Thursday, February 01, 2007

Iraq: A Traitor in Our Midst

Something stinks in Iraq. Somehow, our enemies are getting pinpoint perfect data about American actions and movements. Already many lives have been lost.

One of the most frustrating feelings I get from reading Michael Yon, Bill Roggio, and the others over there is having to trust interpretors and Iraqi soldiers because of the language barrier. So much could be happening right under our noses.

And don't forget sectarian loyalties. And graft. And corruption.

I also don't like the cooperation with the Iraqi leadership...which must happen, I know. How does the exact date of the Baghdad "surge" find the front page? Well, I know how it gets known, but these things should be secret.

Pierre Legrand has been keeping up with all the latest. He also has an overall viewpoint, that I think is worthy of consideration:

So it is clear to me that what I have grown to understand these past 5 years is worse than any of us imagined that afternoon on 9/11. We have been under constant attack by Islamic warriors now for over 26 years. They have been both Shiite and Sunni Muslims, funded and trained by a variety of states around the Middle East. We are facing a crisis of enormous proportions in that even in “moderate” states like Indonesia there is a huge amount of support for people like Bin Laden. In 2003 the Muslims of the most populace Islamic nation in the world, Indonesia, were polled by the Pew organization, Bin Laden received a 58% vote of confidence in 2003. Thank goodness it went down to 36% in 2005. We are not being attacked by one or the other Islamic sect we are being attacked by all of them at once.
I do believe this is a true statement. I also believe that we have allies who are both Sunni and Shiite. There are those within Iraq who want a unified Iraq--not some appendage of either Iran or Saudi Arabia. And there are those in Iraq who hope against hope that a democratic, secular Islamic country is possible.

Mostly, this is a war of hope versus fear. Many common people hope for peace and prosperity. They know that they can't make money when bombs blow up the stores and schools and they want the bombs to stop. They have hope for the future because a secular, democratic future empowers them.

But many leaders from other countries fear just that possibility. A free and prosperous Iraq is a beacon of warning and awareness. It is a warning to power-hungry despots and it makes their populace aware that there is something more in this world than sectarian fighting ad infinitum. They fear the loss of power and the wealth that controlling the power grants.

Saudi Arabia and Iran jostle to control Iraq. And don't forget Turkey angry at militant Kurds desiring their own country. These countries have a lot to lose if Iraq succeeds. In my opinion, and probably niggling at the back of their minds too, they have more to lose if Iraq fails.

The world has much to fear in a failed Iraq. Iran and Saudi Arabia gamble big by meddling in Iraq. I do feel this is one reason Iran seeks nuclear power sooner rather than later. They want to tip the balance and regain their footing. Right now, they are off kilter. They don't like Americans on their doorstep. They don't like a stable, free and democratic country on their doorstep. Their population is already restless.

And for all this, the one thing that unites Sunni and Shiite is hatred for the kafir. This is a unity of spirit, not action. Saudi Arabia prefers partnership with Israel--Israel is more trusted (and no wonder)--to a partnership with Iran.

So Iraq is truly the center of all conflict. Every day, every initiative matters. Big. Time. The different factions know this. Those "insurgent"/terrorist groups fighting the good fight fear Iraqi success and hope for failure. They know the only way we fail is if we leave too soon and let the Iraqi people be at the mercy of another crazed leader or worse, complete chaos. I'll end with a statement by Legrand:
It is exactly because those soldiers were regular that they were kidnapped. All the better to use as propaganda. Make some tapes, make some demands, work on our nerves back home. We should be thankful that their suffering ended so quickly as it saved both their families and our nation the spectacle of watching them tortured on tape. As an aside those politicians who think that non-binding resolutions have no affect on our soldiers should be forced to watch the families of those men deal with the loss. Because sure as the sun sets in the west those soldiers were kidnapped because the enemy believes we are close to breaking point and that such a propaganda victory would win the war.
Peter's aside, is anything but. It's the whole story. Traitors in the Senate embolden traitors in Iraq. The only way we lose, the world loses, America loses, is if we quit.