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How Our Troops Come Home With Honor
Platt Liebau] 3/20/06
As no shortage
of news accounts have reminded us, Sunday marked the third
anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War.
It is, first
and foremost, an occasion for gratitude. Many, many young soldiers
have put themselves in harm’s way to make America more
secure – and to liberate a tyrannized people from the
hob-nailed boot of the dictator Saddam Hussein. More than 2300
of these brave souls have been killed; 17,000 have been wounded.
A steep price.
On the other
side, 25 million Iraqis now live in freedom. Because we have
taken the fight to the terrorists, jihadists from all over
the Middle East have flocked to Iraq, rather than having been
given the time and security to plan attacks on the American
held free elections – twice. Schools,
hospitals and public infrastructure have been built or rebuilt.
A legal system has been put into place. A parliament
is meeting. As for military progress, Iraqis are conducting more independent
operations throughout the country than coalition forces. Some 130 Iraqi battalions
are in the fight, with 60 in the lead. And Iraqi units have primary responsibility
for more than 30,000 square miles of their country. According to one of America’s
top generals, U.S. forces should be able to relinquish 75% of the battle space
to the Iraqis by summer’s end. In short, there is reason for encouragement.
Carol Platt Liebau - Senior
Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior
member of tOR and CRO editorial
boards. She is an attorney, political analyst
and commentator based in San Marino, CA, and
has appeared on the Fox News Channel, MSNBC,
CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable and
a variety of radio programs throughout the United
States. A graduate of Princeton University and
Harvard Law School, Carol Platt Liebau also served
as the first female managing editor of the Harvard
Law Review. Her web log can be found at CarolLiebau.blogspot.com [go
to Liebau index]
lie ahead. As the mainstream media repeatedly warns, civil
war is always a possibility. Even more ominously,
there’s always the chance that the terrorists will be able
to pluck victory from the jaws of defeat – not militarily,
of course, but through propaganda designed to rob the United
States of the will to persevere, disseminated either knowingly
or inadvertently by Americans themselves.
Through the course
of the war, the behavior of the opposition party has been disheartening.
As the performance of Senate Democratic
whip Dick Durbin on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday emphasized,
with few exceptions the Democrats have offered few substantive
ideas and no helpful input on Iraq policy. Rather, their strategy
has been to wait for problems to arise and mistakes to occur – both
inevitably will in the course of fighting a war – and then
to attack. So far, that tactic has yielded few fruits for the
Democrats; its effect on the war has been even more pernicious,
as every irresponsible attack on the President or the war effort
only encourages America’s adversaries and emboldens its
Perhaps, in fairness,
the Democrats have been loath to offer advice because their
own predictions have proved no more prescient
than some of the Administration’s. We hear much about the
President’s mistaken assertion that there were WMD’s
in Iraq at the time of the invasion. We hear significantly less
about the flawed predictions emanating from the other side.
Remember some Democrats objecting to the war on the grounds
that it would prompt Saddam Hussein to launch chemical or biological
attacks? Or the prediction that the invasion of Baghdad would
result in door-to-door fighting that might leave as many as 100,000
dead? Or the assertions that Saddam Hussein would set fire to
the oil fields, or that the war would hurt the American economy?
The last three years
have indisputably been tough. But the struggle will have been
worth it if Iraq can become a stable Middle East
democracy – other would-be terrorists in other countries
will understand that there is an alternative to the explosive
nihilism being peddled by the Islamofascists.
Times like this, three
years after the war began, are the times that try men’s
souls. The choice before is us clear: We will either stay the
course and finish the job, or embolden our
Islamofascist enemies by a premature withdrawal and retreat.
The choice is ours.
But in the end, completing the job in Iraq to do is the only
way for American troops to come home with the honor warranted
by both their sacrifices and their courage. -one-
Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and tOR / CRO editorial
director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served
as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law
Review. Her web log can be found at CarolLiebau.blogspot.com
2006 Carol Platt Liebau