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, November 22, 2006

You can't have it both ways

Over at Real Clear Politics Tony Blankley tells us all about Making the Last Mistake in Iraq.
But if, as it is hard to imagine otherwise, our departure from Iraq yields civil war, chaos, warlordism and terrorist safe havens -- it is very likely that Iran will lurch in to harvest their advantages, Turkey will send in its army to stop an independent Kurdistan, and Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the other Sunni states will be sucked in to fend off Shi'a Iran's hegemony. In that nightmare maelstrom the 20 million barrels a day of oil shipped from the Persian Gulf -- and the world economy with it -- will be in daily risk of being cut off.

Nor is that all. Al Qaeda and other terrorists are already gloating that they have whipped the "cowardly Americans" in Iraq. We will be seen (in fact, we are already beginning to be seen) as a weak reed for moderate Muslims to rely on in their hearts and mind struggle against the radical Islamists. Bin Laden was right in one regard: People fear and follow the strong horse; even more so in Middle Eastern culture, where restraint is seen as weakness and murder is seen as strength.
He also talks about the foolishness of talking to Iraq's neighbors.
The almost consensus Washington argument assumes that if only we would formally talk with them, Iran and Syria would volunteer to pull our chestnuts out of the fire while we start removing troops from Iraq. Such arguments exemplify the witticism that when ideas fail, words come in very handy.

Iran has been our persistent enemy for 27 years -- Syria longer. They may well be glad to give us cover while we retreat, but that would merely be an exercise in slightly delayed gratification, not self-denial, let alone benignity. So long as Iran is ruled by its current radical Shi'a theocracy, she will be vigorously and violently undercutting any potentially positive, peaceful forces in the region -- and is already triggering a prolonged clash with the terrified Sunni nations. Our absence from the region will only make matters far worse.
While I agree that nearly everything he says here is probably true as things stand now the dire consequences are going to happen even if the US is in Iraq. Adding another 10 or 20 thousand troops isn't going to change the situation on the ground. As we have seen already playing musical chairs with the troops won't help either. So what to do. If he is serious about this he would insist that more than 5 or 10 percent of Americans are forced to make sacrifices for this mis-adventure. For starters he should call for an immediate repeal of all of the Bush tax cuts, that will hurt most of his friends but not a majority of Americans. Next we are going to need a lot, I repeat a lot more troops. Yes, the all volunteer army works great - when we are not in a constant state of war. Mr Blankley should offer all of the support he can to Charlie Rangel's proposal to reinstate the draft. He should push to have it happen immediately - three to six months from now will be too late, those notices to report have to be in the mail by Christmas.

If he's not going to go along with what it will be necessary to do what he purposes Mr Blankley should keep his hot air to himself.

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