Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Slaying the Course 2

The solution to our Iraqi “quagmire” is simpler than the Iraq Study Group or other brainy experts believe. If defeat by retreat is not an option and an Iraqi democracy is our goal…let the Iraqi people vote for the future path they take.

If the majority votes to send US troops home…it’s not a retreat, it’s a democratic victory. If they vote for us to stay it would be a defeat for the terrorist recruiters who claim the US occupation is a war against Islam.

It is obvious to any thinking person that both Al Qaeda and Iran’s leaders want the US troops to stay in Iraq for a very long time and to even increase presence. As Michael O’Hanlon suggests (Toward Conditional Commitment 12-8-06) we are highly unlikely to launch preemption actions against Iran if we are bogged down and overstretched in Iraq.

But, there are two other strategic reasons Al Qaeda wants us to stay and increase our numbers of troops or trainers. They know that they cannot defeat us on the battle field but they are certain they can perpetually checkmate us and prevent us from ever winning the war. This contributes to the two primary goals of Osama Bin Ladin of breaking us economically and dividing us politically. It also aids his recruiting efforts when we stay without the approval of the majority of Iraqis.

If the Iraqis vote for us to leave and we do, there are three possible outcomes. The Iraqis will either federate their government and make it work, or, there will be an all out civil war that might spread to other neighboring countries. Either a stable federation in Iraq or Muslims mass murdering other Muslims is to our advantage in defeating Al Qaida.

Our only down side would be a sharp rise in oil prices. But even that’s helpful because it’s the only way US policy makers and voters will seriously invest in alternative fuels and stop sending our petrol dollars to funding more jihadists. And, with the money we would save from exiting Iraq we would have the money to invest.

If we stay in Iraq with any level of military presence without an Iraqi vote, Osama and his Jihadists win. Our being there inspires them. Our dependence on oil funds them. Our mentality of might-makes-right will never defeat them.

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