What Americans want
After Bush’s “surge” speech last night, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin gave the Democrats’ response, and hearing them back-to-back gave me — for the first time in many weeks– some clarity about Iraq. This new view stemmed from the most basic of suppositions — that escalation is not what the Americans voted for; this is not what we want.
That’s true… but I don’t think Americans want the outcome of withdrawal, either, and that was the basis of my post late last night. As often happens, though, sleep gave my thoughts time to fall more fully into place, and this morning I found myself questioning this assumption of what it is we do want… or at least, what I want.
I want someone to pinch me so I can wake up and discover that the Iraqi misadventure was all a bad dream.
I want to roll back time to January or February 2003, and start again, please — and this time around, I do not want our troops to invade Iraq. Instead, I want George Bush to say to his utopian advisors, “We cannot force democracy on a population we do not understand… and that does not fully grasp the concepts.”
I can’t have those, you say? But that’s what I want!
Unfortunately, the Democrats presented me last night with yet another utopian view of the future:
Now, in the fourth year of this war, it is time for the Iraqis to stand and defend their own nation. The government of Iraq must now prove that it will make the hard political decisions which will bring an end to this bloody civil war, disband the militias and death squads, create an environment of safety and opportunity for every Iraqi and begin to restore the basics of electricity and water and health care that define the quality of life.
The Iraqis must understand that they alone can lead their nation to freedom. They alone must meet the challenges that lie ahead. And they must know that every time they call 911, we are not going to send 20,000 more American soldiers.
The Democrats evidently feel that the Iraqis are dependent upon our presence, and that they won’t act in their own interests unless they’re “shocked” into action.
If those militias and death squads “belonged” to the Iraqi government, I’d be less inclined to object here — but they don’t. This assumption that Iraqis are deliberately and willfully allowing the murder and mayhem to continue on their streets out of sheer laziness is ludicrous… and dangerous.
George Bush sent America into Iraq because by implication, that’s what “we” wanted. After all, his party was elected to power, and there was a foreign policy that came along with it.
I didn’t want that.
Dick Durbin tells us that Americans want out, and he knows this because the Democrats won the majority in Congress in November. The Democrats, of course, have yet another foreign policy approach, and it includes redeployment out of Iraq, in spite of indications that the most likely outcome will be genocide and/or war across the entire region.
I don’t want that, either.
I opposed the election of George Bush because I vehemently disagreed with his administration’s foreign policy; I still do. Furthermore, I objected to this war from the get-go — but we cannot unspill milk, unbreak eggs, or roll back time.
I don’t know if this proposed “surge” will turn the tide in Iraq, but I am terrified of the likely alternative if we pull out. The resultant slaughter of innocents would be far worse than anything we’ve seen there thus far.
Thus — for the first time since this entire nightmare began, Polimom supports Bush’s proposal. I do so reluctantly, and with very deep reservations. It’s not because I think his ideas are good, but because the likely outcome of the proposed alternative is worse.
Given the alternatives, I think we have to continue to try in Iraq, even though none of this is what I, as an American, “want”.