Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The March on Washington

The reports on the March on Washington last Saturday are coming in. What I would like to know is whether they were written before the march, or after?
Christopher Hitchens…bless his heart…is a good place to start. He wastes little time in trashing the organizers of the event. He accuses them of supporting Fidel Castro, the soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, and lots of other nasties. While this may, in a hyper technical way, be true about some of the organizers, these ad hominem attacks ignore the many marchers who simply feel that America is making a ghastly mistake.
The thought also occurs to me… is someone paying Mr. Hitchens to shill for the war? Maybe he should get back to trashing beloved celebrities who are recently deceased.
That is the tone of much of the other coverage of the march…trash the messenger and ignore the message. While this may play well on talk radio, this is not going to help Iraq mend its broken country. I also ignores the millions of patriotic citizens who have been opposed to “Operation Iraqi Freedom” since before it started.
Much has been made of the jihad recruiting tool that OIF has been. What has not been noted is the opportunity for the “loony left” that has been created by OIF. The war has created a great deal of distrust for our government, and the “loony left” would be remiss in not exploiting it.
I was in grammar school during the escalation phase of the Vietnam War. While there was a lot of discontent in 1966, the majority of the country supported the war, and the opposition to it was led by students, hippies, and other marginal characters. The supporters of the war were quick to point this out. However, as the war dragged on, and the light at the end of the tunnel got dimmer and dimmer, the mainstream turned against the war. By the time I registered for the draft (1972), we had essentially given up hope of winning, and were trying to get our POWs out and have “Peace with Honor”.
Is immediate withdrawal a good idea? I am not sure. We have gone into a country, and destroyed their government. The Shiites and Kurds who have been repressed by the Sunnis for years are getting revenge.
The jihadists are pouring in, seizing an opportunity to fight americans.
My first thought is that we should stay until Iraq (or what becomes of it) is stable and peaceful. However, if the lesson of England in Northern Ireland is any indication, that will be a long, long time. At some point, the pressure for a withdrawal will be too great, and our government will look for “Peace with Honor”. So, are we better off cutting our losses, come home now, and let Iraq have a civil war? Or, do we wait a few years, add a few trillion to the national debt and a few thousand to our cemeteries, only to come home, and let Iraq have a civil war?
I am one of the patriotic citizens who were asking this question before the war, while our leadership was expecting to be greeted as liberators. Now that we are there, no easy answer emerges.
Nonetheless, I do appreciate the citizens who turned out in Washington on Saturday the denounce the war. While I may not want to be buddies with all of their leaders, it is important to let our government know that it has made a mess, that citizens do not like being lied to, and that we are watching.

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