A poster at Jihad Watch recently summed up the conventional wisdom: “The truth is until the Iranians are dealt with it would be folly to move out of Iraq.”
That is exactly backwards. Tarbaby Iraq makes it far less likely the United States will intelligently deal with Iran. At this point, with the various Iranian agents going back and forth, it is clear that the American troops are hostages. Or rather, it is clear that American policy is being held hostage to Iran, which could retaliate against those troops that are in the midst of 27 million Muslims, and are in no condition to conduct a war against Iran from Iraqi soil. And this is something Iran knows very well.
Furthermore, even if the American government tries to use economic sanctions to get the Islamic Republic of Iran to finally stop its nuclear project, those sanctions will not work because Iran has greatly increased its trade — by 30% in the last year — with Iraq. It is all that American money that has been poured into Iraq that is used, in turn, to buy Iranian goods and is helping to keep Iran sufficiently prosperous so that it can afford to ride out — or thinks it can afford to ride out — sanctions.
In other words, the American presence in Iraq makes it far less likely that the Americans will be able to stop Iran’s rush to manufacture nuclear weapons for two reasons:
1) A policy that must necessarily end in attacks — not an “invasion” of Iran — on Iran’s nuclear facilities is now inhibited, and even held hostage, by the fact of about 150,000 American soldiers. Muslims who do not wish them well surround those soldiers. Many of those Muslims are either indifferent, or positively delighted, when those Americans are attacked and wounded or killed. If the Sunni Arabs have to date been the most dangerous, the Shi’a Arabs would, if Shi’a Iran is attacked, not think twice about attacking the Americans in their midst. And the American officers and men know this, and so does the Pentagon, and so must even that remarkably ignorant man, George Bush.
2) If plans for attacking Iran are inhibited by the American presence, as it is currently configured (if all those soldiers were in the desert, or in Kurdistan, and not spread out through the streets of Baghdad, that would be better, though still not nearly as good as removing them altogether), then that leaves economic sanctions. And as noted above, economic sanctions will not work if the Bush Administration keeps up this cockamamie idea of pouring still more American money into Iraq for what is politely called “reconstruction.” It should be called “construction,” for there wasn’t much to begin with.
In other words, while the Iraq policy makes at this point no sense, and hasn’t made any sense since the beginning of 2004, when the country had been scoured for weapons, and represents a squandering of men, money, and materiel on exactly the wrong goal, it is even worse than that.
Why? Because remaining in Iraq is not helping deal with Iran, but positively getting directly in the way.
This colossal error, this stupidity, cannot ever be forgiven. And those who refuse to attack it for the right reasons will not be forgiven either.
Meanwhile, I just ran across this from one of those “cut-and-run liberals” that loyalists of the crazed Iraq policy like to denounce because, as they repeat in their zombie-like way, “if we don’t fight them over there we’ll have to fight them over here.” Why? Because, you see, “they’ll follow us home.” Exactly how, on which particular airline and flight, or on what tramp steamer, they will “follow us home” is unclear, and also unclear is why those who talk about the need to keep “them” from “following us home” never discuss “those” (of “them”) who are already well-ensconced both in North America and in the countries of Western Europe. Nor do they discuss the conceivable connection between the deteriorating situation in Western Europe and the project of bringing peace, stability, prosperity, unity, and toys and good things to eat to the boys and girls on the other side of the Muslim mountain (the one that wouldn’t come to Muhammad, so he went to it), in the place called the Land of the Two Rivers, or Iraq.
Here is what that cut-and-runner wrote:
“…the number [of voters] displaying acquiescence, let alone enthusiasm, for more of the same[in Iraq]is approaching zero. Giuliani, while ferocious in his determination to defeat terrorists, distances himself from the Bush administration’s optimistic predictions.
I think there is a sense in the land that the Iraqi people are not doing their part. It’s true that Mr. al-Maliki has several times insisted on sharing the security burden more rigorously. And it is true that the Iraqi people are suffering mortally. The people who get killed every day by those insurgents are here and there an American soldier, an average of three per day. Mostly, though, the people who are getting killed are Iraqis. An estimated 1.8 million Iraqis have left their homes and fled the country, exiled by the war. One cannot count that less than a major sacrifice.
Yet Americans feel that the Iraqis’ sacrifice is disproportionately low, and the single reason for this is that it is also Iraqis who are causing the tribulation in which American soldiers are being wounded and killed. And there is no strategic plan, issuing from the White House, that apportions the sacrifice being made to goals being accomplished. There is no sense of the sun rising every day on freshly liberated soil.”
He doesn’t get to my point, the point about how sectarian and ethnic fissures are not to be worried about but welcomed, and the details of how, and why, and where that would help us that have been posted here, several hundred times, over the past three years.
But he does reveal, this crazed far left-wing cut-and-runner, who apparently is willing to let them “win” over there, and then “follow us home over here,” that he thinks the Iraq War is now folly.
The name of this far-left commentator?
William F. Buckley, Jr. of the Upper East Side, and Gstaad.