Cut and Run in Iraq?

First let me state that I opposed the Iraq invasion. I was not completely against it, I just was against it in the way we went about it. If we couldn't win a whole lot more world support (like we had/have in Afghanistan) and a UN sanction then I was against it.

I seem to remember that a majority of Americans opposed the invasion. The last poll that I remember reading about showed that, if one took the "never, ever, under any conditions" group and put them with the "only with a UN sanction" crowd, a majority of Americans opposed President Bush's leadership as he sent us charging in.

However we have had a national Presidential election since then and a majority of Americans did not hold Dubyah accountable with their votes. (This was one of the issues I took into consideration when I decided to vote for Kerry. But Kerry was not saying we should immediately withdraw either.)

Once we got involved in Iraq, I came to the conclusion that we can not cut and run. Why? Because now that we as a nation have been dragged in there kicking and screaming I believe more harm then good will happen as a result of a premature withdrawal.

But now polls have shifted against me. According to MSNBC 65% of Americans want us to at least start to withdraw from Iraq. My question to the majority is this. Where were you back before we invaded? Where were you when back on election day in 2004? Didn't you see what is going on in Iraq as being a possibility back then? I know I did. My fears were that it would be even more of a mess then it has turned out to be.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not saying we should stay over there forever. We should get out as soon as some form of government and government security forces can stand up to take over from us. However I have seen little evidence that the time has yet arrived. Chances are that when the time comes to withdraw we are not going to be real happy with what we leave behind. What we leave behind is going to be up to the Iraqi people. But if we withdraw prematurely we are going to leave chaos behind... and then yes, some of my worst fears are apt to be realized. Withdrawing early is not going to quench the fires of Islamic terrorism, it is only going to fan the fires.

I agree that invading Iraq was a mistake. But the mistake was made and now we are committed.

And before anyone states "Well, if that is the way you feel, why don't you then serve?" Let me remind you that I have already given 21 years in service in the military. However I did not smugly sit back on past service and actually considered serving again. This time I would serve as a truck driver since these kinds of people are needed and this is what I now do. I abandoned this idea when I happened to meet up with another truck driver who had served over there. Turns out they do not want old farts like me driving trucks. Apparently one must be in perfect health to be willing to risk your life for your country. I couldn't pass the physical required to qualify. (Truthfully, I did have some other problems with the conditions of service, however all this was immaterial since I couldn't qualify anyway.)

So go ahead and change your mind if you want. But when the world gets a whole lot nastier as a result don't claim you were not warned. Here, at least, you will have heard "If we cut and run now, we will never stop running."

Let's finish the job we started. Not necessarily finish it the way Dubyah wants us to finish it (although he seems to be coming around), but finish it none the less.


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