Iraq: Secure the oil. We win. They lose.
It has been five and one-half years since 19 Islamic-fascist terrorists crashed two, fuel-laden airliners into New York City’s World Trade Center, crashed a third airliner into the Pentagon and, had the brave passengers of a fourth airliner not sacrificed their lives, the fourth airliner would have crashed into our Capitol or the White House. In addition to an astonishing kill ratio of 19 to 2,996, that mere handful of Islamic fascists also staggered our economy.
Recent polling data show the events of September 11, 2001, are rapidly forgotten. In fact, the majority of Americans, to include some in Congress, seem unaware that a small number of Muslim extremists have both the intent and the ability to kill even larger numbers of us.
Yes, professor, but aren’t the vast majority of Muslims peace-loving? True; however, the peaceful Muslims are irrelevant because they have ceded control over Islam to the Islamic fascists, prompting me to suggest this to peace-loving Muslims:
Show us that your peace-loving majority can control your violence-loving minority. But, if you are unwilling to do that, then quit complaining when your non-Muslim neighbors regard you with suspicion. Stop hiding behind our Bill of Rights which your brethren deny to your own people and seek to destroy among ours.
But, in addition to the peace-loving Muslims, we should also speak to the 5th Column here at home. For those who slept through Spanish Civil War 101: In October, 1936, General Emilio Mola said he was sending four columns of troops to attack Madrid; however, a 5th Column was already hiding within the city and would join the invaders as soon as they entered Madrid.
Today, Madrid is Washington, D.C. or wherever 5th Columnists can voice support for presidential ambitions running on the platform of: When the going gets tough, cut-and-run.
Yes, the going is tough in Iraq because we applied western, democratic aspirations to what we thought the Iraqis would do after we lifted the yoke of totalitarianism from their backs. But then, we also repeated the Kennedy-Johnson mistake of the Vietnam War by allowing the Islamic fascists to have sanctuaries in neighboring countries and by placing our troops under overly restrictive Rules of Engagement.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says this has led to a congressional debate over the cost of victory versus the cost of defeat. Pointedly, he asks: “If Iraq matters as much as the President says it does (and here I agree with the President on the supreme importance of victory) then the United States must not design and rely on a strategy which relies on the Iraqis to win. On the other hand, if the war is so unimportant that the fate of Iraq can be allowed to rest with the efforts of a new, weak, untested and inexperienced government, then why are we risking American lives? Only one of these propositions can be correct.”
Framed that way, the former Speaker’s logic is inescapable. We cannot rely on a “new, weak, untested and inexperienced government.” Yet, we can achieve a victory that is far less costly than a defeat in Iraq; provided, we do not fall into the trap, even with proper Rules of Engagement, of engaging in combat-in-cities.
In that case, the 5th Columnists would beat us about the head and shoulders with reports of collateral damage even though we could not possibly inflict more collateral damage on the Iraqis by accident than what they are inflicting on themselves on purpose. So, we should leave the Iraqis to their circular, fire-squad formation and achieve the less costly victory by repositioning our troops to Iraq’s oil-production facilities.
Like it or not and wishful, Wilsonian, aspirations for an Iraqi democracy aside, the region’s only vital-interest asset is oil. If the oil of the Middle East falls under the control of the Islamic fascists, get ready to trade in even your plug-in, gas-electric hybrid for a motor scooter.
As President Reagan might say: Secure the oil. We win. They lose.
Syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former research fellow at the U.S. Military History Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2007. William Hamilton.