with the army you have---not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.---You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can (still) be blown up... [1]

While being a massive PR bruise due to media repetition and liberal hysteria, what Rumsfeld said was factual. The military is in the business of war, and nothing is perfect: from the battle plan to the tires on the Humvee. This doesn't mean the government can skimp on equipment or any of us should defend the government when it happens, which happens a lot sadly (the Bush administration was rightly blasted for the problems with its supply line), but it doesn't mean left-wing antiwar activists can suddenly become the patrons of the military when it was their saint Clinton who cut the military nearly in half at a time US power was expanding across the world. Such dishonesty.

Speaking of Clinton's military cuts, that brings us to the private military contractors. These companies, full of former military and police elites, are necessary because of the liberals and the leftists. The Bush administration inherited a military cut by nearly 300 000 personnel, hundreds of ships and planes as well as an axing of six infantry divisions.[2] Afghanistan was the perfect war for our downsized military, but Iraq was much harder due to the split of old alliances by the antiwar bloc in Europe and those in the Coalition. A bigger country with a much more centralized population, the underestimated number of troops needed by Rumsfeld and the Pentagon as well as the early blunders by the Collation Provisional Authority with the Iraqi army, it was very apparent that not all security missions could be taken up by the military alone. Things like embassy security, personnel security, contracted convoy security and other such tasked needed to be taken up by private firms while the military fought the growing insurgency by the Ba'athists and the invasion of mass amounts of Al Qeada terrorists. When the involvement of PMCs became news, right on cue the left wing threw its arms up in disgust with these “mercenaries” (used as a pejorative). The irony, of course, flew right over them.

Now, timetables are something we all heard ever since the first bomb was dropped on Ba'athist Iraq. When are we gonna leave? Why isn't there an exit strategy? Such questions, like all things, have their time and place. Asking for timetables and threatening to cut off aid during the height of the insurgency or during the Surge isn't very appropriate, now is it? The reason Obama even has the ability to announce withdrawal is because President Bush finally smartened up to the failing “withdrawal is victory” mantra that was deeply rooted in his commanders and kicked out the failing generals and replaced them with General David Petraeus, who turned around the war in one year with the Surge and a new community oriented strategy. At the time of his confirmation, he was lambasted by the left and the Surge itself was ridiculed as a failure even before it was implemented. Surprise, surprise, the irony flies over the leftist as the Surge has stabilized a free and democratic Iraq and allowed for the very timetables for withdrawal. But I don't expect you'll hear anything close to praise for General Petraeus or the success of the Surge from those who now benefit politically from it.

The left wing has an odd history with war. During the First and Second World Wars the left was literally up in arms, wanting to kill the Kaiser and snuff out Hitler. But when the Cold War began and the enemy wasn't monarchism or fascism, but their papa Communism, suddenly the pillar of liberalism became peace and isolation, but only if you forget that it was Johnson who expanded the Vietnam War and that Clinton had more interventions and military conflicts than Bush. Now, that the generation of the 60s and the subsequent generations born into a exponentially prosperous America have taken over the nation's leadership, it seems that the more liberally minded of them wish to forget their blood lust (read: the 1990s) and save America from its imperial self. Good luck, since President Obama has taken up most of President Bush's security policies and has pushed for upping the ante in Afghanistan.

Gloat all you want, left-wing. The only reason you can push your programs and claim peace is that we fought for victory and attained it over your objections.



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