On “Staying the Course” in Iraq

by | Oct 7, 2007

The solution is actual victory in the wider war against Islamofascism. The solution is to bomb Iran--and not just its nuclear facilities--and to crush all the states that sponsor terrorism.

I have argued that the crucial question is: What would constitute victory in Iraq? The present, deliberately vague, notion is that we will have won when we get Iraq to have a stable, semi-free government. And this is thought of as a task for a few years. So the idea is that once the insurgency is either defeated or sufficiently quieted, we can withdraw.

And then what? What happens when the American force required to enforce this condition is absent?

Isn’t it clear, given the fact that over 100,000 soldiers are having years of difficulty in securing this condition, that our withdrawal would plunge Iraq back into the same chaos in a very short time?

Possibly, we could create a self-sustainingly semi-free Iraq if we were willing to commit, say, 200,000 U.S. troops to staying in Iraq for 40 or 50 years. (We might be able to do it in 10 years–if we were willing to stop “playing nice” and to impose a proper government on Iraq, rather than letting the Iraqis be “democratic,” but we don’t seem to have the courage to do that.)

So the game conservatives are now playing is to pretend that in two or three years we could, by “staying the course,” completely change the cultural-political landscape of Iraq . . . and then go home. But, in fact, as soon as our soldiers began to leave, the insurgency would start to escalate again, as Iran and other Islamofascist nations (let alone the bad elements in Iraq) begin to re- enter the fray.

The solution is not (per the Left) to throw up our hands and withdraw. The solution is not (per the Right) to “stay the course.”

The solution is actual victory in the wider war against Islamofascism. The solution is to bomb Iran–and not just its nuclear facilities–and to crush all the states that sponsor terrorism. At that point, we could also achieve the small-potatoes goal of seeing Iraq become self-sustainingly free, if we even care.

Two or three more years of “staying the course”–with or without “surges”–will accomplish nothing that won’t be quickly undone if we then leave.

Why are engaged in a costly struggle to prop up something that will collapse as soon as we let go? Why aren’t we getting at the “root cause” of the problem: Iran–and the monstrous philosophy (or theology) that is the ultimate cause?

Dr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand, is an professor of philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is the author of How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation and is the creator of The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z. Dr. Binswanger blogs at HBLetter.com (HBL)--an email list for Objectivists for discussing philosophic and cultural issues. A free trial is available at: HBLetter.com.

Voice of Capitalism

Sign up for our free weekly email newsletter directly to your inbox.

Related articles

Should The U.S. Have Left Afghanistan?

Should The U.S. Have Left Afghanistan?

Military training does not help fundamentalist countries in the absence of value training, and value training could only work if a large portion of the population became pro-reason and thus pro-individual rights.

Electric Vehicles Make No Sense on the Battlefield

Electric Vehicles Make No Sense on the Battlefield

Politicians, and particularly, the Defense Department, have the responsibility to equip our sons and daughters with reliable and useful equipment when they send them onto the battlefield, rather than using them as guinea pigs for the latest fad in vogue in Washington.

Voice of Capitalism

Weekly pro-capitalism articles, links, & goodies in your email inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest