Lt. Gen. David Petraeus let the Senate Armed Services Committee know this morning what any rational American has known for a long time; that in Iraq “the way ahead will be neither quick nor easy.”
Granted, my definition of ‘rational’ is slightly more complicated than what most would assume. I think being rational means not opining on a subject unless you’ve done at least a cursory examination of the evidence. Despite it’s rhetorical sound Iraq is a complex place, no matter how one might wish it wasn’t.
The fact of the matter is that most Americans still don’t understand the difference is between Shi’a and Sunni, much less have they grasped even a smattering of the semantics involved in their relationship to each other. For those that haven’t, try reading ex-CIA spook Robert Baer’s eye-opening book Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude (Amazon).
What I don’t like from the conservative front on this issue is reflected nicely (or poorly as it were) in Michelle Malkin’s post today on this very topic. Kudos to her for bringing it to our attention, however the fact that she thinks that “it is up the Commander-in-Chief to bolster national will moving forward” is in my mind utterly ridiculous and plays to this “I have an opinion but I have no idea what it means” mentality.
We live in an age in which it is almost inexcusable for an American citizen not to be informed, of their own volition, on such critical matters. It is further almost criminal for Americans to have to rely on someone else to bolster their senses of liberty and duty, regardless of the cost.
The sad fact of this Iraq debacle has nothing to do with our troops, they’ve excelled at every reasonable task given them, and even quite a few unreasonable ones. Iraq is a problem because we as a people have chosen to forget why we went. Sure, it’s easy to blame politicians for everything, but is that honest? The support of the American public paved the way to oust Saddam and attempt a democratic state in the heart of the Middle East. Now it should be we who are bolstering our weak and ineffectual politicians to continue on the path we directed them towards.