Good intentions frequently lead to unintended
bad consequences. Tough choices, doing what is right, often leads to unanticipated
The growing demand by the American people for us to leave Iraq prompts the
nay-sayers to predict disaster in the Middle East if we do. Of course, these
merchants of fear are the same ones who predicted that invading and occupying
Iraq would be a slam dunk operation; that we would be welcomed as liberators,
and oil revenues would pay for the operation with minimal loss of American lives.
All of this hyperbole came while ignoring the precise warnings by our intelligence
community of the great difficulties that would lie ahead. The chaos that this
preemptive, undeclared war has created in Iraq has allowed al-Qaeda to establish
a foothold in Iraq and the strategic interests of Iran to be served.
The unintended consequences have been numerous. A well-intended but flawed
policy that ignored credible warnings of how things could go awry has produced
conditions that have led to a war dominated by procrastination, without victory
or resolution in sight.
Those who want a total military victory, which no one has yet defined, don't
have the troops, the money, the equipment, or the support of a large majority
of the American people to do so.
Those in Congress who have heard the cry of the electorate to end the war refuse
to do so out of fear the demagogues will challenge their patriotism and support
of the troops, so nothing happens except more of the same. The result is continued
stalemate with the current policy and the daily sacrifice of American lives.
This wait-and-see attitude in Washington, and the promised reassessment of
events in Iraq later on, strongly motivates the insurgents to accelerate the
killing of Americans in order to influence the decision coming in three months.
In contrast, a clear decision to leave would prompt a wait-and-see attitude
in Iraq, a de facto cease-fire in anticipation of our leaving, the perfect time
for the Iraqi factions to hold their fire on each other and on our troops and
just possibly begin talking with each other.
Most Americans do not anticipate a military victory in Iraq , yet the Washington
politicians remain frozen in their unwillingness to change our policy there,
fearful of the dire predictions that conditions can only get worse when we leave.
They refuse to admit that the condition of foreign occupation is the key ingredient
that unleashed the civil war now raging in Iraq and serves as a recruitment
device for al-Qaeda
It's time for a change in our foreign policy.