by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer
Iraq was a war in which we either should never have become involved, or alternatively, a war in which we should have invaded and subjugated the country in the exact fashion that our harshest critics decry as the brutality of oil imperialism.
Both choices were bad ones, but we chose a policy even worse than those two.
By taking the middle road, we are getting run over from both sides. We pretended that we could bring our democratic values to a region that has no basis for them, and then left, hoping that “democracy would take root,” without our continued, intrusive involvement. That pretense was not only unrealistic, its results are worse brutality than that for which our accusers would have us pilloried.
The rationale for invading Iraq was twofold. First, it was about oil. It had to be. Oil is the lifeblood of our economy. Our society will collapse without it. Second, it was about safety from terrorism. Saddam Hussein was actively sponsoring suicide bombing in Israel, and had already used chemical warfare against Iran. There was little information from inside Iraq to comfort us concerning weapons of mass destruction, the infamous WMD that were never found, but the possibility of which could not have been shrugged off by any sane person, especially when Hussein was pretending to have them.
Our entire involvement in Iraq cannot neatly be summed up, but there is one battle that comes close to characterizing all our mistakes. It was the battle for Fallujah, which was in fact, two battles. Fallujah was taken and occupied by radical terrorists who converted it into a giant bomb factory, and who were killing any civilians who were even suspected of insufficient cooperation with the occupiers or their Islamist creed.
The first time Americans invaded Fallujah, we did so with insufficient forces and were driven back in defeat – at the cost of American lives. The second time, politics were put aside, and the invasion was accomplished with brutal force, with the aim of total subjugation of the city. It worked. An army of terrorists was killed or captured and the civilian population celebrated the defeat of their terrorist tormentors.
War is ugly, and the battle for Fallujah, despite our best efforts, was ugly also – nearly a hundred Americans were killed in the second battle alone – but at least the objective was worthy, and it had been accomplished.
After all that, it is unthinkable that the terrorists would regain control of Fallujah, but they have. They are now well on their way to seizing all of Iraq, and indeed, all of its neighboring nations, to include Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The unthinkable is happening.
This leaves us with choices that are all unacceptable, and with consequences that are now unavoidable.
We could re-invade Iraq, start over from scratch and “re-defeat” the terrorists, losing more American lives and squandering more American treasure at a time when we are already bankrupt. We could give the Kurds in northern Iraq recognition as an independent nation and recruit them to resist the terrorists, thus infuriating our Turkish allies in NATO, an ally already undependable anyway. We could stand aside and watch as Iran continues to send more of its own Islamist troops into Iraq to defeat its Sunni enemies. We could warn the Iraqis to evacuate their captured cities, and then incinerate those cities, if necessary, by small nuclear weapons, thus preventing the terrorists from using those facilities against us.
None of these scenarios are acceptable, and indeed, none of them would be as helpful as we would hope.
The consequences of doing nothing is also unacceptable. To do nothing, is to allow a base of operations from which international terrorism will be exported worldwide. This terrorism will be unrelentingly aggressive and murderous. It will be on a larger scale than we ever imagined possible and funded by billions of petro-dollars, armed with the most potent weapons mankind possesses, including actual WMD and radioactive “dirty bombs” that leave entire cities permanently uninhabitable. It will be manned by literally hundreds of thousand of fanatical, suicidal fighters. It will be led by extremists who insist on nothing less than worldwide Islamic dictatorship, a subjugation of people in its most violent and cruel form.
Ironically, the strongest, and only acceptable counter-measure we have is the one which Barack Obama seems utterly insistent on blocking: the development of oil reserves in North America, particularly involving the Keystone pipe-line.
Had the U.S. resolved 10 years ago to become energy independent, we would already have achieved that goal. Now, we will need another 10 years, but we must act with all deliberate speed to get there.
Oil will not be the panacea. It will not by itself solve the problem we face. It will, however, give us at least a fighting chance, the only chance we will have, to survive the horrors of unbridled terrorism which – make no mistake about this – are going to rain down death and destruction on our homeland.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are now in World War III. This is not hyperbole. We are facing a terrorist apocalypse. The cost to us will be horrific. Our choices are stark – total victory, or total defeat.
There is no longer any middle road. The sooner we understand this fact, the more likely we are to survive what lies ahead.