War in Iraq must go on: Bush
At the Independence Day address to the National Guard, President Bush shared his vision on the Iraqi mission. He appealed to the U.S. servicemen to stick to their guns because the fight in Iraq was essentially another revolutionary war to protect American liberty, he said.
“Our first Independence Day celebration took place in a midst of a war, a bloody and difficult struggle that would not end for six more years before America finally secured her freedom. Like those early patriots, you’re fighting a new and unprecedented war to defend our freedom,” the President said.
Deliberately or not, President Bush rekindled an important dispute behind the military strategy that has yet to be resolved.
If the United States is at war in Iraq, what kind of war is that? There are plenty of labels to choose from – revolutionary, religious, civil, proxy, guerilla, information, conventional or asymmetrical? Maybe it’s a war of attrition or a global war on terror? Some even dared to call it a vendetta. Believe it or not, it was first conceived as operation Iraq Liberty, abbreviated as OIL.
Politically astute information officers quickly re-branded it to deprive the cynics the chance to call it “democracy for oil” project.
U.S. strategy in Iraq has suffered cognitive dissonance when what the White House thinks, the State Department states and the Pentagon does are all at loggerheads.
It is a revolutionary war for the President, a global war on terror for the State Secretary and a counterinsurgency type of low intensity conflict for the top brass. To make matters even more complicated, it’s a civil war for the White House opponents at home.
What kind of mission is the U.S. military is vying to accomplish in Iraq? It means the surge strategy, being used and abused, keeps the generals confused.
GIs will remain hostages under sectarian cross-fire in Iraq until politicians in Washington will agree on a cohesive strategy, beneficial to all parties concerned. In a broader sense U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East alienates allies and puts down partners to the gloating enemy’s benefit.
“If the United States were to leave Iraq now, Al Qaeda would establish safe haven to spread their ideology and plot attacks against the United States,” George Bush once emphasized.
In the meantime, at the safe heaven in Pakistan, the extremist brethren are sitting pretty like a bug in the rug, spinning their worldwide network undisturbed.
For them it’s crystal clear. It’s a Jihad unlimited against crusaders, beyond and above the Iraqi battle space.
“The time will come when Iraq has a stable, self-sustaining government that is an ally against these extremists and killers. That time will come when the Iraqi people will not need the help of 159,000 American troops in their country. Yet withdrawing our troops prematurely, based on politics, not based on the advice of our national military commanders would not be in our best interests,” George Bush noted.
Come hell or high water, forget about the exit strategy. The surge in Iraq must go on!
Meanwhile, President Bush has said military efforts in Iraq must be kept up. Speaking in Washington, George Bush denied Al-Qaeda is stronger today than it was before the September 11 attacks on the U.S., and called for continued support of U.S. operations.
“I believe we can succeed in Iraq, and I know we must. So we're working to defeat Al-Qaeda and other extremists, and aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and radicals. By doing this, we'll create the conditions that will allow our troops to begin coming home,” he stressed.