Recent polls have showed a declining of support for Iraq in the war, and the stream of politicians coming out against it has increased even further. The general attitude seems to be that the situation is too hopeless, that America has done all it can do, and that it is time to bring these troops home. This attitude has become quite prevalent among Democrats (I note that John Kerry during his campaign did not seem to embrace it though), and has been making inroads among some conservatives.
I am a liberal whom is hardline left on social issues, but moderate/centrist on foreign policy and economic issues. I originally supported the war, but changed my mind in late 2002 based on realpolitk (I thought he had WMDs, but didn’t think that the benefits outweighed the costs.) I will say outright that I loathe this attitude. Quite simply, as far as I am concerned, when America declared war on Iraq, we made a commitment to rebuilding and reconstructing the country. We did so with full knowledge that we would receive limited international assistance, and with a fairly clear picture available to those whom looked of what reconstruction would be like. When the war started, polls supported it, and people re-elected the politicians responsible for it. This has continued even despite the fairly blatant evidence that there were no WMDs and that the terrorist ties were bunk. Like it or not, even when Americans saw the justifications for the war, they continued to back it. It was also well-known that the reconstruction and insurgency would almost certainly be brutal, even before we went in. I do not think that it is fair to assert that Americans would not have supported the war had they known the truth, and if they were duped, they were at the very least complicit in the duplicity. Thus, I feel that people whom supported the war, with fairly clear knowledge of what it would entail, decided that they were willing to spend the necessary blood and treasure on Iraq to reconstruct it. Simply because they are now realizing that the price might be higher than their original expectation is no excuse – they reelected the people that gave them these expectations. If Americans were so concerned about their troops dying and hemorrhaging money, than they should have said so before we bombed Baghdad, or in the 2004 elections. Moreover, I detest the notion that, after we made this implicit contract to reconstruct Iraq after we went to war, we should bring our troops home whatever the costs to Iraqis. We chose to involve ourselves in this conflict, and we made a commitment, a choice not given the majority of Iraqis. Furthermore, I feel that the loss of life should we pull our troops out will be far worse than any such losses while we remain to stabilize things. Simply because Iraqi deaths are less politically damaging or less emotionally powerful to us is by no means a justification for sacrificing them to remove our own troops (the majority of whom, might I add, also supported Bush and the war). There is also a widely held belief, particularly prominent among people whom opposed the war from the beginning, that our troops in and of themselves destabilize the country. That may be true, but I do not think that removing them at this point, with the Iraqi forces in their current state, will assist the reconstruction. Rather, it will probably lead the deaths of stabilizing political and religious figures, whom will throw Iraq even further into chaos. Simply because our military leaders have been incompetent in the past by no means allows us to simply throw Iraqis to the wolves. In short, the debate I wish to propose regards the current proposals for cutting troop numbers and decline in support for the war in Iraq, as well as my position on it. I would rather not get into the original justifications for the war, but rather the current state.