In today’s Wall Street Journal, the Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Samir Sumaida’ie wrote an editorial laying out the reasons we should stay in Iraq until they have the ability to stand on their own.
Five years after Saddam Hussein was toppled from power, Iraq and the U.S. face important choices for their future relationship – choices that will have profound long-term ramifications for both countries.
…Iraq and the U.S. face important choices for their future relationship – choices that will have profound long-term ramifications for both countries.
I submit that it (the U.S.) cannot afford to lose this fight to its enemies. The destinies of the U.S. and Iraq have become intertwined and their national interests very closely linked.
The convulsions of a society battered by decades of brutality and deprivation are all too evident. But the resilience, tenacity and commitment to national unity are no less evident. The glass may be half-empty, but it is also half full and filling up. Slowly perhaps, but surely. The achievements which Iraqis have accomplished under fire spanning the security, economic and political spheres stand as a testimony to their determination to succeed.
Today, the world is facing a new and dangerous threat of international extremism and terrorism. The epicenter of this confrontation is Iraq. The new enemy is harder to defeat because it is not confined to a state, though some states are involved in its creation and promotion. It is diffused throughout many societies. But this enemy can and must be defeated. As the struggles of the last century shaped our world, this struggle will shape the world for generations to come. (emphasis mine)
This is hardly the only example of someone realizing that Iraq is the central front in the so-called Global War on Terror.
In 2005, President Bush made the case, stating
Just as terrorists “regard Iraq as the central front in the war on humanity,” the United States must recognize it as “the central front in our war on terror,”
Indeed, Bush realized this in 2003, when he said
Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there — and there they must be defeated.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda’s number two man,
The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq.
The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or emirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate
The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.
The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.
No less than Usama Bin Laden himself has identified Iraq as the central front, saying in 2004
Bin Laden identified the insurgency in Iraq as “a golden and unique opportunity” for jihadists to engage and defeat the United States, and he characterized the insurgency in Iraq as the central battle in a “Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation.”
The nation of Iran obviously sees the importance of it, shoveling money, materiel, and military advisors to both Sunni and Shia forces. According to the leader of Hamas in Iraq, AQI has received money, weapons, and training from Iran, and he sees Iran as wanting to rule, changing the ideology and demographics in Iraq.
The examples of Iran funding and assisting both sides in Iraq are numerous. One after another, after another. Why would they want to do this? One would think the answer would be obvious. They are trying to create chaos for two reasons. One, to get us to lose our political will and leave. Two, to weaken the internal forces in Iraq, so they can step in and rule, creating the caliphate so hoped for by Mahmoud Ahmedinijad.
The only people in the world who don’t see Iraq as the central front, it would appear, are people on the Left like the Great Leader Harry Reid, with his infamous statement
“I believe … that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week,”
Never mind that this was months before the surge was even fully implemented. Never mind that it has turned out to be quite successful. What do the AQI folks have to say about the defeatists?
This comes on the heels of an important statement by House Majority Leader Harry Reid who previously said, “The Iraqi war is hopeless and the situation in Iraq is same as it was in Vietnam.”
This is how the cross worshipping occupiers and their henchmen live. Their morale continues to collapse as the result of the increasing strikes of the Mujahideen, carried out by the grace of Allah. (emphasis mine)
We went into Iraq for very good reasons. Indeed, the evidence of WMD’s in Iraq is still coming out, and Saddam did indeed have many terrorist ties. However, I believe that there were other strategies involved in President Bush’s decision to go into Iraq.
One: If we could establish stable nation-states on either side of Iran, that would surround them, putting ideological, religious, and military pressure on them.
Two: the mujahadeen are spread all over the world. Even in Afghanistan, that is awful territory to try to fight them and root them out. In Iraq, the field of battle is more open (both literally and figuratively) to doing battle. We established a location to do battle with the jihadis on our terms, not theirs. One that is more conducive to our ability to fight, not theirs. In addition, Iraq is closer to the heart of islam, and it has drawn in fighters from all over the world in a way Afghanistan never did. This has drawn them into one location, allowing us to kill or capture them instead of them being spread around, doing their planning in secret, and bringing the fight to us on our own homeland.
I wrote in a previous post about hard facts supporting the idea that our enemies pay attention to our media, and react accordingly. Notice that while the war in Afghanistan is important to the Mujahideen, it is primarily a regional matter, with fighters from there and Pakistan, and primarily a Sunni concern. Both Sunni and Shia forces from across the whole Middle East, and indeed across the world, have been involved in Iraq.
Our Left may not see Iraq as central to the future shape of world events, but our enemies surely do. They pay attention to what our defeatists here say, too.