Friday, May 13, 2005

War Assessment

Omar at Iraq-the-Model has posted a story about Tikrit's version of the HOV rule. Strict enforcement of such an apparently silly idea has some of the commenters disturbed. I liked the idea, myself. Against an implacable enemy, every advantage counts. Even though the extra rider will step out at the last moment on a suicide mission, it might give the police just enough extra time to prevent the attack. I would go even further, as one of the commenters suggested, and require that a woman, driver or passenger, be present in every car. Here is my response to one of the more vociferous anti-war commenters:

If it is our intention to win this war, then we are going to find ways to impose our will on Iraq. This is unavoidable. People won't like it and civilians will be dying. The only alternative is to change our intention and decide to let the Iraqis sort it out by themselves. If you believe that this would lead to a reduction in violence, then I suppose you need to support that position. It seems more likely to me that there would be a bloodbath of either civil war or renewed Baathist terror, but violence is not the only issue here.

We are limiting their freedom now for the sake of more freedom later because 1) we believe that free peoples are less dangerous and 2) it is our moral duty. The force may seem excessive to you, but the forces arrayed against us are formidable, not to mention clever, cruel and determined. If we want to win, we have no choice. We have to be just as clever and determined, if not as cruel. If we want to lose we will be imposing a terrible cost on the majority in Iraq. In the Civil War the South was not happy about the invasion from the North. Was it the right thing to do?

The cost to us is real, but the future cost of letting the situation fester could be much more severe. Maybe we are making mistakes, causing extra trouble for ourselves, but this is our window of opportunity. We won't always be the preeminent military force on the planet. However, I hope that a free Iraq will become one of our future allies in time of need.

5/13/2005 10:29 AM

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