Victory in Iraq Must Be Achieved
- 6 October 2006 by Author 0 Comments
Victory in Iraq Must Be Achieved
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, 10/06/2006
Last week a portion of a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) was leaked to the New York Times. The leaked portion of the report, generated and made available to the President and members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees by the 16 intelligence services of the U.S., was just one line from that report. It stated, “The Iraq conflict has become the cause célèbre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world, cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.”
The media and certain members of Congress jumped all over this statement as confirmation of their predisposition against the conflict in Iraq. It also prompted the President, however, to release nearly four pages of that report so that those comments could be seen in context with the rest of the analysis.
The leaked statement is preceded with this frank observation: “We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives. Perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.” And the conclusion to the assessment on Iraq stated, “Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves and be perceived to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”
Several senators, Reid, Clinton, Levin, & Schumer held up the leaked statement as reason to change course in Iraq or withdraw altogether. Or as Congressman Murtha has said, deploy the troops to Okinawa, which must be a real hot-bed of terrorist activity if the Japanese are in need of them there! These legislators were not surprisingly silent the following day when the accompanying statements of the NIE were declassified in order for us to see the full context of the report.
The leaked portion of the analysis is obviously correct, as Islamic extremists have poured into the country from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, and Palestinian territory. Anyone with a grievance or a beef against the U.S. will find willing accomplices in striking against us. What is bothersome here, though, is the fact that they’re killing a lot more fellow Muslims than they are Americans or allies.
However, the rest of the report stresses the need to win in Iraq. The terrorists would be emboldened by a combatus interuptus policy that would remove our troops before the country is stabilized.
The current situation in Iraq can easily be compared to the elimination of a hornets nest. When approached improperly, as it appears much of the Iraq operation has been, things get really ugly before they get better. An angry and motivated swarm of hornets will put up a ferocious fight, until the nest is removed, the wasps lose.
The terrorists currently streaming into Iraq, are angry and motivated, but will lose their resolve when it is obvious they have lost their fight. Part of our problem is that there are certain elements within our own country who provide support and solace to them in their jihad by weakening the resolve of the American people to see a conflict brought to peaceful resolution. There is only one way a peaceful resolution can be achieved, and that is by being victorious!
Iraq is a dangerous place right now, but sometimes it helps to view a bigger picture from a relative perspective. The violent death rate in Iraq is 25.71 per 100,000. That may sound high, but not when you compare it to places like Colombia (61.7), South Africa (49.6), Jamaica (32.4), and Venezuela (31.6). How about the violent death rates in American cities? New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina was 53.1. FBI statistics for 2004-05 have Washington at 45.9, Baltimore at 37.7, and Atlanta at 34.9. All of a sudden the Iraq conundrum doesn’t look quite so insurmountable.
Recall Osama Bin Laden’s interview with ABC in May, 1998 where he said, regarding the U.S. withdrawal from Somalia, “Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower… they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled… After a few blows, [America] rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered.”
If our withdrawal from Somalia emboldened Bin Laden, imagine how the whole Islamic world will respond if Iraq is abandoned prematurely? President Bush has consistently said we will stay until we win. That is the kind of resolve we had in all of the wars we have won.
The only way to peace is through victory. It succeeds every time it’s tried!
Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at email@example.com.