Clarity for Dummies
People argue with me about Iraq rather frequently (and fruitlessly). Very often, they base their arguments in the same simple-minded and incorrect media-supplied statements. Here I'd like to highlight some of my favorites, and explain why believing them makes you an idiot. This will be fun.
#1: "The Iraqi's hate us and want us out."
Reason this statement makes you stupid: It's flat out wrong. The Iraqi's are, more often than not, either grateful and cooperative or flat out indifferent. They invite us into their homes to eat with them at their tables, they show us hospitality that would make even the most generous American look greedy and selfish. They inform us and help us weed out Al Qaeda's networks that are hiding and operating among them, they even take up arms against the terrorists themselves.
The people we're fighting in Iraq are not the Iraqi's, but Al Qaeda, a global terrorist organisation that is pouring into Iraq in the hopes of preventing us from succeeding in our mission there... which, since so many people ask me exactly what our mission is there, it's to free them from a tyrannical dictator (done) establish a new government in his stead (done) and aid the fledgling government until it's stable enough to function on it's own (working on it). Al Qaeda is interfering in our mission. Were it not for them, there would be little to no combat in Iraq, and with that element removed from the picture it would be very easy for all of you to see our mission for what it truly is: A humanitarian aid mission to assist our newly established ally in the middle-east.
#2: "You can't win an occupation."
Reason this statement makes you stupid: We're not occupying Iraq. You'd have sounded just as clever if you told me I can't win a global thermonuclear war. Thanks, I'll remember that if it ever happens. An occupation is a HOSTILE military operation employed against ENEMY STATES, and is marked by a foreign military taking governmental control of the occupied state. Occupations are employed to maintain control of a tactically advantageous area (supply lines for example) in support of accomplishing a larger mission... which means, even if we DO occupy a place, it's a part of an effort to win a greater mission in a bigger picture, not to "win" the occupation itself.
Iraq is our ally, and we're there to help them. Their government is still in total control of it's people and the laws that govern them, we simply aid that government in enforcing those laws and training it's own military and police to do the same. You can't get much further from an occupation. So thanks for the tip, shitstick. I'll remember that if the day ever comes that we occupy someone's country for no other reason other than to simply occupy their country (which will be never).
#3: "If we're doing so well and kicking so much ass, then why are we still there/why is it taking so long?"
Reasons this statement makes you stupid: It hasn't even been 6 years yet. If you look back at other counterinsurgencies that the U.S. has won (such as the banana republic) you'll see that they've taken an average of about a decade... and those were true insurgencies, which by definition are waged by the actual citizens of the nation in question, not by a well-funded, armed, and trained terrorist organisation pouring in from outside the country. What's more, if you open up a history book you'll see that it took us 11 years (ELEVEN YEARS!) to write our own Constitution in a way that all 13 colonies could agree upon it... and they all got along relatively well. In Iraq we're trying to do something similar for hundreds and thousands of tribes and sub-tribes who have been warring against one another for millenia. So tell me, exactly how fast and easy were you expecting this to be? Which brings me to the next one:
#4: "Those people are hopeless, they've been fighting since the dawn of time and nothing we do will change that."
Reason this statement makes you stupid: You're hopeless. You and your ilk been stupid since the dawn of time, and nothing I can do will change that. Fact is, the Iraqi's want peace and reconciliation, but old habits die hard. They CAN do it, they WANT to do it, but just as it took America a civil war to settle our differences, it's easier said than done. So we're trying to help. Is this guaranteed to end the conflict that has raged between them for millenia? Of course not. Is that a good enough excuse to just not try and abandon them? Not only do I say no it's not, but I'll happily take anyone who says yes it is and dump them in the middle of Baghdad with nothing but a Coke and a smile. Peace is ALWAYS worth the effort, and if you think not then you deserve to live in war for as long as it takes for you to decide that peace is indeed worth the effort.
#5: "The war is illegal/unconstitutional/etc. We went there based on lies and false pretences and our true goals there are those of greedy politicians. There's no honor there."
Reason this statement makes you stupid: Actually, this one doesn't. You may or may not be right... to be perfectly honest, I don't care. The fact is, what we're accomplishing there is noble and I'm proud to play a part in the greatest effort history has ever seen to try and end the bloody conflict that has kept the middle-east aflame in war for as far back as we can remember. If the politicians have less-than-honorable intentions on the side, that's between them and their conscience and/or their maker. In time, they'll get what's coming to them. Their goals are not mine, and if the day ever comes that those other, selfish goals are the only goals that remain... you can rest assured the military will no longer be willing to support the mission.
Alright, that's all I can think of for now off the top of my head. If more pop up in the comments, I'll add them.