Well, It's a New Day...
The elections are over and as I’ve felt after so many other elections before this one, I don’t feel that much different other than to say I’m a little bit more hopeful about our future Iraq policy, driven primarily by the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. I’m even glad that the elections were what made it happen. I’m also glad that we won’t have to hear the GOP talk about ID, stem cell research funding bans, Terri Schivo, gay marriage, etc… all of which they had wrong. The new Democrats should remember this as they move their stuff into their new offices: While I may not have voted for them, they still nonetheless represent ME. Something those they replaced did a poor job of.
The sole issue that has thrown my vote towards the GOP for so long is that of our national security and with the recent Democratic victories, they now have a whole lot to prove. I am deeply concerned about the Democrats ability to comprehend our enemy since so many Democrats I know personally seem so clueless as to their true nature. They just don’t understand the determination and inflexibility of a religious zealot and the dangers their societies produce. They seem to think that there is some diplomatic tactic that doesn’t include the threat of force that will somehow magically smooth the way towards peaceful coexistance. They are wrong. Islamic fundamentalism is a cancer, a cancer that needs aggressive treatment, not touchy feely band-aids. A society build on religious fueled hate of non-believers is not to be negotiated with. If Bill Clinton’s failed North Korean policy teaches us anything, it’s that our ENEMY is not to be trusted, and Kim’s game is socio-political vs theocratic (note: I was a proponent of the Clinton/Carter nuke accords and hoped they would ultimately succeed, but the bastard went ahead and build them in secret anyway).
We do not have the luxury of having the Democrats learn this hard truth the hard way with our troops deployed across the line from the enemy. There is NO appeasement option to the war on terror. It sucks that we have to fight this war and that soldiers have/will die, but fight we must. I will wait with the patience of Jobe for the new house and senate to show signs they understand the fight we’re in and hope they can see past their partisanship and naivety to provide the protection our country needs at this time.
The most overused phrase which held the most truth this election season: It’s all about Iraq (it certainly was for me). On this, at least to some degree, the Rumsfeld move is a win. As for the current situation in Iraq, it would appear that everybody got it wrong, some more than others. Those who thought we’d be welcome with open arms got it wrong, as did those who thought the U.S. is and has been the Iraqi peoples public enemy one got it wrong, even those who thought that the idea of a protracted war was something all Iraqi’s would want to avoid after having suffered so badly under a despot for 50 years (I include myself in the last classification). Nope, it turns out that Iraqi’s hate each other more than the desire for peace. They seem driven to carry out revenge on each other more than live prosperously. In many ways I don’t blame them, on the other hand standing back and letting them kill each other is not a very attractive option either.
I’ve always thought it strange that during debates over the future of Iraq for the last couple of years, specifically speculating on results of all out civil war, that I would hear and (continue to hear) the notion of a three way confederation of Iraq states as an option. To this I say, “What dope are you smoking?”. I finally found at least one guy who agrees that if an all out civil war were to be fought in Iraq there would be but two survivors: The Kurds and the Shia. The Sunni’s would be dispatched within a year (again, if the Sunni’s had killed 30 plus members of my family during Saddam’s reign I’d probably line up for a rifle of my own too). But alas, this is NOT a desirable state either.
Having said all that, and with all the news of late I am prepared to fully endorse Fareed Zakaria’s policy 110%. I beg any and all of you to read it. Fareed Zakaria has always told it like it was from the beginning when it comes to the war in Iraq. He has shared my optimism and my disappointment, but he now offers the best solutions and policy I’ve read in the last 160 days of trolling poli-blogs from the left and right.
The Shia dominated Iraqi government MUST begin to offer a contrition path to the Sunni’s and funnel some desperately needed construction money towards the Anbar providence. The oil revenue must be shared. At some point, there MUST be amnesty for all, otherwise complete ethnic cleansing will be the sure result. The Sunni’s MUST realize that coalition forces are the ONLY thing keeping them from being buried in big pits in the desert much like their former leader used to do to others on a regular basis, that we offer them the ONLY choice to remaining alive in Iraq, much less a political power of any concern (Zakaria indicates that this is sinking in to some degree with the Sunni’s already). The U.S. and the U.K. must make this these equity positions fundemental to continued troop/money support.
Bottom line is that Iraq will not turn out like anyone would have wanted, including me, but there are severe consequences to not doing the right thing going forward. With the new players on Capital Hill and with a new Secretary of Defense on board my sincerest hope is for a plan like Mr. Zakaria’s be given serious consideration.
As far as the rest of the election hoopla goes, I think my man John Cole says it best here.