On this blog in particular, and on all other blogs that I publish on, I'm planning a series of blog essays intended to promote an honest debate on the war, by both sides. In my view, both sides have gotten thing wrong with regards to this debate, and if we are to have a truly honest debate on the current state of the war, certain questions need to be answered, and certain realities need to be confronted. Not to mention the fact that the bitter attacks from both sides need to really end. This should be no secret to anyone who knows me or reads this blog, but I am a firm supporter of the mission in Iraq, and believe we must do all we can to achieve the best possible victory. It's clear that things are not going well right now, and we need to turn things around. Many major mistakes have been made, and this is not a small matter, however the one mistake we cannot make is to short-circuit the mission before it is complete.
Dissent is good and crucial, and I have never doubted the sincerity of those oppose the war, or the current surge plan on principle. I do think we really need to come to terms with consequences of our choices. Those who advocate a redeployment of troops from Iraq need to really come to terms with the ramifications. As I've said, I'll begin delving deeper soon, but as a preview, I just have three questions that I really think the critics of the surge plan need to answer:
1. If the surge plan is doomed to failure, and the current commander Gen. Petraeus supports the plan, then why was Petraeus unanimously confirmed? You say the commanders on the ground don't support the plan, but Petraeus does. Why is that not enough?
2. If the war is unwinnable, as many have argued, why should we wait six, or twelve months to redeploy? Why not do it now? Could it be that all of us recognize that the situation on the ground makes such a plan irresponsible? What will change by March 2008, Senator Edwards?
3. If Iraq is a distraction from the larger WOT, do you really think it would've been easier to deal with those threats if Iraq descends into civil war and becomes an Iranian proxy state?
And, changing gears, an entirely different question, to those who suggest that moderate Islam doesn't exist, and the only solution is an outright war with Islam:
Do you realize that that scenario makes a long-term victory in the GWOT impossible?
More to come...