We keep being told that if the American forces pull out of Iraq, that part of the world will simply cave in and never be found again. It will sink into more of a civil war, eventually kill everybody, and then come across the seas to kill us.
Hoshyar Zebari is the Iraqi foreign minister. Mr. Zebari has warned us that an early (this is the fifth year of the war) withdrawal of our troops from Iraq would lead to an all-out civil war and regional conflict.
He feels the United States has responsibilities to keep on supporting the vacationing Baghdad parliament, to continue to train their army and police force. Right here is a good time to ask: Who is teaching the insurgents? They seem to have caught on rather quickly.
It seems strange to teach Arabs about fighting. When Lawrence of Arabia swept through the deserts of Iraq (before the British named it Iraq) he had no problem getting the Arabs to fight. Or was that just a movie?
Old Zebari must have heard what Colin Powell said about the pottery barn back when the invasion began–if you break it, you own it.
True, we broke the biblical land and have spent over four years putting band aids all over it. Every time a school is repaired or built, somebody comes along and tears it apart. Every time an area of Baghdad is cleared of terrorists and we leave it to the locals to control, it reverts to the enemy.
Most of the medical personnel have left the country. The college teachers that could get out have fled. The people needed to run the country are in hiding or in Sweden.
The people who really support the troops are those who are calling for them to come home. This “surge” is just taking the lives of more of our kids. “Kids” is the correct term. Many of them are not old enough to vote.
From too many politicians we are asked to have more patience. That word of advice is wearing a bit thin.
There is little doubt that for our forces to leave Iraq in an orderly way–it would take a full year even if we hurried–there would be chaos. What seems to be left out of the equation is there will be chaos whenever we leave, whether next year or 20 years from now.
The enemy is not fighting democracy or America. They just want us out of their lands. Had we never put bases in Saudi Arabia, bin Laden would have had one less excuse to bomb the twin towers. Had we stayed in Afghanistan rather than getting off course invading Iraq, all this mess would be behind us.
We are misled thinking the Muslims want to control the world. They just want to mess up the Western world they disagree with. They don’t like our beer halls or liquor stores. They don’t like the way women are half naked on television and in strip joints across the nation. They do not agree with our freedoms of religion.
They believe they are right, just as we do. And to stop such a bunch of Muslim extremists, we need to put down our guns and come home. Then we need to build a foreign policy that does not have us acting like imperialists.
Right-wing radio talk show hosts (about all I can get on my radio) may call my remarks anti-American. The president’s attitude of “bring ’em on” is what a lot of our citizens want to hear. They would like their God of the Old Testament to wipe out the terrorists and be king of the hill.
I am not running from responsibility. I am asking for justice. Good can never overcome evil by using the enemy’s weapons–such as torture and abridging our Constitution.
We cry for justice, but our patience has run out.
Britt Towery is a retired Baptist missionary, pastor and teacher living in Texas.