The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Friday, August 12, 2005

Mr Message Nails It

Former President Clinton, on Wolf Blitzer's little monkey spank of a show, nails the perfect (IMHO) response to inquiries about Iraq. I know there is increasing sentiment in the country to bail. And the left is rabidly calling for that now. But Clinton captures my sentiments, particularly in the wake of having watched Hotel Rwanda on the plane ride back to Colorado this week. Rwanda was Clinton's darkest hour, magnified by his weakest policy moment -- the decision to pull troops from Somalia after the Blackhawk Down incident. Each of these events made America less safe for they communicated to jihadists and others that America had neither the stomach for war nor the principles to stand up at great cost for others besides themselves.

From DC Media Girl:

BLITZER: "Mr. President, we're going to get to all of that in just a moment, but let' talk about the biggest issue facing the United States, arguably right now. That would be the war in Iraq. Looking back, with 20/20 hindsight, was it a mistake?

WILLIAM CLINTON, FMR. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, at the time, Wolf, I thought that we should not have gone in there until we let the U.N. inspectors finish their job. That was, after all, the understanding the Senate had when it was asked to vote to Congress to give the president authority to go in.

But that's really not relevant anymore. We did what we did. We are where we are. Fifty-eight percent of the Iraqis showed up to vote; 1,800-plus brave Americans have given their lives there. Thousands and thousands of Iraqis have died in fighting the insurgency and trying to give their country a future.

So I think where we are now, it's important to try to continue this effort to train the security forces and the military forces which the administration and our military have undertaken. They are good people. They're trying to do a good job. And there will come a time when the Iraqis will want us to go, and where we should go. But we got to try to make this work. I still think there's a chance it could work, and it's the only strategy that will work."

At least in the short run, the question is not when will we leave. But 'when will this White House put a credible Iraq policy together?' Either commit more troops or do what will be necessary to put together a multi-national force of Islamic troops under UN control. Having made a mess of the place it would be immoral to let it deteriorate into a bloody civil war on broader and more bloody scale than Lebanon. And highly destabilizing for the region too. Right now, take away the support personnel from the troop numbers on the ground, and our soldiers are trying to police a country with a force smaller than the NYC police department. No wonder you can't take a taxi from the airport to the Green Zone and live to tell about it.


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