Jack Kelly: Quandary in Iraq

Jack Kelly is a former Marine and Green Beret who was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force during the Reagan administration. He is presently a columnist at the Post-Gazette, and can be described as a reliably hawkish unilateralist and free-market fundamentalist. As a special feature of the Comet, we will attempt to debunk the dangerous and foolhardy ideas put forth by Pittsburgh’s most prominent ultra-conservative.

First off? Jack Kelly? Totally blogging. Totally accepting comments, instantaneously. Website’s called Irish Pennants. Have at it, lads!

Secondly, 2 Political Junkies is obviously using the new Jack Kelly Fisking Software package freely available on the internet. So easy, and just seconds to download.

This week’s column: Quandary in Iraq. Quandary, not a quagmire. 🙂

“Many Democrats in Congress believe the war in Iraq is irretrievably lost, or that it would redound to their political advantage if it were lost. But they don’t want to be blamed for the consequences of defeat.”

Inelegant, and incomplete. Democrats believe the war in Iraq will not be won in this current battle. In order to prevent a defeat, they are advocating a strategic withdrawal, in expectation that the true enemies will be exposed during the interval, while democracy (and security) takes root in the period of non-aggression.

“Although barely begun, the troop surge already is producing positive results. Al-Qaida operatives are reported to be evacuating Baghdad, and Moqtada al Sadr and senior commanders of his Iranian-backed militia, the Mahdi army, are lying low and may have taken refuge in Iran. As a consequence, the number of attacks in Baghdad has declined by 80 percent, the Iraqi defense ministry said last week.”

Kelly calls it the Surge working; we call it the Withdrawal working. If the bad guys are holing up and waiting us out, because of gutless surrender-talk by liberal bleeding hearts, so be it. They won’t be staging sorties, and those monkey bars have to get old after a while. They’ll have nothing to do but politick.

It is urgent for them that they find common ground, now that the British are leaving, and now that we are clearly leaving in steady stages, until spring 2009 at latest. Nobody who has power wants chaos. This withdrawal gives the factions the illusion of stability. Let us see what they work out.

The very worst thing we could do is adventure with Syria or Iran, or get too excited policing the provinces. If Iraq’s nefarious neighbors are meddling, let them meddle. The Iraqis are no fools, and the Bush administration can still bring a pretty fair diplomatic game. (Unless you listen to John Bolton.)

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