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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Murtha Wants Out Now Or later Or Sometime

Interesting that, after Murtha's impassioned plea to "redeploy" troops from Iraq with Nancy Pelosi seconding the sentiment, a vote in the House resulted in a 404-3 decision to remain in Iraq. Murtha and Pelosi voted to stay! Huh?

Did not Murtha just state:

It is evident that continued military action in Iraq is not in the best interest of the United States of America, the Iraqi people or the Persian Gulf region.

As Polipundit wonders, if you feel that a withdrawal is in the best interests of the United States, then how can you vote to remain in Iraq? Polipundit asks: is it not your patriotic duty to do everything you can to enable that course of action?...Patriots do what they think is right for their country.

While I try to avoid offering pejoratives as my reason on any political issue, I can question the political motivations where reasons are not provided. However, both sides need to quit the name-calling and look at the issue clearly.

Basically, those demanding troops be removed from Iraq in full-scale withdrawal are advocating an extreme form of retreat. Retreat is not a bad strategy in war. It is often necessary. So is surrender. However, the reasoning behind using such a tactic has been poorly explained by the Murtha's and the Democrats. Other than saving soldier's lives immediately, should not the withdrawal proponents admit there are costs for such actions? They harp on the costs of war as if that was not to be expected. We hear about the supposed "lies" in the run-up to the war. The run-up is for political analysts to write about. The deaths are to be expected in any armed conflict. I prefer reading military historians like Victor Davis Hanson for a factual perspective of War's costs.

But have there been any gains by the endeavor? If we continue why will the world be a better place for America? From the Left the answer is always "No". Failing to recognize the potential benefits, their arguments lack breadth. And that is why they have no credibility, though they may be proposing a correct tactic for US interests.

The downside of leaving now is that the Iraqis appear very close to self-sufficiency in running their country and defending themselves. Why leave when they are on the precipice of autonomy? The "insurgents" look quite desperate at this point. Why end the attack now when they can be severely, if not fatally, defeated? Are the "insurgents" different people from those who were involved in 9-11 or the aftermath jihad we have seen world-wide? They have taken credit in numerous incidents. Why should they be given slack now at their hour of peril? Or does continuing this war enhance the Islamist position strategically and in the hearts and minds of fellow Muslims?

It is like analyzing the issue of tax cuts. Will there be a drop in revenue? If so, is it a reasonable trade-off for sustaining growth and employment?

It is like analyzing high government spending. Are the expenditures of such benefit that the budget deficit created is worth handling long term?

It is like analyzing what clothes to wear today? Is it appropriate for the day's activities? Does it make my butt look too big?

Failing to provide reasons for withdrawing right now tells me such withdrawal proponents have little justification for such an option. I believe we are seeing political gamesmanship by many (in both parties) and honest emotions from the rest in the anti-war camp. But until the withdrawal proponents can articulate the cost-benefit analysis of withdrawing, most Americans will remain supportive of remaining in Iraq.

While John Kerry has voted for the Iraq invasion and then voted against it months later, and that is acceptable for nuanced intellects to do, I guess that within days of giving press conferences claiming that withdrawal is the right thing to do, you can also change your mind.

Or is this just politics.


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