The National Whig

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Friday, April 20, 2007

What if Harry Reid is Correct?

Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the Democrat majority leader, stated this week that the war in Iraq is lost and that these sentiments are shared by the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense. Everyone on the Conservative side of the aisle immediately went after him for being a defeatist, wanting to surrender to the enemy and giving useful propoganda to the likes of al Qaeda. But what if Senator Reid has a slight point? What if, for whatever reason, the operation in Iraq is not winnable?

I am not a fan of the Democrat Party, nor their particular brand of liberalism. Frankly, I view these people as detrimental to the United States of America. But every now and then they say things that can have a serious point, though not necessarily the point they would like to make. Senator Reid is correct in that the Iraq situation needs to be completely reexamined and the troops there need to be redeployed. But we need not abandon the country all together. What the US needs to be doing is fighting this from a clandestine stance. We need to hone our skills in penetrating terrorist cells and organizations, and what better place to do so then in Iraq? It has been said numerous times that Iraq is the new live-fire-training ground for jihadists. Well, we need not sit on the sidelines while they get to hone their skills. We could also take this opportunity to learn how to defeat them and exploit their weaknesses.

Pulling out now and leaving the scene would not be a total wash in the overall War on Terror. The jihadists would not be able to plan, fund and launch attacks against the mainland US tomorrow or even by the end of Spring. Attacks on the scale of 9/11 take time to empliment. Our air power could still be a force in Iraq on the chance that the terrorists begin to build new training camps like the ones they had in Afghanistan. Within Iraq, there is no real safe place to do this. Once we get word that they are building a camp, we could immediately bomb that facility to oblivion.

Pulling the overwhelming American presence out of Baghdad would possibly give us an actual advantage in recruiting people for penetration operations of cells within Iraq. Take al Qaeda for instance, a Sunni organization, as a great example of a ripe target. The Sunni population in Baghdad is not all rotten to core and, as such, we could begin locating and grooming individuals for service in the War on Terror. The same goes for the Shia community, but with greater expectations. With Iraqi Shias, the US could attempt to penetrate Iran and cause them great discomfort in that region.

The bottom line is, using solely military forces in Iraq is causing more strife for the US in the Middle East than anything prior to 9/11. Our attempts to create change in that region via the military has been lost due to lost momentum. We went into Iraq with the hopes of sending ripples of democracy throughout the Middle East and, when that did not materialize, instead of continuing to march to other possible targest--i.e. Syria or Iran--we sat in the sands of Iraq and became a huge, stationary target for the jihadists. So in this sense, Sen. Reid is correct, but what he thinks is a lost "war" is really a great opportunity for the US to show the enemy a new form of combat.