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Immediate pullout from Iraq?
By now, everyone knows about U.S. Representative John P. Murtha's call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. President Bush called the proposal a surrender to terrorists. The House voted on the proposal, which was defeated by an overwhelming margin of 403-3.
Even many opponents of the war understand that pulling out of Iraq would be counterproductive. In a blog post from September, I pointed out that Hamas will actually be engaging in more terrorism because they see Israel's retreat from the Gaza Strip as evidence terrorism works. If we leave Iraq now, we will send the same message to Islamist terrorists determined to destroy freedom.
This is a lesson we should have learned a decade ago. Disgraced ex-President Clinton cut and ran from Somalia after American troops were massacred by terrorists. This emboldened Muslim terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. (See previous posts from July 13 and August 27.) How would pulling out of Iraq produce different results than the Gaza and Somalia retreats?
Yes, the "occupation" has served as a "recruiting tool" for Islamists. But think about it: had we never invaded Iraq, would there be an absence of reasons for Islamists to attack us? I don't think so.
We had problems with terrorists during the occupation of Germany as well. Would the world be a better place today had we pulled out of Germany?
Pulling out of Iraq now would leave a power vacuum. The interim government will not be able to keep things under control without American forces to back them up. A civil war would be likely if we pulled out now, which would open the door for more Iranian influence on Middle Eastern politics. With relations between Iran and the West heating up, that is not a good thing.
I want American trops out of Iraq too, but before we can leave we have to finish the mission. Iraq needs a strong, stable government that respects individual liberties. We can succeed in Iraq, just as we did in Japan and Germany. We can also fail, and the most certain path to failure is to "cut and run".For more, see columns by Mona Charen and David Limbaugh. Post your opinion at Multi-Level Political Debate.