I can’t improve on the critiques of Ted Kennedy’s “cut and run” speech on Iraq by readers Haider Ajina and Emidio Moglia. However, I would like to address the strange logic Kennedy employed. Kennedy argued that the “indefinite presence [of U.S. troops] is fanning the flames of conflict” and that “the war in Iraq has become a war against the American occupation.” These premises may true at some level, but how do they support Kennedy’s conclusion that we should leave Iraq? Leaving will extinguish the “flames of conflict” only to the extent that it enables the bad guys win. If that’s acceptable to Kennedy, he should say so instead of pretending that ending the American occupation is the sole aim of the insurgents, as opposed to just a means to their Islamofascist ends.
The U.S. occupation of the South after the civil war helped fan the flames of conflict there. But the alternative was the subjugation of the freed slaves, which occurred in short order after U.S. troops left. Nearly a century later, the Kennedy Justice Department helped end the vestiges of that subjugation. But today, the surviving brother of those Kennedys wants to leave the Iraqis to their fate, and is too gutless to admit that their likely fate would be subjugation by our mortal enemies.
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