Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Why Doesn't the Media Talk About Iraq Anymore?

Because it's mostly good news, that's why. John McCain, for all his faults as as lukewarm conservative, was right about one thing--the surge is working or has worked already. McCain staked his reputation on the success of the surge and for that, I'm willing to forgive him for his missteps on immigration and campaign finance reform.

But back to Iraq, violence has dramatically decreased and political reforms are finally starting to be put in place. I've never understood why the Democrats in D.C. have been so determined to cut and run from Iraq, except as it serves their own selfish needs of having power and proving that President Bush was wrong. I always thought that it was self-described liberals that were in favor of fighting wars to protect other people from human right abuses and genocide e.g. U.S. intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo. Based on the recent behavior of Democrats in D.C. (with very few exceptions), I can only conclude that Democrats think military intervention is a good idea only if

1) DEMOCRATS think of it and

2) intervention is NOT in the national interests of the U.S.

In my opinion, the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein were perfectly justified based on:

1) the genocide being committed against the Kurds, Shiites, and Marsh Arabs in Iraq especially the chemical attacks against the Kurds in the late 80's. That alone was reason enough for me to support the removal of Saddam--even though I was in junior high when that happened and I didn't learn about it until I was in college. As most people know, there is no statute of limitations on murder in the United States, why should genocide be any different?

2) Saddam's continued breaking of numerous resolutions passed by the U.N. as a condition of cessation of hostilities. He continued to fire on our aircraft in the no-fly zones--zones that had been set up to prevent him from going in and slaughtering Shiites and Kurds again.

3) Saddam providing material aid to known terrorists including cash payments to Palestinian suicide bombers and providing safe haven to Zarkawi , Abu Nidal, and others.

4) Saddam's pursuit of and threatened use of weapons of mass destruction. Even though it's likely that Saddam lied about the extent of his WMD capability before the world, in a post 9-11 world, I think it's effective to show the rest of the two-bit tyrants of the world what happens when you threaten the U.S. with WMD. Look how Libya fell right in line as a result of the Iraq invasion.

Fortunately, there are still some true liberals left that are genuinely interested in human rights. Michael Totten is one of them. I first began reading his blog after the invasion in Iraq in 2003 because I was curious about his pro-war position despite being a self-described liberal. Michael is a thoughtful and honest writer who now travels to the middle east and reports on political and social issues in those countries as an independent journalist. He has been to Iraq and Afghanistan numerous times and really gives an eyewitness account of the work of our military men and women. He also describes everyday life for the inhabitants in those areas affected by the War on Terror. Here's his latest post titled, "In the Slums of Fallujah."

Michael Totten isn't the only independent journalist that has picked up the slack from the mainstream media's lack of interest (beyond bombings and alleged atrocities) in Iraq. Michael Yon has been reporting from Iraq for years as an imbedded reporter. His photos from the war have become iconic, especially this one titled "Strength and Compassion" which depicts an American soldier cradling an Iraqi toddler after she was mortally wounded in a terrorist bombing.

To me, this photo is the ultimate expression of why we are in Iraq. It's a humanitarian mission to protect this fledgling democracy and her people from the terrorists that would destroy it, slaughter thousands, and use Iraq as a base of operations to spread their terror around the world. We have invested too much money, blood, and tears to abandon it now and hope for the best, as Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton would have us do. We should never forget what happened in Vietnam and Cambodia after we abandoned it--the fleeing of thousands of people, the slaughter of millions of people. Let's not turn Iraq into another Vietnam.

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