Monday, August 18, 2008

Why we should continue to help Iraq

There has been an element of Jacksonianism in the Bush administration. He was willing to do what was necessary to neutralize threats from Rogue States and to chase down terrorists. But as Timothy Ash observes, there is also an element of Wilsonianism in the Bush. He wanted to get Iraq started on its way toward democracy. The Left scoffed and ridiculed Bush’s plans for Iraq. Ash was relatively kind in calling them “Wilsonian.” For the typical Leftist, Bush was the devil incarnate engaged in all sorts of nefarious schemes too many to mention and too devious to remember.

The worst thing we could have done was leave the Middle East alone. It is still largely dysfunctional, made up largely of tyrannical autocratic regimes. They have developed no businesses worthy of the name. They have one thing, oil, and if in 20 years everyone is driving around in electric-powered cars, the value of oil will have decreased drastically. If we left the Middle East alone, what would it become?

We have started, and perhaps ended (if the Left has its way) with Iraq – We have been attempting to bring it into the modern world – an attempt to see it integrated into the nations comprising the functioning core – the successful nations. It is true that a lot of people have argued that it can’t be done – but they aren’t as vocal as they once were. They thought Arabs were not capable of being assimilated. But look, Arabs are succeeding in Iraq. And, we can read current articles quoting Iraqi officials urging the U.S. to remain until the Iraqi government and society are even more firmly established. We seem to have succeeded in Iraq despite all the Leftist naysayers. In a region of dysfunctional societies and governments, we have been midwife to the birth of a fledgling democracy. What is our hurry in kicking it out of the nest? Who wants us to do that? The Left of course. “Bring our Troops home.”

If Iraq becomes successful, if businesses develop that are unrelated to oil, if per capita income rises, if investment money floods into Iraq; then Iraq might very well become an irresistible example to its neighbors.

We need to continue to help Iraq. It would be a mistake to abandon it now. They don’t think they are ready to manage on their own. Why should we listen to the Left rather than the Iraqis? Does anyone think the Left will be impressed if we do it their way? We need to continue to help Iraq with security – help them get businesses started – attempt to encourage the West to invest in Iraq – and then hover nearby to make sure 1) no one attempts a Saddam-Hussein-type coup, and 2) no external nation (i.e., Iran) messes with them.

Perhaps we shall fail. Perhaps Iraq will revert to an autocracy. But who would want us to fail? Two groups want us to fail. The Islamists want us to fail because their conception of the World is an Islamist one in which Islam covers the earth as water covers the floors of the sea.

The second group that wants us to fail is comprised of Leftists. Its ideologues are former Communists and Communist sympathizers who have for years had a conception of the World in which a Socialist paradise covers the earth etc etc etc. They join the Islamists in wanting America to fail in Iraq.

Lawrence Helm

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