In the past few weeks, we have heard powerful, eloquent speaking on the War in Iraq. If you missed these speeches, take a minute to read the whole thing.
[W]e have an enormous responsibility, because of course, we did liberate this country. … [T]here’s enormous potential implications for some of the courses of action that have been considered out there, and certainly, a precipitous withdrawal would have potentially serious implications for important interests that we have in Iraq, in the region. …
[O]ur leaders get it, our soldiers get it, they are these flexible, adaptable, thoughtful, culturally astute, and by and large, leaders and soldiers and Marines, and they are showing that on a daily basis here. That is not to say that it is anything at all easy about this, that the complexity is anything but just sheer enormous, or that this situation is anything but the most challenging that I’ve ever seen in some 33 years in uniform.
[W]hile Iraqi political progress is certainly not where it should be, the security improvements American soldiers are purchasing in blood and sweat are a necessary precondition for political progress and a stable Iraq that denies haven to Al Qaida and company.
So we say to Congress, let General Petraeus and the troops do their job. They want to win.
Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, gave a press conference in Baghdad on July 6 to discuss his unit’s Marne Torch operation.
What I believe is al Qaeda has worn out its welcome. They’ve overplayed their hand, and their tactics have indeed backfired. …
I’ve got great confidence because I got great soldiers. And they’re here fighting because they want to fight terrorists here so they don’t have to fight terrorists back home. That sounds like a bumper sticker, but that’s what they believe.
[J]ust last week, Corporal Garret Hawkins had his right leg shattered in a IED blast northwest of Karma. … Once at the treatment station, he announced he wanted to reenlist before he was evacuated. His platoon commander read the oath, the corporal raised his right hand as he laid on the stretcher, and his fellow Marines shook their heads in amazement and could only say, “That’s motivating as hell.”
I cannot be certain that even if I could convince Americans to give General Petraeus the time he needs to determine whether we can prevail, that we will prevail in Iraq. All I am certain of is that our defeat there would be catastrophic, not just for Iraq, but for us, and that I cannot be complicit in it, but must do whatever I can, whether I am effective or not, to help us try to avert it.
PREVIOUSLY on Zeal and Activity:
- Iraq and the War on Terror: Winter 2007 Mini-Roundup
- Iraq and the War on Terror: Winter 2007 Roundup
- Iraq and the War on Terror: Fall 2006 Roundup