Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Staying the Course"

Tony Snow recently announced that the Bush administration is no longer adhering to the phrase “staying the course” in Iraq. “It allowed critics to say, 'Well, here is an administration that's just embarked upon a policy not looking at what the situation is,' when in fact it's just the opposite,” Snow said. Many people have said that America should set a timetable and leave after that certain amount of time. The President labeled this “cutting and running”. In the 2004 presidential election, John Kerry (D-MA) supported this. There have been many heated debates over this. Cutting and running in Iraq would not only embolden terrorists, but also rogue states such as Iran and North Korea to try and stand up to the United States.

So-called cutting and running in Iraq would weaken the United State’s influence in the world. Terrorists would be emboldened; rogue countries would pay no heed to the U.S. and U.N. alike. The power of the world’s only superpower would be diminished. Because of the failure in Iraq, that power has already been diminished, some would say beyond repair. Leaving would be even worse. Imagine what Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah would think. After North Korea has just tested a bomb, would looking weak be a good idea? It’s hard enough with China not enforcing sanctions. The U.S. must look decisive. Iran’s nuclear ambition could be solved if the Security Council could stand united. Exiting, too, would affect the unity. Increased terrorism would be more obvious than rogue states, but both are equally threatening. Some would say by leaving Iraq, hatred for America would decrease, therefore decreasing the “production” of new terrorists. This is most likely true, but the negatives of retreating outweigh the positive. Terrorists would gain new confidence, and multiple videos from extremist groups would be released declaring victory. Israel would definitely feel repercussions. Nothing would be able to be accomplished because a country who once would have never thought of standing up to the United States now would. A Time article (Would Defeat in Iraq Be So Bad) recently publishes questions whether defeat in Iraq would be so bad. It would be just as bad as predicted, and worse.