By: Jeremiah Puder
Last week, H.R. 2956, the so-called "Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act" passed in the House of Representatives to the delight of Nancy Pelosi and the anti-Iraq War crowd. That any Americans, let alone our supposed leaders, could relish in what is essentially a national humiliation, declaration of defeat and likely national security disaster is incomprehensible and unacceptable.
There is no doubt that Iraq is a mess. But in their blind hatred of George W. Bush, the Democratic Party and the wider left has come to view the Iraq War as indistinguishable and indivisible from the persona and legacy of the president. In their view, failure, humiliation, and defeat in Iraq will be regarded as essentially and primarily a defeat and reprobation for Bush and all he represents and therefore a good thing for Democratic and liberal political and ideological purposes.
To justify their agenda, the anti-war partisans have maintained that the war was ill conceived, illegal, initiated under intentionally false pretenses and terribly mismanaged. They claim that Iraq had, and has, absolutely nothing to do with the Global War on Terror and that oil was the primary motivation for invasion and occupation.
Even if all of these suppositions and accusations are true, it doesn't matter at this point. These issues and arguments are purely abstract and utterly counterproductive to addressing the issues in front of us right now.
The reality is that Islamic extremism has chosen Iraq as the primary battlefront in its war against the United States. While the anti-war left may not want to acknowledge that Iraq is now the primary battleground in the Global War on Terror, the level of carnage and death there somberly attests to this inconvenient truth.
But if the anti-war left opposes fighting the terrorists in Iraq, where do they propose we fight them? Would it be preferable to fight the terrorists in the cities, suburbs, malls and schools of the United States?
Whether intentional or not, the ongoing benefit of the Iraq War is that the terrorists have decided to direct their primary efforts against our military forces in Iraq and not against our defenseless civilians.
Those in favor of exit strategies in lieu of attaining success and victory in Iraq are blindly committing the age-old sin of naively projecting their own hopes, values, and assumptions onto the enemy. For supporters of H.R. 2956, the plan to "responsibly redeploy" out of Iraq seems eminently rational and responsible. In their view the pullout is not an indication of defeat but simply a means of extrication from a doomed and irresolvable situation.
However, the radical Islamic world will undoubtedly not view the "responsible redeployment" as the armchair generals on Capitol Hill have attempted to spin it.
For a forecast of what is potentially in store if the anti-war left has its way, the Israeli "redeployments" out of Lebanon and Gaza provide ample warning. In both Israeli cases, Hezbollah, Hamas and the wider Islamic world triumphantly hailed what seemed to be positive, constructive steps toward peace as a victory and vindication of terrorism and violence.
More tangibly, through their perception of Israel's apparent weakness, Hezbollah and Hamas were sufficiently emboldened to initiate much wider and ambitious conflicts with Israel last summer.
Is there any reason to believe that the implementation of H.R. 2956 will have a different effect on the radical militant Islamic elements and insurgency in Iraq? If the U.S. ignominiously pulls out of Iraq, won't these elements likely claim victory over the U.S.?
But so what if the terrorists claim victory Iraq? If we are gone from Iraq, the Islamic fanatics will no longer have a reason to hate us.
Many anti-war partisans in Congress and elsewhere would have us believe that Iraq is the causus belli for radical Islam's jihad against America. They would have us forget the previous four decades worth of Arab and Muslim terrorism and the 9/11 attacks, which were launched well before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
But once America is voluntarily chased out of Iraq, what will prevent the victorious insurgents and terrorists from directing their blood lust and hatred onto American soil?
Withdrawing our military from Iraq from a position of weakness will only serve to offer the enemy a triumphant victory and would release hundreds, if not thousands, of hardened, experienced, fanatical, bloodthirsty Islamic terrorists to strike the United States homeland and American interests elsewhere around the world.
At least when U.S. politicians gave up on Vietnam, Americans did not have to worry about the possibility of Viet Cong homicide bombers slipping into the country to blow up Americans on American soil once we evacuated that Southeast Asia.
The bottom line is that despite the legitimate questions regarding the management of the Iraq conflict - and whether one accepts or rejects our reasons for being there or the justifications that were initially provided - it is the United States of America, not George W. Bush, that will ultimately suffer the consequences of defeat.
Bush will be back on the ranch in less than two years, well protected by the Secret Service. But beyond the impact to his legacy, the disastrous consequences of disgracefully and prematurely cutting and running from Iraq will likely be borne by the rest of us - and perhaps by our children as well.
H.R. 2956 and the anti-war agenda it represents could possibly be the most shortsighted and self-destructive political initiative in American history. The consequences of H.R. 2956 to national security far outweigh the left's insatiable hunger for wreaking vengeance on Bush and putting a Democrat in the White House.
Jeremiah Puder is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of the American Military University specializing in intelligence, military and foreign affairs.
25 July 2007
By: Jeremiah Puder