I have been opposed to the war in Iraq since day one, but unlike some who are against the war, I do believe that the threat posed by Islamic extremists is one we should take seriously. There is a religious war taking place, but it’s not about one religion versus another: it’s a war against religious extremism. This is a war that demands – and deserves – our sacrifice.
But the war against extremism should’ve been fought without the unrealistic goal of a democratic Iraq. Taking the battle to Iraq was a colossal blunder, made worse by the deception used to justify it. Thinking we could execute this war without the world’s support showed a level of arrogance matched only by the arrogance of an administration that now thinks it can expand the war without the support of the American people.
As much as I believe the war in Iraq was unjustified, I fear that if we leave now, we risk seeing the country turn into a more dangerous foe than it was under Saddam Hussein’s rule (especially with Iran and Syria added to the mix). Yet nothing I heard in last night’s deer-in-the-headlights presidential address gave me any hope of a solution. I find it hard to believe that sending 20,000 additional troops – most of them to Baghdad – would significantly change the situation.
So I find myself torn over what our country should do now. I’m not pessimistic by nature, but I see no acceptable way out of the intolerable mess we’re in.