April 8th, 2004

Enterprise Bridge

Southeast Asia, Take 2?

It's reports like this that make me wonder if Iraq isn't becoming Vietnam.

As much as I disagree with the initial decision to invade Iraq, I believe that now that we're in, we have a responsibility to see it through. We walked in and deleted their government, so for us to just pick up and walk away before a new, functional, government is in place would leave them in a state of anarchy. It would become like Somalia, where a bunch of warlords (the colloquialism for "well-armed criminal with large payroll) rule over smaller fiefdoms, viciously and violently. That would be wrong.

However, if this is how we're handling the occupation and "reconstruction", if we're putting troops in harm's way and then failing to arm them, equip them, and back them up sufficiently, then they need to come home, regardless of the cost to Iraq. If we, through our elected government and the rear-echeclon military commanders they direct, fail to support them properly, then they will not, in any event, achieve the political goals that have been set. If those goals will not be reached, then there is no longer any reason for them to be there, at peril to their lives.

I'm not saying, yet, to bring them home now. But if I keep seeing stories like this, then I will adopt that position. I do not want to see the names of Andy and Will Dougherty, Dave Burmeister, John Tobin, or Alex Frum on the Northbrook Star obit page.

I'm adding ginmar as a friend in order to see on-scene updates.