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Our American Ally
Flopping Aces ^ | 12-05-08 | Curt

Posted on 12/05/2008 8:08:22 AM PST by Starman417

Charles Krauthammer:

The barbarism in Mumbai and the economic crisis at home have largely overshadowed an otherwise singular event: the ratification of military- and strategic-cooperation agreements between Iraq and the United States.

They must not pass unnoted. They were certainly noted by Iran, which fought fiercely to undermine the agreements. Tehran understood how a formal U.S.-Iraqi alliance endorsed by a broad Iraqi consensus expressed in a freely elected parliament changes the strategic balance in the region.

For the United States, it represents the single most important geopolitical advance in the region since Henry Kissinger turned Egypt from a Soviet client into an American ally. If we don’t blow it with too hasty a withdrawal from Iraq, we will have turned a chronically destabilizing enemy state at the epicenter of the Arab Middle East into an ally.

Also largely overlooked at home was the sheer wonder of the procedure that produced Iraq’s consent: classic legislative maneuvering with no more than a tussle or two — tame by international standards (see YouTube: “Best Taiwanese Parliament Fights Of All Time!”) — over the most fundamental issues of national identity and direction.

The only significant opposition bloc was the Sadrists, a mere 30 seats out of 275. The ostensibly pro-Iranian religious Shiite parties resisted Tehran’s pressure and championed the agreement. As did the Kurds. The Sunnis put up the greatest fight. But their concern was that America would be withdrawing too soon, leaving them subject to overbearing and perhaps even vengeful Shiite dominance.

The Sunnis, who only a few years ago had boycotted provincial elections, bargained with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, trying to exploit his personal stake in agreements he himself had negotiated. They did not achieve their maximum objectives. But they did get formal legislative commitments for future consideration of their grievances — from amnesty to further relaxation of the de-Baathification laws.

That any of this democratic give-and-take should be happening in a peaceful parliament just two years after Iraq’s descent into sectarian hell is in itself astonishing. Nor is the setting of a withdrawal date terribly troubling. The deadline is almost entirely symbolic. U.S. troops must be out by December 31, 2011 — the weekend before the Iowa caucuses, which, because God is merciful, will arrive again only in the very fullness of time. Moreover, that date is not just distant but flexible. By treaty, it can be amended. If conditions on the ground warrant, it will be.

Charles lays out the fact that the Democratic success of Iraq has produced a few very welcome results. First being the huge defeat for Iran. Sadr is marginalized in the shadows, and the simple fact that its neighbor has signed a treaty with their enemy is a huge defeat all by its lonesome. The second result is one of the major reasons why our American blood was spilled. The first Democracy in a region that has seen nothing but brutal dictators and has been a hotbed of hate towards the West for eons is just remarkable.

For this to happen in the most important Arab country besides Egypt can, over time (over generational time, the timescale of the war on terror), alter the evolution of Arab society. It constitutes our best hope for the kind of fundamental political-cultural change in the Arab sphere that alone will bring about the defeat of Islamic extremism. After all, newly sovereign Iraq is today more engaged in the fight against Arab radicalism than any country on earth, save the United States — with which, mirabile dictu, it has now thrown in its lot.

Funny thing is, this has been what President Bush has envisioned all along:

November 2003:

The progress of liberty is a powerful trend. Yet, we also know that liberty, if not defended, can be lost. The success of freedom is not determined by some dialectic of history. By definition, the success of freedom rests upon the choices and the courage of free peoples, and upon their willingness to sacrifice. In the trenches of World War I, through a two-front war in the 1940s, the difficult battles of Korea and Vietnam, and in missions of rescue and liberation on nearly every continent, Americans have amply displayed our willingness to sacrifice for liberty.

The sacrifices of Americans have not always been recognized or appreciated, yet they have been worthwhile. Because we and our allies were steadfast, Germany and Japan are democratic nations that no longer threaten the world. A global nuclear standoff with the Soviet Union ended peacefully -- as did the Soviet Union. The nations of Europe are moving towards unity, not dividing into armed camps and descending into genocide. Every nation has learned, or should have learned, an important lesson: Freedom is worth fighting for, dying for, and standing for -- and the advance of freedom leads to peace. (Applause.)

And now we must apply that lesson in our own time. We've reached another great turning point -- and the resolve we show will shape the next stage of the world democratic movement.

(Excerpt) Read more at Flopping Aces ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: ally; bush; democracy; iraq

1 posted on 12/05/2008 8:08:22 AM PST by Starman417
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To: Starman417

Of course the MSM will do their absolute best to totally ignore anything that might highlight the huge, positive, long-term implications from our efforts in Iraq.

2 posted on 12/05/2008 8:13:58 AM PST by stockstrader (At least Biden tried to warn us of the dangers of an inexperienced and unqualified ticket)
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To: stockstrader

Recognition is one thing. Results are another. I will always be thankful to President Bush for carrying us through some very dark days and making a difference in this world. I only dread what is to come with the bufoons that are about to take the reigns. God help us all.

3 posted on 12/05/2008 8:17:24 AM PST by ChinaThreat (s)
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To: Starman417

Bush’s fault.

4 posted on 12/05/2008 8:17:45 AM PST by Lost Highway (I don't know what the world may need but a V8 engines a good start for me)
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To: Starman417

Hmm, yes, so when do the MSM and the rest of the libs switch from “Bush’s war” to “Bush’s victory”?

5 posted on 12/05/2008 8:49:22 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Five years after he dies.

6 posted on 12/05/2008 8:55:42 AM PST by Shadow44
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