· A deadline for withdrawal is an incentive for Iraqi political compromise.
Levin thinks we ought to pressure Iraq's government with a warning tantamount to saying: "You better fix the situation before we leave and your country descends into chaos." He should consider the more likely result: an American exit date crushing any incentive for Iraqi leaders to cooperate and instead prompting rival factions to position themselves to capitalize on the looming power void.
My experience in Iraq bore this out. Only after my unit established a meaningful relationship with the president of the Samarra city council -- built on tangible security improvements and a commitment to cooperation -- did political progress occur. Our relationship fostered unforeseen political opportunities and encouraged leaders, even ones from rival tribes, to side with American and Iraqi forces against
local insurgents and foreign fighters.
· We can bring the war to a "responsible end" but still conduct counterterrorism operations.
The problem with this argument is what a "responsible end" would mean. What is "responsible" about the large-scale bloodshed that would surely occur if we left the Iraqis behind with insufficient security forces? What is "responsible" about proving al-Qaeda's thesis that America can be defeated anywhere with enough suicide bombings?
The senator also seems to believe that America will have success fighting terrorists in Iraq with a minimal troop presence, despite the fact that 150,000 troops have their hands full right now doing precisely that.
· We are "supporting the troops" by demanding an immediate withdrawal
Levin says that "our troops should hear an unequivocal message from Congress that we support them." He explains his vote to fund and "support" the troops while simultaneously trying to legislate the war's end. But what kind of "support" and "unequivocal message" do the troops hear from leaders in Congress who call their commanders "incompetent" or declare the war "lost"?
Such statements provide nearly instant enemy propaganda to every mud hut with a
satellite dish in Iraq and throughout the Arab world. These messages do not spell support, no matter how you spin them. And they could inspire insurgents, making the situation more dangerous for our soldiers and Marines.
The troops have been saying these things for months, if not years, and yet the Dem Cong refuse to listen. So much for their "support". The
To the Left, the military is a tool, filled with tools.
To the military, the Left is a bunch of traitorous scum who don't deserve to live in America.