It appears now that the official position of the Democratic Party on the war is one of immediate surrender. The defeat of Joe Lieberman is only the start, the moderate Democrats are being warned to fall in line. Should the Democrats take power, it seems likely that a US abandonment of Iraq will be close to a fait accompli.
However, I ask Democrats who favor an immediate withdrawal to consider the consequences of such an action, both to the United States and to Iraq. Taking a rational look at the situation quickly shows why such a course would be devastating:
Osama bin Laden boasted that when people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they admire the strong and deride the weak. What message would we send to groups like al-Qaeda by leaving Iraq? No one can make a serious argument that a withdrawal from Iraq would be anything less than handing al-Qaeda the greatest victory in their history – in fact it would be the greatest victory the jihadi movement has ever achieved. If terrorists can take down the largest and best-trained army in the world, it will prove to them that they are unstoppable.
Basic psychology tells us that people are more apt to support a winning team than a losing one. After years of defeats, a withdrawal from Iraq would make al-Qaeda larger than the world’s largest superpower. No one who cares about the future of this country can stomach such an outcome.
A withdrawal would ensure that the Iranian backed agents who have already infiltrated Iraq would have free reign of the place. At best we’d see a continuance of the current level of violence. More likely, Iraq would descend into a level of conflict that woudl make the current state of affairs seem tame.
Again, I ask supporters of a US withdrawal: what happens then? Does anyone have a rational basis for belief that the situation in Iraq would get better? What happens to the millions of Iraqs who would be caught in the crossfire? The Iraqi women whose already tenous grip on freedom would be irrecoverably lost? The children whose only shot at a decent life would be destroyed? Does the left really care about them – and if they claim to do so, what are they doing to see to it that nightmare scenario doesn’t play out?
I don’t think that the pro-withdrawal side has thought these issues through. I don’t think they have the intellectual honesty to do so. At worst, I don’t think they care. This is all about temporal and pissant partisan politics – taking George W. Bush down even if it results in increased terrorism and an Iraq that is awash in the blood of millions.
Until the pro-withdrawal side can come up with some serious answers to what the world would be like if we left Iraq to be torn apart, then they cannot be trusted to lead.
If we do withdraw from Iraq, if we do allow anarchy to sweep up that country, then the results of that humanitarian catastrophe – one that is all but certain to kill far more than have died in the current post-war period – is on their hands. Then again, do some, what is the blood of a few hundred thousand Iraqis compared to the more important task of winning elections?