Friday, February 23, 2007

US National Security at Stake in Iraq and Moderate Muslims Too

A liberal friend of mine giggled derisively when I asked what about the three times Iraqis risked their lives to participate in democratic elections in 2005.

Often I hear the question where are the moderate Muslims willing to stand up and condemn and fight the extremists. Well, a lot of them are our allies in Iraq, the only Arab democracy, who are fighting to live in a democracy. It would be shameful for the US to abandon voters who dipping their finger into indelible purple ink defied the terrorists and voted to elect their government representatives.

However, the US is not using military force and spending money in Iraq just to be nice guys and help the Iraqis. Rather, it is in the national security interest of the United States to have functioning democracies in the Middle East. President Bush’s strategy is that to weaken terrorism and radicalism, the people of the Middle East need a better alternative.

It is a grand strategy worthy of a significant effort, and any anti-American or Jihadist worth his salt ought to be doing everything possible to cause the US strategy to fail. We are not talking about establishing a perfect democracy, governments on the level of Columbia or New Orleans would be sufficiently powerful examples to influence neighboring states. The mullahs in Iran should and do fear a democratic Iraq and Afghanistan on its border.

The Iranians should fight with everything they can for the US to fail while the US should recognize the importance of succeeding. The benefits should outweigh the costs, but one should remember that being a soldier has never been easy as John Hinderaker wrote “between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year.”


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