11/02/2006: "Gordy Reponds To Bob"
To my friend Bob:
Thanks for reading my article, "Everyone Loves a Slinky". According to your response, I think you may have misunderstood the point. My point was not that we must "support our current leader in whatever he does, or risk the downfall of civilization as we know it."
The point I was trying to make was that the consequences of defeat should be unacceptable to a majority of Americans. We should stop pushing our leaders down the stairs (even though it is entertaining) and think seriously about what defeat would mean to our country. I apologize if this point was not clear.
Personally, I do not know how best to bring peace and stability to the Middle East. This is something I have taken a great deal of time to study and read about. Many great minds have given thought to this and put forth ideas for action. As far as I know peace is still a far off dream. There is plenty of room for competing ideas and for difference of opinions on the subject.
I think it is unfair to say that there is some "ill-conceived, un-thought out, non-plan" in Iraq. You may disagree with the results of our military actions but it was not a non-plan. I agree with your opinion, "You break it, you fix it". We have a responsibility to do this now. I would encourage everyone who thinks they have an answer to throw it into the arena of ideas instead of criticizing everyone who does.
I disagree with your statement, "The current leadership has done everything possible to increase the threat of terrorism, not defeat it." Evidence suggests that showing weakness is the best way to increase terrorism. I reiterate my point from the article, "if you believe our enemies are recruiting more martyrs into jihad because we have stood up to them, then just wait until we back down and withdraw. Showing weakness will embolden our terrorist enemies like never before and swell their ranks."
I think you are incorrect to say that there was "not a drop" of Islamic Fundamentalism in Iraq before we moved in and ousted Saddam. This religious fanaticism exists in almost every country in the world certainly every country in the Middle East. Are you asserting that the only place in the world it did not exist was Iraq?
The evidence suggests that Islamic Fundamentalism was widely accepted in Saddam's regime after the first Gulf War in 1991. The most obvious symbol of Saddam's decision to embrace Islam was his order to add the words "God Is Great" to the Iraqi flag. Saddam's son-in-law, Hussein Kamal, defected to Jordan in 1995. Kamal's reason for defecting was Saddam's order that all senior Baath Party officials undergo mandatory Koran studies. This quote comes from his statements to the IAEA. "The Government of Iraq is instigating fundamentalism in the country. This is of concern for Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait. It is against Europe and US. Now Baath Party members have to pass a religious exam."
I agree wholeheartedly with your point that "Our only goal in Iraq should be to put the country back together". The only clarification I would offer is that only the Iraqi people can do this. We need to give them the tools and the hope to do it themselves. I believe that that is exactly what the current plan of our leaders is. However, we can't do this if we follow the advice of the "get out now" crowd.