Supporting the Troop Surge Is About National Security


By: Robert E. Meyer

Unless you are Rip Van Winkle, you now know that President Bush wants to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq.

Personally, I would have felt better if the president had come to this conclusion a bit sooner. However his rational for doing this makes sense to me: there wasn’t enough troops to secure the areas that were cleaned out by our soldiers, so terrorists moved back in once the soldiers moved on to another area. Now we will secure those areas.

Alright, count me in as a supporter of the plan.

The Democrats now say that we should begin a phased withdrawal in order to force the Iraqis to get serious about training their own troops and taking responsibility for their own security. They don’t want us to be a participating referee in a religious civil war.

It all seems reasonable at first glance. Then I remembered that it wasn’t long ago when many of the same Democrats dissenting against the plan were the “hard realists” who said that we needed more troops. So what changed other then Bush’s tactical reversal and principle support for that plan?

So it’s the same old game; one where the president says “vice-versa,” the democratic leadership says “verse-vice,” or pronounces the word “tomato” differently than Bush by political design.

To show that they are people with the energy of their convictions, the democratic leadership has decided to back a non-binding resolution against the president’s plan.

It’s the past repeating itself all over again. Many Democrats voted with Bush to authorize the deposing of Hussein before the 2002 mid term elections. Left to their designs, these Democrats might have voted differently, but the tide of the American people was against them then, and they didn’t want to lose congressional seats by failing to support a popular military action.

Things haven’t changed much at all. A non-binding resolution–what’s that? It’s like keeping a guard dog tethered on a 10-foot chain in the back yard, in order to keep prowlers from breaking in through the front on the house. The dog barks and barks, but can’t bite.

The Democrats hope to appease the most left-leaning constituents within their base by wagging their collective fingers at the president. If the Democrats thought this idea were a winning strategy, then they would stop funding the Iraq campaign completely. Of course that would be a euphemism for abandoning the troops already there, and undermine the dDmocrats hard-fought for reputation that “they are patriotic too.” Apparently, even liberal politicians learned something politically useful from the aftermath of pulling out of Vietnam.

I would like to think we as a country have matured from the infantile society that spat on its soldiers, and called them “baby-killers” when they returned from Southeast Asia over three decades ago. Even abortion doctors seldom suffer such abuse and name-calling.

Non-binding resolutions are meaningless and gutless–politics at their most irrelevant level.

Apparently the New Mexico State Legislature is going to vote on a symbolic resolution to impeach Bush over Iraq. What a childish and senseless action. As the liberals often complain, let’s move on to substantive issues, rather than engage in political jousting over ideological issues that are divisive and polarizing.

The real problem is that the people who are reflexively opposed to the Iraq policy, haven’t given careful thought to what will happen if we pull our troops out without the victory of stabilizing that country. Yes, the Iraqi government must take more responsibility, but we can’t just abandon that situation because we are unhappy about the slow progress being made in training Iraqi security forces.

Those who question military strategy on the basis of whether this or that leader has sons or daughters in the theater of conflict are among the worst political propagandists. A leader has to have the fortitude to make unpopular decisions that can result in tragedy for some citizens in order to preserve national liberty for all.

I still see “letters to the editor” nearly every week that declare the president lied about Iraq—probably from the same ideological brethren who said that gas prices would go up substantially after the November elections.

This isn’t Vietnam, were we could pull out without worrying about whether the insurgents would follow us back to our shores. If I didn’t honestly see that this was ultimately an issue of national security, I might agree with those who want to pull out. Those favoring a “redeployment” of troops either ignore, or don’t understand that possibility.

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