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February 1, 2007

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if you and I were locked in an epic struggle for supremacy? Letís say we are neighbors and we are engaged in a battle to determine the property line between our two homes. I may lose my home over the fight, but have no resources to battle my well-funded neighbor. So my rich uncle insists on retaining an attorney and winning the fight at all costs, even though my neighbor is determined he or she is right and ultimately will prevail.

After some tough times in court, the rest of the family is telling my uncle to cut his losses. Is the property line really that important? He hardly knows his nephew, who should be able to fend for himself. Besides he lives far away, so if he loses his home, he wonít be aware of the fact that I have been thrown out on the street to fend for myself. Uncle should spend his money on more important things at home and forget about the distant nephew.

When the neighbor hears that news, obviously it will create a morale boost. The storm has been weathered, and now the light of victory can be seen at the end of the tunnel.

Okay, so thatís a crazy analogy, but I hope it works to explain how I feel about the current national dilemma regarding foreign policy in Iraq.

The rich uncle, the United States, has been footing the bill for the war in Iraq, paying the heavy costs in loss of life as well as less important financial measures.

Now members of the family, particularly the United States Congress, are taking measures to curb the United Statesí efforts in Iraq.

While this may be the popular move back home, Iím concerned about the impact it will have on the insurgents that we are fighting against in the Middle Eastern country. How can this news not embolden these terrorists to further murder and mayhem?

This news has to reinforce their belief that suicide bombs and attacks on our troops and their fellow Iraqi civilians has lessened our resolve to see this effort through to conclusion.

So while President Bush has outlined a plan to send additional troops to Iraq with greater powers to engage and defeat the enemy, we are undercutting this threat with politicing and other lip service in the form of a ďCongressional rebukeĒ.

I use harsh terms to describe this effort, but to me there is no other way to explain the action. What purpose does it serve, except to give hope to those whom we wish to defeat? The war has become unpopular, so politicians are jumping ship like rats fleeing a sinking boat. This congressional resolution allows them to sign their name and get good press time via the liberal media, which have fueled the movement to flee Iraq and leave its defenseless people at the mercy of the next Saddam Hussein. The popularity rating for President Bush is dropping so itís time to find another platform to jump behind in an effort to keep their own jobs and get re-elected.

If, from the beginning, you were opposed to these efforts to free Iraq, I apologize for lumping you into this group. Peace would be great, but extending a handshake and an apology isnít going to stop this threat to peace. While I disagree with your opinion, I wonít argue your right to that belief. Obviously there is plenty of fuel here for you to set back and say I told you so.

It is also difficult to argue that we shouldnít be able to change our minds.

However, I would argue that, just because we didnít win the fight as quick as you thought we would, that isnít a good enough excuse to now flip-flop. There is no room for fair-weather fans in foreign policy making. We owe that much to the thousands of our troops that have died fighting our war.

So whether it is because gas prices didnít go down far enough, because no atomic weapons or deadly chemical gasses were discovered, or simply because you are tired of hearing about Iraq every night on the news, please give some thought to your switch.

Is it fair to kick the many defenseless Iraqi citizens to the curb to fend for themselves in a world that would quickly fall back into terrorist control?

Okay, so if you donít care about those people, do you care about yourself? If we pull out of Iraq now, can anyone really believe that the country will not become a breeding ground for future attacks on this nation? If they can succeed at chasing us back home, surely they will believe they can once again attack this weak nation.

The terrorists can start with Alaska and Hawaii. They are far enough away, that the folks here in the continental United States wonít feel too much remorse. Let them folks fend for themselves, cause it will cost too much of my tax money to help them out. They arenít really important to national security so let them fight their own battles while we keep our soldiers safe here at home passing out welfare supplies and safe guarding us from ourselves.

Then when the atomic bombs go off in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles, you can look back and say, maybe we should have stayed the course in Iraq.


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