Sunday, August 07, 2005

Insurgency losing steam

So claims Secretary of State Rice in a piece published online today. In the Time piece discussed in today's USA Today, she is quoted as saying that the insurgency is losing the fight in the all-important political arena:

"It's a lot easier to see the violence and suicide bombing than to see the rather quiet political progress that's going on in parallel," Rice said.

"If you think about how to defeat an insurgency, you defeat it not just militarily but politically," she said, adding that she believes the insurgents are "losing steam" politically.

Such a conclusion is anathema to the nattering nabobs who long ago declared Iraq an historic failure of American foreign policy. Nabobs aside, Condi is right. What that translates into is still an open question, as the ultimate fate of the new Iraq is uncertain but if the country is lost, it needn't have been so.

I argued immediately following the January elections that the insurgency had been killed but didn't know it yet. Politically, they have not offered their fellow citizens anything.

They work today to kill as many people as they can in an attempt to cower the populace and force the international community out of the country. Their vision of the future is a return to the thuggery and nastiness of Sadaam's Baathist government. Neither of these things is a palatable or popular political alternative.

Attacked in an appropriate manner, such can and should be defeated in Iraq. We must remain committed to the initial goal of changing the country. To stop now would be disgraceful.

The more I contemplate it, the more I believe that John Kerry was right in his mis-stated "Pottery Barn" analogy from the '04 campaign. We are knee-deep in this country, and we owe it to the citizens of Iraq as well as our own security to finish what we began.

To take the easy way out, to say that 1800 dead Americans is too high a price for anything good would indeed be a replay of Vietnam and a sad, sad end to a very critical undertaking. We owe them better than that.

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