View Full Version : An Aviator's Hope For Iraq

12-25-2005, 07:36 AM
25 Dec. Washington Post Op-Ed - An Aviator's Hope For Iraq (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/23/AR2005122301466.html).

... "We began this endeavor in Iraq out of a general consensus" born on Sept. 11, 2001, about the need "to eliminate individuals, groups and regimes who commit or support terrorism -- and to deter those who might be planning to do so. It was deemed important, by both the executive branch and the Congress, to demonstrate American military power, and will, for a region that held American will in particularly low esteem."

To pick that consensus apart now with backward-looking, overly partisan debates endangers a vital mission that needs adjustments but that can still be accomplished. He expresses that idea in these words.

"The insurgents are not winning the overall struggle here," even if the United States has been unable to prevail militarily in the Sunni heartland, where Cooper is based. "They have not been able to extend the rebellion beyond the Sunni population. More than three-quarters of the Iraqi population are not engaged in the insurgency. In fact, they actively oppose it.

"And al Qaeda is losing the larger war on terrorism. Its immediate goal was to topple Muslim regimes in the Middle East who were friendly to the United States. No Muslim regime has fallen. A number of Arab countries and Pakistan have extended their cooperation to eliminate al Qaeda," he continues.

"We must define success by the changed behavior that is occurring in the region and by the fact that Iraq is no longer a threat to the region or the world. As a member of a weary military, I can attest that there are considerable sacrifices involved in all these endeavors. But if we are realistic about our goals, we can accomplish them." ...