Once again, protesters from Act Now to Stop War and End Racism inundated the District for an “emergency protest.” As expected, protesters espoused mindless platitudes sympathizing with the people who burnt four American citizens alive in Iraq and Palestinian suicide bombers. Unfortunately, this protest is only a preview of what GW can expect when the World Bank/IMF protesters come to town later this month. It is perplexing to consider that the policies these protesters advocate would lead to the exact opposite outcome they desire.
This page will not join the clich? chorus equating Iraq to Vietnam, but it is fair to say that the situation there is degenerating quickly. As the casualties continue to pile up, A.N.S.W.E.R. argues that the only way to end the killing is to pull out from Iraq immediately. Concurrently, A.N.S.W.E.R. claims to support a free and democratic Iraq. However, the likelihood that a free and democratic Iraq would emerge after a hasty American withdrawal is miniscule at best.
If the protesters were truly interested in seeing a free and democratic Iraq, they would support staying there until it is safe to leave. Pulling out now – or even by the recently prescribed June 30 deadline – could return Iraq to a state as unstable and dangerous as during the rule of Saddam Hussein. American withdrawal under fire would no doubt empower terrorists to think that in the face of great adversity, America can be defeated by terrorism.
Instead of proposing a cut-and-run strategy, protesters should adopt an entirely new strategy. They should demand the empowerment of normal Iraqis in deciding their own future. Protesters should call for the deployment of more U.S. troops to ensure that they have enough resources to secure the country and create an environment conducive to democratic development. Protesters should demand that America root out the terrorists intent on installing an Iranian-style theocracy after a U.S. withdrawal.
Unfortunately, the likelihood that fanatics like A.N.S.W.E.R. will adopt such tactics is quite unlikely. But college students should mobilize behind this cause. However questionable the president’s tactics were in attacking Iraq, it is in everyone’s interest to ensure American success in Iraq. The price of failure is simply too great.