I was on the ground in Iraq for 16 months, and in that time I talked to hundreds of Iraqis. Some didn't like us; some wanted us to leave, but most did not. What they wanted was for America to live up to its word. They wanted us to rid the country of terrorists and militias so that they could live in peace.(via Ed Morrissey)
They were willing to help us, but they are not a stupid people. They know that if they commit to the American side and the Americans abandon them as we did in 1991, it means death for them and their families. They know this, and it is real. It is not an abstract idea for them.
Most Iraqis don't support Al-Qaida and the militias, but when our commitment to stay in Iraq and finish the job is in doubt -- as it was when Sen. Harry Reid went on TV and said, "this war is lost" -- Iraqis are going to hedge their bets. They may not support the militias, but when they are betting their lives, most of them are not going to commit to America unless they are assured that America is committed to them. . .
This generation of American soldiers saw what happened in Southeast Asia, and we do not want a repeat of the Killing Fields, this time as Sunnis are massacred by Iranian-backed militias. We do not want an Iraqi version of the Vietnamese boat people. Never again do we want to see our allies forced from their homeland because America abandoned them. America has a choice. We do not have to let history repeat itself.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I've long argued that anti-war advocates pay too little attention to Iraqi opinion. So I was interested in the second-hand source supplied by U.S. vet Michael Honeycutt, in an Op-Ed in Sunday's STRIB: