Anti-War Candidates Should Look At Basra
As British forces pull back from Basra in southern Iraq, Shiite militias there have escalated a violent battle against each other for political supremacy and control over oil resources, deepening concerns among some U.S. officials in Baghdad that elements of Iraq's Shiite-dominated national government will turn on one another once U.S. troops begin to draw down.
Three major Shiite political groups are locked in a bloody conflict that has left the city in the hands of militias and criminal gangs, whose control extends to municipal offices and neighborhood streets. The city is plagued by "the systematic misuse of official institutions, political assassinations, tribal vendettas, neighborhood vigilantism and enforcement of social mores, together with the rise of criminal mafias that increasingly intermingle with political actors," a recent report by the International Crisis Group said.
Even Juan Cole, the anti-war leftyblogger, gets the point of this story:
What most American observers do not realize is that as Basra goes, so goes Iraq. (hat-tip: Real Clear Politics)
So why is the Left rushing pell-mell to withdraw? Why won't news like this forestall the charge and cause some serious thinking? It's simple: They really don't care what happens to anyone else, let along someone who's not like them. Iraqis dying by the cemetery-full? Not their problem.
Of course, the candidates won't go to Basra, so instead, watch the media. Will any of the major Dem candidates be asked if the situation in Basra (if WaPo is anywhere close to accurate) is making them rethink their demand that the Iraq war be wound down? Will Harry Reid have to answer this question?
I don't think so, and that's an indication that the "surrender at all costs -- as long as its their costs" position is firmly implanted on the left and in the MSM.
Meanwhile, a question needs to be asked of our commanders in Iraq: If we are going to have to pull out before the job is done, will we take care of those who have taken care of us? Because if the rule is going to be "as Basra goes, so goes Iraq," we are going to have to do better than the Brits are doing as they pull out:
Britain was accused yesterday of abandoning 91 Iraqi interpreters and their families to face persecution and possible death when British forces withdraw.
The Times has learnt that the Government has ignored personal appeals from senior army officers in Basra to relax asylum regulations and make special arrangements for Iraqis whose loyal services have put their lives at risk.
One interpreter, who has worked with the Army since 2004 and wanted to start a new life in Britain after British Forces pull out was told by Downing Street that he would receive no special favours and to read a government website.
We saw what happened in Vietnam, and now these reports out of Basra. We must do better; we must be planning now for the safety of the thousands of Iraqis who have stood by us during the war. We can't guarantee that the Dems won't screw things up in Iraq, but we should be able to guarantee that America will treat its friends as friends, and protect them.