Hey Paul, what’s with you and the Iraq War?

Several here at the radio station have pointed out that since starting this blog, a high percentage of my posts have been about the Iraq War.

I have opinions on many subjects other than the Iraq War. My problem is that the subjects don’t matter much in the long run if we fail in our prosecution of Iraq.

Any number of articles can now be easily found that state unequivocally that the surge in Iraq is yielding very promising results. Here’s just one. Hell, even Katie Couric had to concede progress in her reporting from the country last week.

I’m focused on the war because I believe that if we do persevere long enough to stabilize the country and allow the admittedly struggling government some breathing room to get on its feet, we will have accomplished several important objectives.

First, we will have shown the world that we will stand up to tyranny and terror, defeat them and stay with the effort long enough to make the victory long-lasting and decisive. Korea wasn’t decisive. Vietnam was, but it wasn’t decided in our favor. In order to be taken seriously, the U.S. needs to win one – actually it needs to win this one. Conventional wisdom has held that representative government won’t work in the Middle East. Persevering through the military struggle and the mid-wifing processes that stand in the way of a functioning Iraqi government would prove the conventional wisdom wrong and would lend a great deal of credibility to U.S. positions around the world.

Second, it tells the bad guys we’re serious. We suffered the numerous and escalating terror attacks leading up to 9/11 in large part because the bad guys didn’t believe we had the stomach to get in a fight and to stay in a fight once engaged. Osama bin Laden’s tapes said so.

If they see us persevere in Iraq, they can’t help but believe that we just might ignore leftist Europe and the feckless United Nations, put aside calls to “engage” diplomatically and instead come calling in person to kick some butt if they dare to attack us again.

All of that muscular language aside, the best argument for staying on mission is revealed in a speech by the president that I covered in Dallas on election eve in November 2006. This three-minute excerpt provides both a window into the president’s mind together with a glimpse of one possible scenario beyond the fog-shrouded horizon of the here and now.

Excerpt from Pres. Bush’s speech in Dallas, 11-06-06

Let’s argue about everything else after we have secured victory in the most important struggle of this generation.

That’s why I’m so focused on the War in Iraq.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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