I am an Iraqi. To me the possible consequences of this vote are terrifying. Just as we began to see signs of progress in my country the Democrats come and say, ‘Well, it’s not worth it.Time to leave’.
To the Democrats my life and the lives of twenty-five other million Iraqis are evidently not worth trying for. They shouldn’t expect us to be grateful for this.
For four years everybody made mistakes. The administration made mistakes and admitted them. My people and leaders made mistakes as well and we regret them.
But now, in the last two months, we have had a fresh start; a new strategy with new ideas and tactics. These were reached after studying previous mistakes and were designed to reverse the setbacks we witnessed in the course of this war.
This strategy, although its tools are not yet even fully deployed, is showing promising signs of progress.
General Petraeus said yesterday that things will get tougher before they get easier in Iraq. This is the sort of of fact-based, realistic assessment of the situation which politicians should listen to when they discuss the war thousands of miles away.
We must give this effort the chance it deserves. We should provide all the support necessary. We should heed constructive critique, not the empty rhetoric that the ‘war is lost.’
It is not lost. Quitting is not an option we can afford—not in America and definitely not in Iraq.
For the Democrats, this has nothing to do with Iraq. The Democrats don’t know much about Iraq, and as we’ve seen from Senator Reid’s disturbing comments, they don’t really want to learn anything. General Petraeus’ comments are irrelevant to them. Whether Iraq is going well, badly, or somewhere in between the only constant in the Democratic universe is the expansion of their political power. The constant vicious attacks on the President, the shadow foreign-policy grandstanding, the cowardice on Iraq, all of it is purely about appealing to a domestic audience. It is all about one thing and one thing only: the naked ambition for political power.
If America loses, the Democrats “win.” That is why the Democrats want American to lose in Iraq. That is why they want to force a withdrawal. It’s not about what’s best for the country — there’s no rational argument that handing al-Qaeda the greatest victory in their existence is in any way a win for America. It’s purely about taking down the Bush Administration and getting Democrats into power. What the consequences would be for the people of Iraq is irrelevant to Democratic policymaking — the Iraqis don’t vote, so their voices are irrelevant.
The truth is, at this point, both Iraqi and American democracy are deeply troubled. Both are rife with blind faction, both involve parties whose nakedly self-serving aims would tear both countries apart. Iraq is building a civil society. The United States is tearing its apart. The Iraqis are struggling to find freedom, while we Americans take it for granted. The trendlines are disturbing for both.
We got the Iraqi people involved in this war — and Senator Reid cannot cowardly walk away from his own choices. To run away and leave the Iraqis to their fates is the act of an arrogant and self-obsessed power. It is a political, tactical, and moral abomination. It is an act of cowardice. How dare we consider leaving 25 million people in the hands of the deranged few for our own political calculus. Should we engage in such a foolish act, the blood of every Iraqi slaughtered in the inevitable bloodbath to follow will be on all of our hands — especially those who voted to authorize this conflict, Republican and Democrat alike.
There was a time when America was the ally of democracy worldwide, when we stood strongly for our friends, and when the thought of abandoning our allies was unthinkable. If that is no longer the case, then we are living our borrowed time. Our democratic values are worth nothing if we are unwilling to stand up for them wherever they may be challenged. If we believe in a code of universal human rights, how can we say that the Iraqis are undeserving of them? If we pull out of Iraq, how can we then argue for intervening in Darfur? After all, if America will never take sides in a civil war, what business is it of ours that black Africans are being raped and murdered by the Arab janjaweed militias?
The Democrats aren’t asking the hard question — all they seem to want is political victory in 2008. Of course, if they win through such reprehensible means, all they will have is power — the moral authority that used to come with being a leader in America will have been sold out.