Winning the peace

Winning the peace
: Gene at Harry’s place (darn, that’s confusing) points us to John McCain’s Washington Post op-ed today criticizing our postwar progress in Iraq:

A recent visit to Iraq convinced me of several things. We were right to go to war to liberate Iraq. The Iraqi people welcome their liberation from tyranny. A free Iraq could transform the Middle East. And failure to make the necessary political and financial commitment to build the new Iraq could endanger American leadership in the world, empower our enemies and condemn Iraqis to renewed tyranny.

If we are to avoid a debate over who “lost” Iraq, we must act urgently to transform our military success into political victory….

We do not have time to spare. If we do not meaningfully improve services and security in Iraq over the next few months, it may be too late. We will risk an irreversible loss of Iraqi confidence and reinforce the efforts of extremists who seek our defeat and threaten Iraq’s democratic future….

Iraq must be important to us because it is so important to our enemies. That’s why they are opposing us so fiercely, and why we must win.

He is all the more correct, of course, after the terrorist bombings in Iraq, which I’ll bet come from al-Queda et al. As Tom Friedman said today:

o one can say with any certainty who was behind the bombings at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and the Shiite holy place in Najaf, but here is what you can say about them: They are incredibly sick and incredibly smart.

With one bomb at the U.N. office, they sent a warning to every country that is considering joining the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq: Even the U.N. is not safe here, so your troops surely won’t be. They also stoked some vicious finger-pointing within the Western alliance. And with the bomb Friday in Najaf, they may have threatened the most pleasant surprise about post-Saddam Hussein Iraq: the absence of bloodletting between the three main ethnic groups

  • Reid

    “We have to show support not only for the war but also for investing the resources necessary to build the peace.”
    This is like asking someone, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Might I suggest that the resources currently committed are adequate, that the current carping is an effort to find something, anything, with which to attack the Bush administration for its artful handling of this war, and that it would be better to have the Iraqis themselves take charge of their fate rather than for us to become their permanent nursemaids?

  • Vic

    It would be better. And I think Iraqis themselves are pretty keen to take charge of their fate, but the decisions governing that fate do not appear to be theirs to take. Small example: A week ago Wednesday all of Baghdad’s printers went on a day’s strike in protest at the announcement that new school textbooks for the upcoming academic year should be printed outside of Iraq (in Jordan). Some “nursemaid” at the CPA made that decision – but why? Iraq needs textbooks, Baghdad has printers….