Not A Clue

I've listened to the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker as they addressed both the House and Senate committees. I've listened to the questions and statements of the Representatives and Senators grilling them about Iraq. I've read the various editorials in the papers and on the Web and listened to the 'learned' pundits giving forth their viewpoints and wisdom on radio and TV.

After all of this, and then pondering what I've heard and read, I've come to a conclusion that, quite frankly, leaves me dismayed:

Far too many people in our government, as well as those that blindly follow the radical leftist dogma, haven't got a friggin' clue as to what's truly important.

I keep thinking about how often we have heard that the American people are impatient and want things like the war in Iraq to be finished quickly. But that always makes me wonder of we truly have become a nation filled with people suffering from a short attention span, always expecting every problem to be solved in an hour (excluding the commercials, of course).

As much as it seems we have become like that, I'd like to believe it isn't so.

I don't know of anyone who believed that, as we started the campaign against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and then against Saddam in Iraq, that it would be something that we could finish in a few weeks or months, and then come home. Yes, we were victorious against the military forces in both countries in a relatively short time, but I knew that these victories would be the beginning of our mission, not the end. So did most of the people planning these campaigns, both in the White House and the Pentagon, and those actually putting their lives on the line.

Some things we did poorly, such as the post-war administration of Iraq. A lot of mistakes were made and both our military personnel and Iraqi civilians have paid the price. We tried to build a government from the top down when we should have done it from the bottom up. It took us a while to learn that and to change our strategies to accomplish it. But just as we seem to be turning things around and finally making some headway into bringing some security and stability to Iraq, the folks in Congress want us to cut and run, leaving the job unfinished.

If we do that, I can guarantee we will have to go back at some point and, because we left the job undone, will have to spend a lot more blood and treasure to put things right. Except that this time we will have to kill a lot more people and, in turn, a lot more of our people will die because of it.

To quote former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, “We broke Iraq. It's up to us to fix it.”

I couldn't agree more. Better that we fix it now while we are already there rather than come back some years down the road to fix a problem that will have grown to many times the size it is now. Like the tag line in the old Fram commercials said, “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” Later always costs more. Much more.

Should those espousing cut-and-run win the day, we will indeed pay a much higher price than we might have otherwise. The Iraqis will pay an even higher price, making the days of Saddam's brutal dictatorship seem like a paradise in comparison. We cannot in good conscience do that. (We did that once about thirty years ago, and the price was far too high...but then those who died when we did that were merely little brown people that the cut-and-run folks didn't see as real and therefore not worthy of their support or compassion.)

Let us not make the same mistake again.

[/disjointed rant]

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