I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes

We will defeat Al Qaeda faster when we stop serving as its best recruitment tool.

- John Kerry, writing in the New York Times, 04/05/06.
I've not been much of a fan of John Kerry ever since his name popped up as the Democratic nominee for the 04 elections, but even though it may be several days late and many dollars short, he has written a fine piece in the New York Times today about our future in Iraq.

The piece, titled "Two Deadlines and an Exit", lays out compelling reasons why the United States should impose a deadline of May 15th for Iraq to settle on a unity government, or we immediately pull out all of our troops and leave them to sink or swim as they will. He goes on to say that, even if the Iraqis do manage to meet that deadline, we inform them that we'll be pulling out in stages and be effectively gone by the end of the year.

As our generals have said, the war cannot be won militarily. It must be won politically. No American soldier should be sacrificed because Iraqi politicians refuse to resolve their ethnic and political differences.

So far, Iraqi leaders have responded only to deadlines — a deadline to transfer authority to a provisional government, and a deadline to hold three elections.

Now we must set another deadline to extricate our troops and get Iraq up on its own two feet.

He then goes on to demonstrate some solid thinking about the United States long range prospects for the "war on terror" which he completely failed to demonstrate during his election bid. Had he shown this much brain activity at the time, I might have supported him with more enthusiasm.
We will defeat Al Qaeda faster when we stop serving as its best recruitment tool. Iraqis ultimately will not tolerate foreign jihadists on their soil, and the United States will be able to maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence with rapid response capacity. An exit from Iraq will also strengthen our hand in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat and allow us to repair the damage of repeated deployments, which flag officers believe has strained military readiness and morale.
You won't find me agreeing with Kerry very often, but this is some solid thinking. This is one of the best explanations I've heard in a while for why it's time to go home. Or at least redeploy somewhere else more sensible.

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