Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another 60 Iraqis killed today in violence

And another 200 wounded in Baghdad and Kirkuk, and more than 40,000 have died since the war began. I take no solace in this. I do not enjoy the deaths of innocent people. I do not believe that when Iraqi civilians die that it is a good thing.
More than 2,500 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began. I take no solace in this. I do not enjoy the deaths of American soldiers. I do not believe that when American soldiers die that it is a good thing.

Wars are costly and brutal. There has never been a war without violence, destruction, and death. The US started this war, and regardless of the situations, excuses, reasoning, or logic behind the invasion, the US started this war. We used bad intel, bad assumptions, bad reasoning, and bad troop deployment. But, the US started this war. We invaded a country, we took over the country, we took down the Iraqi Army, we took down the Iraqi Police, we took down the Iraqi Government, and we took down the Iraqi Bureaucracy. We have made a mess in Iraq and that mess threatens to destabilize the entire Middle Eastern region, if not the world. Our soldiers are in Iraq so we can do virtually nothing in Iran. Our soldiers are in Iraq so we can do virtually nothing in North Korea. Our soldiers are in Iraq so we can do virtually nothing in Afghanistan. The US has created a situation in Iraq the likes of which may have never been seen before.

This is not Vietnam. The US knew if they withdrew the communist government of North Vietnam would come in and take over. This is not North Korea. The US government knew if they withdrew the communist government of North Korea would come in and take over.
On the first one, we withdrew and Vietnam went communist, millions in the South suffered, and Vietnam has been a third-world country ever since. On the second one, we did not withdraw instead signing a Peace Treaty and South Korea is a modern, industrial world power while North Korea has remained a third-world country with a hereditary rule crazed dictatorship. But, we don’t have the same options in Iraq, there is no communist regime waiting to take over Iraq if we leave. There is also no Theocracy waiting to take over Iraq if we leave. If the US soldiers leave there is nothing but Civil War and millions will die until either the Sunni or Shiite destroy one another before turning their guns on the Kurds, or another strong man enters to take over the entire country and rule with an Iron Fist as Saddam did.

Perhaps there is no hope for Iraq. But, I am tired of hearing on blogs about the number of casualties and deaths that have occurred in Iraq as if posting them will suddenly make the war go away. I am tired of hearing the war being blamed on President Bush as if he were to leave office tomorrow that suddenly the war would be over and there would be peace in Iraq. I am tired of the fighting and arguing over how or why we got into war and how bad the war is and how bad the war is going. THIS SOLVES NOTHING. You can not wish this war away, it is not going away, and it might not get any easier or any better anytime soon.

Both sides of this argument are wrong. Those on the Right who argue for staying the course are wrong because staying the course is not working. Those on the Right who argue that Iraq isn’t any more violent than the streets of the US are wrong
And those on the Left who argue for troop withdrawal are wrong because without those soldiers there, there will be civil war and it will involve all the Middle Eastern religious sects. World War III could very well start with the Iraq War. And those on the Left who keep talking about impeaching a President for getting us into Iraq are wrong because removing him does not remove the violence.

Neither side is offering any viable alternatives. The UN can’t fight a war, stop a war, or even prevent countries from gaining the nuclear material to use in a war. There needs to be more boots on the ground but no one is offering. The Sunnis and Shiites are going to continue to kill each other until Iraq has a government, police force, and army that can stop them. But, this is not going to happen over night nor anytime soon. So we can stay the course and pray for the best or we can withdraw our troops and pray for the best, but prayers are not going to solve this conflict. It is time we stopped arguing about why we got into the war, who sent us off to war, who supports the war, when soldiers will come home, or if wanting troop withdraw is “Un-American” and “cut and run,” and instead we need to be talking about how we are going to prevent civil war in Iraq and how we are going to have a government there that can stop the killing. The US is not good at nation building. The UK is no good at nation building. The UN is not good at nation building. A nation is only good at building its own nation.

So if you don’t have a solution other than troop withdraw, than keep it to yourself. If you don’t have a solution other than calling the other side Un-American, than keep it to yourself. Perhaps if the people stop arguing about the trivial than maybe our government will stop arguing about it as well. It shouldn’t be about whether you are for the war or against the war, it should be about how we are going to end this war, and then the Iraqis won’t still be dying and then our soldiers won’t still be dying, and then you can tell me all about how many American soldiers have come home in the past month.

Stop spending you time looking for someone or something to blame and instead spend your time on finding a way to end this violence.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Publius, I can only say "Damn Straight" to this post. YOu've hit the nail on the head...even on some points that I am probably guilty of myself. Good job.

Mon Jul 24, 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

Yeah but it seems that few are listening. I was watching CNN and they were talking about the Lieberman campaign and it seems the only issue involved in the campaign is the War in Iraq, not solutions to the war but whether or not Democrats will vote for Lieberman because he supports the war and his opponent does not.

That is just stupid. No one should vote for anyone who does not support the war, but they also shouldn’t vote for anyone who doesn’t have a solution to the war and can only discuss if the war is right or wrong – we are past that question now.

Tue Jul 25, 01:06:00 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

The war can and should be ended, just as soon as Islamofacism is wiped off the map.

THAT is the only way to solve the problem.

Tue Jul 25, 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger one more patriot said...

Very good post. Made me think.

Tue Jul 25, 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

Right. Wipe 'em all off the map. THAT'S a plan we can all understand.

Tue Jul 25, 10:50:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

This is sort of an off-topic point, but isn’t it possible that a Civil War in Iraq might very well wipe off one of the Muslim sects off the map? Look at where Sunnis are the majority and where Shiites are the majority and then think about who has all the weapons. Example: Shiite Iran backs the Shiites Iraqis in wiping out the minority Sunni population in Iraq thus creating the only two Shiite controlled countries in the region. They then can turn their attention on the Kurds in Iraq and from there Sunni Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and finally Egypt. Looking at the religious sects, it would appear that Radical Islam is not the US problem in the area but the Shiites.

Tue Jul 25, 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger Wadical said...

The problem is Islam itself. Islam is violent. Anyone who disagrees should take the time to educate themselves before they regurgitate the same 'ol "religion of peace" BS that is so popular with the multicultural, "can't we all just hug and get along" leftist media and celebrities who have no clue about the ramifications of shoving two completely different and mortal enemies together and saying, "work it out."

The only things that Sunnis and Shiites agree upon, it seems, is that they both hate us and they both hate each other. It's been that way since the schism and as long as they are allowed to entertain the concept of having a government, albeit democratic, that is influenced by this violent and contradictory religion, it will remain that way. Americans, indeed any western democracy, are the absolute last ones who would have any chance of changing that fact.

I agree that what we're doing in Iraq is inefficient and amounts to, at best, treading water. I also agree that total withdrawl would be a counterproductive step backwards and would eventually render the deaths of every American and Iraqi since the war began as pointless and in vain. What's the answer? Well that's the question of all questions isn't it? It certainly appears as though this is a question without an answer and that the problem is a problem unto itself.

My immediate worry is that our current state of overextension will render us incapable of effectively confronting other, seemingly imminent, threats (ie DPRK, Iran, China looming over Taiwan...the list goes on). Daily headlines would seem to indicate that WWIII is rapidly approaching and our troop commitment to Iraq and Afghanistan might well prove to be our undoing.

Wed Jul 26, 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

I would offer this solution in Iraq: seal off the borders with Iran and Syria to make sure no more weapons or terrorists are getting in; this would be a lot easier than the Afghanistan and Pakistan border. Then take away the right, if there is one, for citizens in Iraq to own firearms of any kind; most European nations and Mexico don’t have a Second Amendment. There are too many guns and too many violent people over there and we could cut down on the violence if they are left with sticks and rocks instead of AK-47s. Sure, they would still have explosives, but there is a finite amount of explosives they can get their hands on if it is no longer coming in from Iran and Syria.

Oh and if any gun-lobby idiot has a problem with us taking away their guns, I say the government put them on a plane and drop them off in the middle of Baghdad with all the guns they want and see how long they survive.

Thu Jul 27, 04:23:00 AM  
Blogger Wadical said...

I'm not sure how to respond to that except to say, were I the peaceful, law abiding citizen in Iraq who owned a gun for self protection, I'd be hard pressed to voluntarily surrender it. I think confiscating all of the guns would be an impossible task. As impossible as it is here. It's not like the terrorists would line up at the collection point with their weapons on safe, ready to surrender them.

I agree that sealing those borders should be of the highest much so that it's almost an elementary concept. It simply must be done if we hope to gain any advantage. How we locate and destroy all of the, that's one for the experts.

I think progress could be made with the greater use of surveillance cameras in the streets, but even that has a minimal hope of significantly impacting the amount of IED's encountered on a daily basis, and it is a fact that these devices kill exponentially more American troops than any amount of gunfire that's encountered there. Fact is, we routinely dominate a firefight with overwhelming superiority. They don't want to shoot at us. They want to set a bomb and walk away and wait for us to trip over it, or convince some poor idiot that he's got leagues of virgins waiting for him on the other side if he'd only blow himself up.

I also think that the amount of military patrols in the streets could be cut back, drastically reducing the exposure of our troops to these devices, and the military could be more centrally located in what could be multiple secure "Green Zones" throughout the country that surround the national and local government institutions. We could gradually shift from a peace keeping occupier to a force that ensures that the Iraqi government remains protected and functioning. And then properly train and equip the Iraqi police and send them out to secure their own streets. There would be less contact with American soldiers in the streets and perhaps we'd appear as less intrusive into the lives of the ordinary Iraqi citizens.

Or, this violence could be a hopeless, snowballing nightmare that will never end. We could very well be in a lose, lose situation. But it beats doing the same thing day in and day out and getting GI's bagged tagged and shipped home in boxes.

Thu Jul 27, 11:42:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Well my thoughts were that there is no voluntary give-back of weapons, the military both US and Iraqi just take them, including any weapons caches. Right now there are a lot of Iraqi who are being killed by roving militias and not just by explosive devices. Like I said, there is a finite amount of explosives the terrorists can use if we seal off the border and don’t let anymore in and we find what is out there and take it away. At which time anyone carrying a weapon and not in uniform but wearing a scarf over their face or a mask will be considered a terrorist and dangerous and treated accordingly. The Iraqis with guns to protect themselves are not carrying AK-47s and they are not going out covering their faces; those are the terrorists and if we make it easier to sport them, then the quicker we can get rid of them.

Fri Jul 28, 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

Wow. I'm upset to know that the Muslims I actually KNOW really hate me.

We'll have to talk about this the next time we get together, as we are sometimes known to do.

After we hug, of course.

Good grief.

Wed Aug 02, 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

QD, I think I am missing something here in your post.

Thu Aug 03, 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger quakerdave said...

At one point here,"wadical" seems to be expressing the idea that "the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim," or some such stuff.

I would not-so-wespectfully disagwee, sarcastically, of course. If he's not saying that, I'd like him to clarify, as I missed something myself, I guess.

I have no beef with your arguments here, publius. Just his.

Thu Aug 03, 10:48:00 PM  

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