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Iraq: Why America Must Win a Most Uncivil War.

by Erik Korzilius

It doesn't seem so long ago we celebrated with George Bush on the deck of the USS Lincoln (the irony of that name will become clear momentarily) the victory in the war against Iraq. The country needed that victory because Afghanistan was a less than satisfactory payment for the loss of the World Trade Center towers and because Osama Bin Laden still roamed free. Months later, we took solace in the capture of Saddam Hussein as the new mark of victory in Iraq. What a difference a year makes!

Bin Laden still wags his finger at us through audio and video polemics, the warlords of Afghanistan are producing more opium than before we arrived, Hussein has turned his trial into a circus worthy of P. T. Barnum, and the "victory" we celebrated has devolved into a three-prong religious civil war increasing in ferocity and atrocity by the day. What the hell happened?

It is far too easy to gloat in hindsight, but even the most fervent Bush supporter, and I was one, could see it coming. Vietnam was a civil war we refused to win, so in the end, when the South Vietnamese saw their "protectors" heading for the helicopters, they turned their guns on the same target as Ho Chi Minh's ranks. How long after the Stars and Stripes begin to drop in Baghdad before the Sunnis and the Kurds take a break from slaughtering the Shiites, and rattle off a few rounds at the retreating "liberators"?

Am I a critic of this war, you damned right I am. But, not because we fought it, but because we are refusing to win it. We heard all about the vast arsenal of weapons we possess to eliminate all known threats so we would never, again, lose soldiers to guerilla fighting. Yet, the parched streets of Fallujah and Karbala are beginning to look suspiciously like the sweltering jungles of Southeast Asia. Like Saigon, will we slink once more from Baghdad and leave behind a civil war in which we have lost interest? The answer must be a resounding, "NO!"

Lincoln suffered through our own civil war, a period in our relatively brief history most have forgotten, except for the random protest over the Stars and Bars. George Bush is now presiding over a civil war in Iraq, a looming metaphor for a coming conflict with possible apocalyptic consequences. Iraq's neighbor, Iran, is a "soon-to-be" nuclear power with a president possessing a burning hatred for all unwilling to bow to Mecca, and a compulsion to dispense his "hell fire" on the infidel. The message we send to Iran if we leave Iraq in bloody chaos is simple, "when the going gets tough, we pack up and leave."

Can George Bush show the same leadership of the Great Emancipator? The answer is, he must! But, the solution will not easily fit into a 30 second sound bite at the Press Club because this isn't a war about agriculture versus industry, or even the reliable scapegoats of slavery and oil. This is a war about religion, a religion that has spread like yeast throughout every society and culture spanning the globe. The web has been cast, and Iraq is the "toe in the water" of the Islamic fanatics that seek nothing less than the eradication of the infidel. If America stumbles, and the Iranian sponsored Islamic terrorists gain a larger foothold in the Middle East, how long before revolutionary carnage spreads throughout the Muslim world?

So, the next time you feel the urge to thrust your arm in support of "withdrawal," remember, the war we wage is not for oil, or WMDs, but for a lasting detente with a powerful adversary bent on world domination. Funny how one President's Communism is another President's Islam.

Copyright 2006 Erik Korzilius for reprint information email nonparti@nonpartisans.org

Iraq is a Costly Distraction from Real Weapons of Mass Destruction

by Andrew Chulock

It troubles me that as the most prosperous nation on earth, and the only superpower, that the military action in Iraq is of a higher priority than stopping the use of famine as an instrument of mass destruction in Sudan. The hard right will somehow link Iraq to 911 and the war on terror, yet are always silent about the terror that reigns in Sudan on a daily basis. Sudan has already used two weapons of mass destruction on the people of Sudan, famine and genocide, as well as terrorizing it's own people who rebeled against such an oppressive regime. Why did we not support this uprising that originated with its own people, a people far worse off than those in Iraq ever were? Why does this disparity exist?

Those on the far left are for immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq, yet fail to mention where our troops should go after that.These people have been into sucked the same blackhole of thought as the far right, a blackhole that forces all eyes on Iraq, blind to the strife of other suffering around the world in other oppressive regimes. Blind to the fact that a famine is threatening 11 million people living in or near the horn of Africa. This is the same black hole that puts 85 per cent of the talk radio "gurus" on the same topic 24/7. Iraq. I say, send troops straight to Sudan, to feed the masses of refugees displaced by the Civil War there, and to use military force, if necessary, to overcome a government that has blocked even "the UN from delivering "a United Nations peacekeeping mission aimed at stopping violence against residents of Darfur.

The reality is that we cannot leave Iraq at the present moment, In fact, just as John Kerry said during the campaign, we need more troops on the ground, an overwhelming presence the like of which may have prevented incidents such as the recent bombing of a sacred Shiite mosque.

However it is no excuse to not use our leverage to force Sudan's hand into allowing famine relief into that nation. There is no reason why we cannot simultaneously have troops in Iraq, and send an army to Sudan as well. America can walk and chew gum at the same time. (Remember World War II?) What is most troubling is that Iraq was of a higher priority to the administration then helping the people of Sudan in the first place. It is a cliche repeated at nausem to say that in the rush to war, faulty intelligence was used an excuse to go to war with Iraq. But repeating it here doesn't make it any less true. In the meantime we turned a blind eye into a genocide in Sudan that claimed more than 500,000 lives in less than 6 months. Is Iraqi freedom, the administration's justification for the war ever since weapons of mass destruction were not found, worth more than a Sudanese life, or 500,000 of them?

Some will say on the right that after 911 we had to make preemptive measures to make sure than any rogue nation such as Iraq did not become a suppply depo for terrorists. As noble as this may seem, Iran has developed a nuclear weapons program and North Korea has finished theirs. in the interim and genocide has occurred in Sudan. An invasion of Iran or North Korea is not likely, yet we spent so much in treasure and blood for a quagmire in Iraq. What did we get for our money? Which was really the greater threat, Iran or Iraq? All the while the people of Sudan were killed at a clip that would make the most hated regimes of the 20th century blush.

Copyright 2006 Andrew Chulock for reprint information e-mail nonparti@nonpartisans.org

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