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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Victory in Iraq

Although the media won't admit it, it is pretty clear that the Iraq policy has been successful. The installment of the new government last week is the crowning jewel on three years of work. There is now today a legitimate democratic government in the middle-east with rooted institutions. Such a government has never existed in the Arab world. Most successful has been the construction from scratch of a professional Iraq army. Many critics still argue that it was a mistake to disband Saddam's old army. I disagree. Disbanding the old army and starting over was essential to the long-term health of Iraq. The real mistakes I saw were some of the missteps in reconstituting the army and the failure to secure certain terrorist areas such as Falluja sooner then they did. However, that is all water under the bridge now - most of those things have been done.

Certainly, Iraq is still a dangerous place. However, the danger is on the periphery. Two years ago you heard stories about terrorist bands taking over police stations and winning fire fights. That no longer happens. Today the largest problem is "sectarian" violence, which is another word for criminal gang violence. This issue is a nasty problem, but not a threat to the national sovereignty.

There were three significant turning points or tests in Iraq that were won by coalition and Iraqi forcers. The first was the defeat of Sadr's Shiite militia in Najef in April 2004. This victory was significant because the shia forces were defeated without massive political damage to the shia support of the coalition. Second was the eventual take-down of Falluja. This victory took away the terrorists only significant base of permanent operations. The final victory was the political victory following the destruction of the Shia shrine in Karbala. The fact that full scale civil war was avoided showed for the first time the strength of the new-political institutions that now exist. Many sighed a sign of relief.

There is much work ahead in Iraq. But, Iraq has a bright future.

If ever a Nobel peace prize should be awarded, it should be given to the Grand Ayatolla Sistani. His cries for peace and calm and turning the other cheek in the face of constant badgering by the Sunni terrorists is on the level with other great peace figures in recent history such as Martin Luther King and Gandhi. The common response in the Muslim world is to call for violent Jihad. Sistani called for the opposite. Instead the prize is awarded to leftists such as Jimmy Carter….that is another story.